Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council Statement - Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

“The Creator gave the Aboriginal Indigenous Nations of the People Laws to follow and responsibilities to care for all Creation. These instructions have been passed down from generation to generation from the beginning of Creation. It is the Law that no one can overpower the Creator’s Law, you are a part of Creation, thus if you break the Law, you are destroying yourself.

We speak on behalf of all Creation: the four legged/those that swim/those that crawl/those that fly/those that burrow in the Earth/the plant and tree Nations. This one life system includes the elements of fire, water, earth and air, the living environment of “Mother Earth”.

The Sanctity of the Creator’s Law has been broken. The balance of life has been disrupted. You come into life as a sacred being. If you abuse the sacredness of your life then you affect all Creation. The future of all life is now in jeopardy. We have now reached the crossroads. As Aboriginal Indigenous People we ask you to work with us to save the future of all Creation.” The Creator created the Aboriginal Indigenous Peoples into the Land at the beginning of Creation and also created into the Peoples the Natural Law. We have followed this Natural law since the very beginning, passing it down through each generation to ensure the survival of all life.

As the Original Stewards of this Land we have the responsibility to follow and uphold the Natural Law. In order to uphold this responsibility we must be free to speak and act on behalf of our relatives who are not easily understood by those who are new to this land and who have little respect for the Natural Laws of this Land. The newcomers have demonstrated their lack of respect for the Natural Law time and again throughout the history of the United States of America, beginning with the abandonment of their own laws and homelands and the creation of new man-made laws that have been designed to serve destructive purposes upon our homelands. The lack of respect and abusive actions that the United States has continually demonstrated in opposition to Natural Law is both offensive and utterly destructive, not only to our Peoples and way of life, but to all Creation.

Since their arrival on our lands, the newcomers have shown very little respect towards our obligation to adhere to the Natural Law of the Creator. Instead of mutual respect there is simply an expectation that we will respect the man-made laws that have been forced upon us. In this way, we find that we are discriminated against, by consistently being required to respond in black and white with a language that is not our own and which does not convey the full depth of our concerns. Our Indigenous ways of decision-making and speaking are often not accommodated and our ways of interaction are not honored or recognized.

It is our inherent right to follow the Natural Law. And, it is our right to adhere to our obligations under that Law which extend beyond man-made domestic and international law. The government of the United States is also obligated. They are obligated to acknowledge our right to govern ourselves and our lands.

Domestic and International law requires the United States Government to acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination. This includes the right to live on our lands with unrestricted access to our waters and natural areas without fear of contamination or the threat of having our rights restricted or taken away. In addition, the United States Government is obligated to acknowledge the right of Indigenous Peoples to maintain and protect their “religious and cultural practices.” Based on these legal precepts, our sacred holdings such as Eagle feathers are improperly placed under man-made law. Those who properly maintain and care for these sacred holdings, in accordance with our sacred teachings, are the ones to determine how they are to be used.

These sacred holdings are governed by the Creator’s Law. Yet, the United States Government presumes to control our ceremonies by dictating how and when we can use our sacred holdings, creating man-made laws that govern the use of our sacred holdings and our ceremonial way of life, in direct violation of our rights as Indigenous Peoples.

These attempts to disrupt our way of life by dishonoring and disrespecting the Natural Law have consequences. The United States and the international community are experiencing these consequences today. They are being felt in the increased severity and frequency of natural disasters that have been brought about by their activities and they are being reflected in the deterioration of the social and moral standards. The need for manmade laws to be realigned with the Natural Law is urgent. This can only be accomplished if the Natural Law of the Creator, the Law held sacred by Indigenous Peoples, is included in real and meaningful ways. If the United States and International Legal Community does not address their destruction of the natural world and the Social Injustices that result from this destruction, immediately and urgently, by realigning their values and all future actions with the Natural Law, then we see newly emerging threats on the horizon, threats that pose an immediate danger to our survival as human beings.

As the sole authority on our way of life we must be included in all planning and decision making that affects our way of life and the ability of the natural world to sustain life upon this planet. In regard to the legal consultation requirements set forth under domestic and international law, the United States of America is required to engage in meaningful consultation and to attain the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous Peoples before making any decisions that might impact them, their lands or their way of life. However, even with these laws in place, there has been very little meaningful face-toface open dialogue with Indigenous Peoples. When consultation does occur the peoples whose interests and way of life will be most impacted are often disregarded or ignored, while the plans of the United States Government move forward unaltered. Consultation often results in discussions with a few individuals, generally it is with those individuals who will somehow benefit from the decisions that the United States is making. This has endangered our water and subsistence rights and lead to the destructive extraction of our minerals, the introduction of invasive species and numerous pollutants that have contaminated our environment, damaged our way of life and threatened our sacred places. The United States Government has violated our rights and disrupted our way of life, by allowing a few individuals to illegally provide consent on our behalf. Therefore, the United States Government and those individuals, who have participated in the elimination of our rights, by illegally providing consent, must be held accountable for the destruction of our lands, waters and our way of life.

True consultation requires those with decision-making authority to come to us formally and to sit with us face-to-face, to initiate a true dialogue and proceed honorably with consensus, so that we can establish the type of working relationship that is necessary to address the critical environmental issues that all living beings currently face. We recommend that as a first step towards justice and reconciliation, the International Community conduct an independent investigation into all past and current human rights violations, environmental violations and the violation of any and all treaty rights and agreements. We also request that you thoroughly investigate all discriminatory practices and failures related to reaching acceptable standards of consultation, under both domestic and international law. The findings from this independent investigation should be made public and must include participation from Aboriginal Indigenous Nations and people. Recommendations and plans to restore past damage and to prevent future harms to the Indigenous Peoples, our way of life and the natural world should be outlined in legally binding agreements that have clear enforcement mechanisms in place.

Today, there are no mechanisms within the laws of the United States that offer any real protections for our sacred places, the natural world or our way of life. The United States must be held responsible for all activities and actions that it has allowed or undertaken that have damaged, destroyed and desecrated our sacred places and the natural world that we rely upon for our survival. Real enforcement mechanisms must be created. Legal authority without enforcement is meaningless. We are now in the state of survival and we must begin to sacrifice in order to provide a future for our coming generations. We must adhere to the Natural Law. We cannot continue to damage, desecrate or destroy parts of the natural system and expect what remains to live unaffected. We ask that you work with us to save the future of all Creation and to uphold, respect and honor the Natural Law.

We respectfully ask that all Nation States and human beings around the world use the Natural Law, provided by the Creator, as a guiding light and foundation for all decision making, from this point forward. We ask you to stand with us to protect sacred places such as San Francisco Peaks, the Black Hills, Mount Graham, Greasy Mountain also known as South Mountain, Bear Butte, Black Mesa, Bdote and Medicine Lake, and all other threatened sacred places here and around the world.

We have been asked to carry sacred responsibilities for our people, to provide a future for the coming generations. This responsibility includes the protection of all life. We are from various Nations and we are spiritually related. We will not be divided by any terminology that defines us as “recognized” or “unrecognized”, by the Government of the United States or any other body. We are recognized by the Creator and we are united under the Creator’s Law, as United Aboriginal Indigenous Nations, with a sacred covenant to protect and extend Life for all future generations.

Responses to "The Significance of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Please count me in, how can I help?


  2. Anonymous says:

    Awesome. My children know and respect the Natural Law and question why it's so hard for others to comprehend these laws. If our culture and the younger generations get it, why is it so hard for others to get it? To much greed in this world and it's sad they would put money before any living thing which includes their own families. I pray this opens the eyes of the ones that see only dollar signs and START doing what's right. Which is, obeying the Natural Laws and asking First Nations peoples permission before they do anything on or near their lands and number 1 is to START respecting and acknowledging that we are here and we have an obligation to fulfill and that is to protect Mother Nature and all it's natural resources she has to offer as well as our children and their children, so on and so forth. I pray that the people who need to prove they are right or has to rule everything, stops feeling that way and start being equal with everyone so they can make better decisions. I am proud to be a Cree from Saskatchewan.

  3. An Abenaki/Metis woman Vermont USA says:

    Kwai Kwai to One and All Native Brothers and Sisters as well as Non-Native peoples here and around the World! First off I say Oli8ni to those who post on Our behalf as well as speaking for All of Our Relations. We all must Listen and Be aware... The Time Is Now! As we usher in december 21st and 2013 it is Well past time to be United in One Heart ,One Mind.Oh Kchi Nuwask Hear Us... We are small and weak and need your Strength and Guidance this day . Please help us to reach deaf ears to uphold our rights as Keepers of the Land, Our Beautiful Mother Earth, so that she may continue to sustain us and our Relations. Help those "deaf" ears listen and hear our pleas for the Love and Protection of our Mother and Our Home. Aho

  4. Abenaki/Metis Woman says:

    Kwai Kwai again... Upon reading about the Mayan calender and etc. I agree that it may be a change in global conscienceness which would be an Oh So welcome change esp. in the US!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I vote "YES!"

  6. Anonymous says:

    You make so many good points here, but I don't think it is easy for white people to listen if they are not aware of their own losses. The destruction of the cultures of the indigenous peoples of Europe happened just before the exploration of North America. Most white people do not know that there were hundreds of tribes that were systematically attacked or assimilated by the church and empire builders. All traces of many peoples disappeared in Europe including languages, villages, art, music, religions and wisdom. Until whites remember their own violated ancestors and grieve their loss they will not understand in a deeper way what has happened and is happening now in North America.

  7. TeManawa says:

    These things will be upheld as declaration has been done to this cause at the gates of creation. God bless you all - TeManawa

  8. Anonymous says:

    You got my voice too. But as Anonymous above me said - only the Indigenous Nations and few others willing for this. The greed and interests, blind others to see your cause. Also, You can see it in the way they treat their own people. To my opinion till there won't be strong involvement of other nations, no one will listen.

  9. Anonymous says:

    it would be hard for some to do what it says here cuz alot of white people wouldnt want to give up thier power that they have over alot of things in this world. I was at work the other day and a non native heard me talking about harper and what he is doing. the white guy said and "you say this is your LAND its not your LAND".

  10. TeManawa says:

    (White Wolf Pack) may these bless you and thank you all for the declarations you have placed - TeManawa

    You may read the full declarations done in Aotearoa at

  11. Anonymous says:

    thank you for the info,,much appreciated

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that the indigenous peoples of this world are the only ones who have figured out that "cooperation" is of so much more worth than "competition"?

  13. Anonymous says:

    RESPEKT AND LOVE <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  14. Anonymous says:

    I truly feel that with your help we can change the world. The white man (that includes me) have destroyed a beautiful planet and its original peoples, animals, water and earth. I am behind you all the way.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Im Indigenous and I agree. My point is that in the end we ALL are indigenous. Indigenous of the World. We here by cede from any statist or Governmental Corporation. We don't believe in borders. We all share the land. We will reorganize into tribes. That is what the Cosmos does best...Reorganizes. I dare not ask permission of any sort to a system that is fundamentally flawed and strategically manipulative.

  16. Anonymous says:

    With the spirit of Awang AND Dayang Syanu..the sacred soul of all...i hope that there would be BETTER involvement among us to stop the exploitation and ongoing destruction that the so called modern and educated nation have made so far.we are brothers and sisters applying the same law should be united at best to save the sacred soul of our beloved mother nature...

  17. James216 says:

    This all the things are our's ............................................................................................... The Human Development Framework of Indigenous Peoples' be, with Self-determined Development or Development with Culture and Identity is very vital be the road map for all development agencies and governments.

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