The International Indian Treaty Council issued its 28 February 2011 Analysis of language regarding indigenous peoples under consideration by the UN climate change talks in Bangkok, Thailand (3 April – 8 April 2011). This is a reply to those recommendations.
Thank you Alberto,
Your points are well taken throughout your analysis. While we agree with virtually all that you have written, we remain skeptical that state's governments will embrace what is essentially a challenge to their sovereignty. We need a strategy for implementing the recommendations along with the recommendations. We at the Center for World Indigenous Studies believe that the only leverage we currently have expressed in these and other talks in Bonn, Cancun, Copenhagen and so on is "moral leverage." While moral leverage get's us a room to meet in caucus, it doesn't win the place at any negotiating table. We must have political leverage and that can come only when we recognize that we have territory, peoples, collective rights and the power to govern. By virtue of these we have the ability to deny state's governments and corporations access to our territories.
We suggest that those who attend the meetings in Bangkok and elsewhere call upon the various indigenous communities and indigenous nations to consider and adopt a series of principles that basically assert: "State's parties and corporations shall not have access to our territories and peoples without our consent and that consent is only possible when we are guaranteed a seat at the table of negotiations." That needs to be suggested in Bangkok and elsewhere and we need indigenous communities and nations prepared to back up the assertion if necessary. This will be a true expression of indigenous peoples' power and will produce political leverage.
Absent the ability to deny access, indigenous peoples have no leverage what so ever. Absent leverage our voice is muted and even silenced.
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.access here