March 23, 2012
First of all may I express my own personal gratitude to each of you for being present here today, and at the same time and with the same breath may I also express my thankfulness and give honor to the spirit of our ancestors and relatives who battled centuries of genocide and oppression in order to give us this opportunity today.
Today we stand as Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples in regeneration of the role and responsibility that we share with all living beings to protect the sacredness of the Natural World and the spirit of life itself. Today we stand in the face of challenges that extend from our own families and local community on to the regional territory, from continental scale to global magnitude: We face now challenges that are unparalleled in all of human history. We face the tipping point of global climate chaos. And in this "we" there is no "they".
Whatever the answers to these questions that may come forward as of today, in response to the presentations to be given here at the Indigenous Peoples Forum on the Doctrine of Discovery hosted by the Native American Caucus of the Arizona State legislature and presided by the O’Otham Hemuchkam of the Ves O’otham Ha Jeved, may we suggest that what we have before us is not simply a set of questions, but the actualization of a new systemic standard to address these issues in terms of a context and process that is an initiative of We, the Indigenous Peoples: Tehan Titlacah.
Therefore, we direct that the record of this Indigenous Peoples Forum on the Doctrine of Discovery be presented to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for consideration in their discussion on this theme at the 11th Session in UN Headquarters in New York in May of 2012 and to the entire conscience of the world.
In Imiuh Tenamaxtle
In light of the fact that there is absolutely NO REFERENCE in the current Arizona State Curriculum Standards for a track of study on the relevance of the Doctrine of Discovery in terms of Social Studies, History or Public Policy:
We demand that the Preliminary Study on the Doctrine of Discovery, submitted to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues be integrated into the Social Studies Curriculum standards immediately for implementation across the spectrum of services delivered by the Arizona Department of Education at all levels across the state with no exceptions.
We recommend that the State of Arizona:
- Promote and advocate for the continued development of appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the Cultural Diversity of all Arizona residents by supporting educational programs that contribute to this goal;
- Reinforce programs of Cultural Competency to meet this goal, as a legal obligation binding the State of Arizona in terms of Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- Promote and advocate for the implementation of a state wide Indigenous Peoples Studies curriculum, that addresses the ignorance and lack of historical perspective in the general public related to outdated public policies that are grounded in the concepts of racial profiling and illegal preferences to constituencies of European-American “white persons” such as “Manifest Destiny”;