Dialogues with indigenous peoples around “Peace with the Earth”, for a transcultural right of future generations (by Leslie Cloud)
Ousted from the international scene with the birth of international law, indigenous peoples are today rehabilitated as holders of the right to self-determination, as recognized by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007 which provides that n accordance with this right, “indigenous peoples freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” (art. 3). Speaking on the right to self-determination at a meeting of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in May 2021, members of the Navajo Commission on Human Rights delivered their vision of self-determination: “self-determination is not only about human beings but about everything around us… It is part of the nature that is outside, of the environment, of the ecosystem, of the atmosphere, land, resources. All of these components define our self-determination. We must respect these existences. Everything is perfect”. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Derecho a la libre determinación de los Pueblos Indígenas y Tribales, ed. IACHR, 2021, p.9. (free translation by the author)
Within the framework of the indigenous peoples line of the Normandy Chair for Peace and the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples, we wish to bring this indigenous conception of the right to self-determination into dialogue with the theme of the Chair, “Peace with Land” and explore, with indigenous peoples from different territories and ecosystems, the variations of this theme (peace/harmony with the land, on the land/territories and between lands and territories; peace/alliance/dialogue between peoples) with a view to initiating a reflection on the construction of a transcultural right of future generations, respectful of the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples.
The axes “peace with/on the land and between the lands” will explore, based on indigenous knowledge, the law and the mechanisms in force, the use of practices and strategies allowing the preservation and protection of the balance of ecosystems of indigenous territories subject to a variety of material and spiritual threats, not consented to by indigenous peoples: climate change, exploration/exploitation/destruction of resources, territorial conservation policies, tourism, extensive monocultures, armed conflicts, trafficking of all kinds etc
The “peace between people” axis will focus on the possibilities offered by a variety of mechanisms contributing to peace, dialogue and reconciliation between peoples: agreements, treaties and other constructive arrangements, processes of transitional justice, aboriginal, “healing circles” etc.
The reflections and dialogues exchanged around these two main axes and the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples, will be carried out within the framework of cycles of intergenerational meetings-indigenous peoples, seminars, webinars and field missions on the occasion which will be organized spaces for meetings, reflections and sharing between specialists and actors, indigenous and non-indigenous of the dynamics raised.
2019 – 2021 History
Protection of environmentalists and indigenous peoples: systemic legal challenges regarding rights for future generations
Tony Oposa is committed to supporting research surrounding legal protection of environmentalists. This is due to his first-hand experience and the loss of a friend of his, an environmentalist in the Philippines. Too often this issue goes hand in hand with the defence of indigenous peoples’ rights. With four environmentalists murdered every week, it is clearly time to work together with international organisations, the civil society, universities and lawyers to make the voices of these ‘voiceless’ people heard.
The Normandy Chair for Peace will recognise those individuals who risk their lives in order to protect the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples, and tell their story. It will ensure this issue is considered within the overall reflections of the Chair.
The Normandy Chair for Peace will study and build upon the deliberation of the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues, and in particular work with indigenous Nations, to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
To establish peace, the Normandy Chair will work for a recognition of Mother Earth – Pachamama – eliminating the doctrine of discovery and replacing the reference to “civilized nations” by a recognition of sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples.
The first key event will take place in Caen on Tuesday 22nd October 2020 in the form of a workshop involving four indigenous leaders. A project will also be presented by the alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians to create forest sanctuaries. The Normandy Chair will work with Indigenous Peoples for the protection of sacred nature and the expansion of legal protections for natural areas at all levels.
28 posts in this line of research:
Hilario Gelbolingo Davide Jr. is a former Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York.