Sovereignty includes food sovereignty: ‘Southwest Tribal Nations Food Sovereignty Conference Resolution’, 09/08/15
We, traditional Indigenous food producers, knowledge holders, spiritual leaders, Indigenous Peoples, tribal nations and organization leaders, human rights and food sovereignty activists, community members, youth and elders from the Diné, Acoma, Laguna and Tesuque Pueblos, Hopi, Yaqui, Opata, Comanche, Cheyenne and O’odham Nations attending the Southwest Tribal Nations Food Sovereignty Conference from August 8 – 9, 2015 in Shiprock New Mexico, Diné Nation, resolve by consensus the following:
1. We thank the Shiprock chapter of the Diné Nation, Diné College and the International Indian Treaty Council for coordinating and hosting this gathering which was of great importance in building our unity and sharing information to defend our food sovereignty, human rights, land and water, seeds, sacred places and traditional ways of life.
2. We affirm, endorse and adopt the Okmulgee Declaration from the 2nd International Indigenous Corn Conference in Muscogee Creek Nation, September 8th, 2014, and the “Declaration of a GMO- and Pesticide-Free Zone, Diné Nation Territory, from the Indigenous Peoples “Corn is Life” Gathering September 19 – 21, 2013.
3. We express our outrage and profound concern for the impacts, including many human rights violations, of the toxic gold mining tailings spill and its effects on the rights to water, health and food sovereignty of the Diné and other Indigenous Nations that will be affected, as well as the plants, fish, animals and ecosystems of the area in the San Juan River basin system. This contamination of waste from the King Gold Mine near Silverton, Colorado spilled into the upper tributaries of the Animas River on August 5, 2015 and is continuing to contaminate the entire watershed in the four corners area of the United States of America where the communities of at least seven federally recognized Indigenous Nations are now suffering the effects of the spill. The effects of this contamination are multi-generational and will have drastic effects on the reproductive health and the health of future generations of these Nations. We commit to support the Diné Nation Shiprock Chapter and other impacted Indigenous Peoples in their efforts to prevent any future spills, address the damages and other efforts needed to address this critical issue.
4. We commit to continue meeting, communicating and coming together to share information and mutual support through the formation of a Southwest Indigenous Food Sovereignty Network, which we have initiated at this gathering.
5. We call upon our Tribal governments, the United States, other countries and the United Nations to implement strong and effective solutions and responses to climate change through strong actions that respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, protect our food sovereignty and reduce greenhouse gasses by moving away from fossil fuel extraction, production and use towards a just transition towards sustainable practices and forms of development. We also commit ourselves to protect, use and apply our traditional knowledge and practices, our seeds, medicines and animals, our ceremonies and the teachings of our spiritual leaders and knowledge holders, to implement solutions and ways to adapt to climate change within our own Nations and communities in keeping with our sacred responsibilities for the survival of our Peoples, ways of life and future generations.
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