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Ancient Voices - Contemporary Contexts

American Indian Institute, Bozeman, Montana


No. 043, October 2014


Bolivia Gives Legal Rights To The Earth

"Law of Mother Earth sees Bolivia pilot new social and economic model based on protection of and respect for nature.

"Bolivia is to become the first country in the world to give nature comprehensive legal rights in an effort to halt climate change and the exploitation of the natural world, and to improve quality of life for the Bolivian people.

"Developed by grassroots social groups and agreed by politicians, the Law of Mother Earth recognises the rights of all living things, giving the natural world equal status to human beings...." Read the entire article.


A Call to the South from Baffin Island

Mobilizing against offshore extraction

by Warren Bernauer - Sep 1, 2014

Hunters from Pangnirtung, Nunavut hunt a bowhead whale near Kekerten Island, site of American and Scottish whaling stations in the late 19th century. Bowhead whale is one of many species of marine mammals that migrate through the proposed seismic survey area. The Hamlet of Pangnirtung opposed the proposed seismic survey at a meeting with company representatives in 2011. Photos by David Kilabuk

"Jerry Natanine is an Inuk hunter and father and the current mayor of Clyde River, a hamlet of less than 1,000 residents on the northeast shore of Baffin Island, in the Baffin mountain range. The area is host to many coastal fiords where Indigenous hunters have always harvested a variety of sea mammals...." Read the entire article.


Seattle Swaps Columbus Day For 'Indigenous Peoples' Day'

by Tristan Ahtone
October 12, 2014

"This year's Columbus Day holiday will have a slightly different, more Native flavor in the city of Seattle. Thanks to a unanimous vote this summer by the city council, the federal holiday will now be known by a different name: Indigenous Peoples' Day.

"The name change comes after activists pushed for a day to honor indigenous people instead of Christopher Columbus, the most recognizable figure linked to European contact with the Americas...." Read the entire article.


Cross-border Indigenous Treaty Takes on
Kinder Morgan Pipeline

First Nations declare pact to 'protect the Salish Sea' from oil risks.
By David P. Ball, 23 Sep 2014, TheTyee.ca

"Freshly fed with a wild salmon feast and stirred by drumming and anti-oilsands proclamations, a crowd of several hundred stood en masse to loudly sing Tsleil-Waututh Nation's anthem on Sunday.

"Roughly 500 people crammed into the First Nation's North Shore community centre on the eve of what the band's culture and language manager Gabriel George dubbed an 'historic event' -- the signing of an intertribal treaty against Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline through southern B.C. ... " Read the entire aritcle..


Native tribes from Canada, U.S. sign treaty to restore bison to Great Plains

Matthew Brown, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, September 23, 2014 6:04PM EDT

"BILLINGS, Mon. -- Native tribes from the U.S. and Canada signed a treaty Tuesday establishing an inter-tribal alliance to restore bison to areas of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains where millions of the animals once roamed.

"Leaders of about a dozen tribes from Montana and Alberta signed the pact during a daylong ceremony on Montana's Blackfeet Reservation, organizers said...." Read the entire article.


The most important element of Indigenous Peoples' ability to claim the right of free, prior and informed consent is to have informed and organized communities.
-UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Delegate

What is FPIC?

"According to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous communities have the right to give their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to proposed

projects that may affect their lands, resources, livelihoods, and communities. This means that Indigenous communities have the right to decide whether they want companies or governments to mine, deforest, or in other ways develop their lands, and they have the right to make informed decisions through culturally relevant processes...." Read the entire article.


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