Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Between Crisis and Catastrophe

Published: March 9, 2011, Author: JayTaber

Intercontinental Cry reports on the Wixarika Declaration against mining in the ceremonial center of Wirikuta, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. As the traditional authorities state, “We convoke the whole world to join the effort to avoid this terrible destruction of the sacred, definitively opposing the dark interests behind it, which seek our spiritual death.”

As mining companies worldwide raze mountaintops and contaminate watersheds in a desperate attempt to rip every last bit of mineral ore from the earth, forthright statements from indigenous governing authorities wield a moral sanction beyond the customary environmental demands for mitigation. In an era when life itself is perishing faster than politicians breaks promises, that moral sanction may be all that stands between crisis and catastrophe. And as the Wixarika acknowledge, they need our help.

As sacred places and watersheds we rely on for psychic and physical survival become toxic waste sites, our humanity diminishes along with the extinction of species and the expansion of disease. As noted by the Wixarika, “They sign international conventions for the protection of indigenous rights and the environment, sign pacts with us for the preservation of our sacred sites, and even dedicate small amounts of money, at the same time committing themselves to business projects that assure the destruction of our sanctuaries.”

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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