Decolonize To Liberate/declarations
Decolonize Declarations from Occupies Across the Continent
On October 8th, 2011, three Occupies (Boston, Austin and Denver) passed statements of solidarity with indigenous peoples simultaneously and without coordination. Since then several General Assemblies have passed similar resolutions.
This document contains the text of twelve such resolutions passed in order to help incorporate a framework of understanding that addresses the colonialist nature of “Occupy,” the history of this land and its people and how the goals and roots of the movement are critically intertwined with the ongoing struggles of indigenous people worldwide.
This document was assembled through online research by the Decolonize to Liberate Working Group of Occupy Boston. If there are any resolutions missing from this document, please email email@example.com with updates.
For the liberation of all Life,
Decolonize to Liberate Working Group
Occupy Austin 10/08/2011
Occupy Boston 10/08/2011
Occupy Denver 10/08/2011
Occupy Asheville 10/09/2011
Occupy San Antonio 10/15/2011
(un)Occupy Albuquerque 10/16/2011
Occupy Seattle 10/25/2011
Occupy Oakland 10/28/2011
People’s Assembly of Victoria 11/06/2011
Occupy Winnipeg 11/06/2011
Occupy Ottawa 12/01/2011
Occupy Santa Fe 01/03/2012
- 1 Occupy Austin
- 2 Occupy Boston
- 3 Occupy Denver
- 4 Occupy Asheville
- 5 Occupy San Antonio
- 6 (un)Occupy Albuquerque
- 7 Occupy Seattle
- 8 Occupy Oakland
- 9 People’s Assembly of Victoria
- 10 Occupy Winnipeg
- 11 Occupy Ottawa (Direct Action Committee)
- 12 Occupy Santa Fe
Indigenous Struggle Solidarity Statement
Approved by the Occupy Austin General Assembly (7pm) on 10/8/11
Occupy Austin recognizes that the land now referred to as Austin, Texas is already occupied. It was stolen from the indigenous peoples, including the Tonkawa and Apache, in a genocide against indigenous peoples that continues to this day.
Before colonization, this land was the home to several truly sustainable cultures; cultures that were integrated into the land-base, cultures that did not have to worry about corporate influence on the political process. These cultures were destroyed and are being destroyed by the corporate state, starting with Columbus’ state-sponsored invasion of North America more than five hundred years ago. This invasion is not something to celebrate.
Occupy Austin recognizes that the injustice of colonization by the culture of the corporate state is a wrong that must ultimately be righted, and as such we stand in solidarity with the struggles of indigenous peoples in North America and all over the world.
Statement of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Passed by the Occupy Boston General Assembly on October 8th, 2011
RESOLUTION: Memorandum of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Boston” acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial country, and that we are guests upon stolen indigenous land that has already been occupied for centuries, Boston being the ancestral land of the Massachusett people; and
WHEREAS, members of the First Nations have continued to resist the violent oppression and exploitation of the colonizers since they first arrived on this continent, and as a result have a great amount of experience that could strengthen this movement; and
WHEREAS, after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the consistent disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we find ourselves on a polluted and disturbed planet, lacking the wisdom to live sustainably at peace with the community of Life; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That we seek the involvement of the First Nations in the rebuilding of a new society on their ancestral land; and
As a signal to the national “Occupy” movement and to members of First Nations who have felt excluded by the colonialist language used to name this movement, it shall be declared that “Occupy Boston” aspires to “Decolonize Boston” with the guidance and participation of First Nations Peoples; and
Extending an open hand of humility and friendship, we hereby invite members of the First Nations to join us in this popular uprising now taking place across this continent. We wish to further the process of healing and reconciliation and implore Indigenous Peoples to share their wisdom and guidance, as they see fit, so as to help us restore true freedom and democracy and initiate a new era of peace and cooperation that will work for everyone, including the Earth and the original inhabitants of this land; and
We hereby declare that Columbus Day should be referred to as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Indigenous Platform Proposal
Adopted by the Occupy Denver General Assembly on October 8, 2011
An Indigenous Platform Proposal for "Occupy Denver"
"Now we put our minds together to see what kind of world we can create for the seventh generation yet to come." – John Mohawk (1944-2006), Seneca Nation
As indigenous peoples, we welcome the awakening of those who are relatively new to our homeland. We are thankful, and rejoice, for the emergence of a movement that is mindful of its place in the environment, that seeks economic and social justice, that strives for an end to oppression in all its forms, that demands an adequate standard of food, employment, shelter and health care for all, and that calls for envisioning a new, respectful and honorable society. We have been waiting for 519 years for such a movement, ever since that fateful day in October, 1492 when a different worldview arrived - one of greed, hierarchy, destruction and genocide.
In observing the "Occupy Together" expansion, we are reminded that the territories of our indigenous nations have been "under occupation" for decades, if not centuries. We remind the occupants of this encampment in Denver that they are on the territories of the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Ute peoples. In the U.S., indigenous nations were the first targets of corporate/government oppression. The landmark case of Johnson v. McIntosh (1823), which institutionalized the "doctrine of discovery" in U.S. law, and which justified the theft of 2 billion acres of indigenous territory, established a framework of corrupt political/legal/corporate collusion that continues throughout indigenous America, to the present.
If this movement is serious about confronting the foundational assumptions of the current U.S. system, then it must begin by addressing the original crimes of the U.S. colonizing system against indigenous nations. Without addressing justice for indigenous peoples, there can never be a genuine movement for justice and equality in the United States. Toward that end, we challenge Occupy Denver to take the lead, and to be the first "Occupy" city to integrate into its philosophy, a set of values that respects the rights of indigenous peoples, and that recognizes the importance of employing indigenous visions and models in restoring environmental, social, cultural, economic and political health to our homeland.
We call on Occupy Denver to adopt, as a starting point, the following:
- To repudiate the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, to endorse the repeal of the papal bull Inter Caetera (1493) to work for the reversal of the U.S. Supreme Court case of Johnson v. M'Intosh 1823), and call for a repeal of the Columbus Day holiday as a Colorado and United States holiday.
- To endorse the right of all indigenous peoples to the international right of self-determination, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status, and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural futures.
- To demand the recognition, observance and enforcement of all treaties and agreements freely entered into `between indigenous nations and the United States. Treaties should be recognized as binding international instruments. Disputes should be recognized as a proper concern of international law, and should be arbitrated by impartial international bodies.
- To insist that Indigenous people shall never be forcibly relocated from their lands or territories.
- To acknowledge that Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and teach their spiritual and religious traditions customs and ceremonies, including in institutions of the State, e.g. prisons, jails and hospitals,, and to have access in privacy their religious and cultural sites, and the right to the repatriation of their human remains and funeral objects.
- To recognize that Indigenous peoples and nations are entitled to the permanent control and enjoyment of their aboriginal-ancestral territories. This includes surface and subsurface rights, inland and coastal waters, renewable and non-renewable resources, and the economies based on these resources. In advancement of this position, to stand in solidarity with the Cree nations, whose territories are located in occupied northern Alberta, Canada, in their opposition to the Tar Sands development, the largest industrial project on earth. Further, to demand that President Barack Obama deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, proposed to run from the tar sands in Canada into the United States, and that the United States prohibit the use or transportation of Tar Sands oil in the United States.
- To assert that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. They have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.Further, indigenous peoples have the right to the ownership and protection of their human biological and genetic materials, samples, and stewardship of non-human biological and genetic materials found in indigenous territories.
- To recognize that the settler state boundaries in the Americas are colonial fabrications that should not limit or restrict the ability of indigenous peoples to travel freely, without inhibition or restriction, throughout the Americas. This is especially true for indigenous nations whose people and territories have been separated by the acts of settler states that established international borders without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples affected.
- To demand that the United States shall take no adverse action regarding the territories, lands, resources or people of indigenous nations without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples affected.
- To demand the immediate release of American Indian political prisoner, Leonard Peltier, U.S. Prisoner #89637-132, from U.S. federal custody.
Finally, we also remind Occupy Denver that indigenous histories, political, cultural, environmental, medical, spiritual and economic traditions provide rich examples for frameworks that can offer concrete models of alternatives to the current crises facing the United States. We request that Occupy Denver actively utilize and integrate indigenous perspectives, teachers, and voices in its deliberations and decision-making processes.
Submitted 8 October 2011
American Indian Movement of Colorado
Statement of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Passed by the Occupy Asheville General Assembly on October 9, 2011
RESOLUTION: OCCUPY ASHEVILLE SOLIDARITY WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Those participating in “Occupy Asheville” assert the following understandings:
WE ACKNOWLEDGE the United States of America is a colonial country, and that we are guests upon stolen Indigenous land that has already been occupied for centuries, Asheville being the ancestral land of the Cherokee people; and
WE ACKNOWLEDGE members of the First Nations have continued to resist the violent oppression and exploitation of the colonizers since they first arrived on this continent, and as a result have a great amount of experience that could strengthen this movement; and
WE ACKNOWLEDGE First Nations people continue to assert their sovereign rights of land, language, lifeway, and culture under Natural Law; and
WE ACKNOWLEDGE after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the consistent disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we find ourselves on a polluted and disturbed planet, lacking the wisdom to love and honor the community of Life; therefore be it
WE ARE RESOLVED, to seek the consent and involvement of the First Nations in the rebuilding of a new society on their ancestral lands that honors our interconnectedness as well as Indigenous efforts to retain, protect, and revive their traditional cultures and lifeways; and
As a further signal to the national “Occupy” movement and to members of First Nations who have felt excluded by the colonialist language used to name this movement, it shall be declared that “Occupy Asheville” aspires to “Decolonize Asheville” with the guidance and participation of First Nations Peoples; and
Recognizing the interconnected nature of our lives, we extend an open hand of humility and friendship, and hereby invite members of the First Nations to join us in this popular uprising now taking place across this continent while at the same time standing in solidarity with the issues critical to their survival.
We wish to further the process of healing and reconciliation and implore Indigenous Peoples to share their understanding, experience, and guidance, as they see fit, so as to help us restore true freedom and democracy and initiate a new era of peace and cooperation that will work for everyone, including the Earth and the original inhabitants of this land; and
We hereby declare that Columbus Day should be referred to as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Occupy San Antonio
American Indian Statement
Adopted by the Occupy San Antonio on October 15, 2011
(transcribed from video recording of the General Assembly)
Let it be known that we, the members of Occupy San Antonio, recognize the American Indian and acknowledge their rights and the rights of their land which is entitled to them. Native Americans have contributed much to our own movement locally from [inadubible] and we recognize their contribution. We are aware of who’s land we occupy and wish to be respectful. We wish to be counted with Occupy Boston, Occupy Denver and Occupy Asheville in regards to the Native people and [inaudible] We acknowledge what has happened here in America. We know it is not as the history books tell. We believe in equality and justice for all human beings. We express our solidarity with American Indians and other indigenous people everywhere. We are hopeful that our fellow movements in the United States and around the world, will do as we have here in San Antonio: stand on the side of the truth and work towards true good will among all human beings. The ground we are standing on is the homeland of Native Americans. And with our deepest respect, we wish to recognize them and ask for their blessing in our struggle. We have hope for a truly greater future for all people and welcome the support of Native Americans.
Resolution to rename Occupy Albuquerque to (un)Occupy Albuqurque
Passed by the General Assembly on October 16, 2011
(un)Occupy Albuquerque, in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, indigenous peoples, and colonized peoples worldwide, realizes that language has historically played a powerful role in social transformation. Given the “occupation” of native lands across the Americas since 1492, the colonization of Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world, and the continued “occupation” of Iraq and Afghanistan, we resist the term “occupy” or, for that matter, any language that is connected to the oppression of people.
We believe that by ignoring the dynamics of privilege, this monumental social movement will repeat the very structures of injustice it seeks to eliminate. The United States is a colonial and imperial nation built on stolen indigenous lands and the institution of slavery. It is our strong conviction that a movement to end economic injustice must have at its core an honest struggle to end racism, colonization, and all forms of oppression.
(des)Occupar Albuquerque, en solidaridad con el movimiento OcuparWall Street, los pueblos indígenas y los pueblos colonizados en todo el mundo, nos damos cuenta de que históricamente el lenguaje ha desempeñado un poderoso papel en la transformación social. Dada la “ocupación” de tierras indígenas en las Américas desde 1492, la colonización de África, Asia y otras partes del mundo y la “ocupación” de Irak y Afganistán, nos resistimos a usar el término “ocupar” o, en este caso, cualquier lenguaje que esté vinculado a la opresión del pueblo.
Si permitimos que la dinámica de privilegio siga sin ser cuestionada, este monumental movimiento social repetirá las estructuras injustas que pretende eliminar. Estados Unidos es una nación imperialista y colonialista construida sobre tierras robadas a los indígenas y la esclavitud. Es nuestra firme convicción de que un movimiento tendiente a ponerle fin a la injusticia económica tiene que tener como eje central una lucha honesta para acabar con el racismo, la colonización y la oppression en todas sus formas.
Declaration of Decolonize/Occupy Seattle
Passed by the General Assembly on October 20, 2011
- Note: the name “Decolonize/Occupy” was not passed. Majority (63/40) of the GA insisted on keeping the name “Occupy Seattle.”
DECLARATION OF DECOLONIZE/OCCUPY SEATTLE
AFFIRMATION of Decolonization of Seattle with Northwest Indigenous Peoples
WHEREAS, those participating in “Decolonize/Occupy Seattle” acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial country, and that we are invaders and squatters upon stolen indigenous land that has already been occupied for centuries, Seattle being the ancestral land of the Duwamish and Suquamish people; and
WHEREAS, indigenous people of this land have continued to resist the violent conquest, oppression, exploitation and victimization by the invaders and colonizers since they first arrived on this continent; and as a result have endured a great amount of trans-generational trauma and woundedness; and that their experience strengthens this movement to expose those on-going inhumane crimes; and
WHEREAS, after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the repeated disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we find ourselves on a violated and polluted planet, lacking the Indigenous people’s wisdom and knowledge to live in balance, harmony and at peace with the community of Life; and
WHEREAS, the term “occupation” has been used by imperialists to colonize indigenous lands
WHEREAS, the term “occupation” has also been reclaimed by militant workers of color from Latin America (Oaxaca, Buenos Aires, South Korea, China among other places) to describe their occupation of factories, schools and neighborhoods, to strike back against the oppressive forces led by racism and capitalism. It is in this context that we use the term “occupy”
WHEREAS the borders of the United States of America are a colonial construct based upon the violent destruction of indigenous land across the continent and therefore illegitimate in our eyes
WHEREAS this land is currently occupied by descendants of slaves kidnapped from the African continent, as well as economic refugees forcibly displaced by the forces of capitalism and imperialism around the world, therefore
AFFIRMED, that we prioritize the involvement of indigenous sovereign people in the redesigning and rebuilding of a new way of living on their ancestral land in the context that there is one mother of us all, our earth mother; and
As a Decolonization Statement to the national “Occupy” movement and to indigenous members who have been excluded by the colonialist language used to name this movement, it is declared that phrase “Occupy Seattle” is reframed to the inclusive cross-cultural term “Decolonize/Occupy Seattle” to affirm the guidance and participation of indigenous peoples; and to affirm the history of militant labor struggles associated with the term “occupy”
Awakening to compassion and extending an open hand of friendship and partnership, we hereby invite indigenous members of the Pacific Northwest and all displaced peoples to collaborate with us in this event remembering and reawakening to our original identity as humane beings – that is now initiated on this continent and worldwide simultaneously.
We intend to facilitate the process of healing and reconciliation and implore Indigenous Peoples to share their knowledge and wisdom of stewardship of the earth, water, fire and air to inspire and guide us restore to pure democracy rather than representative democracy as design failure in governing for collective survival; and to initiate a new era of cooperation and peace that is cross-cultural, intergenerational, inclusive and universal in practical application upon Mother Earth with the original indigenous inhabitants of this land.
Memorandum of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Proposal passed at the Occupy Oakland General Assembly on October 28, 2011
WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial (and imperial) nation, and that non-indigenous people are guests upon stolen indigenous land; and
WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” acknowledge that Oakland is already occupied land; Oakland being the historical territory of the Chochenyo Ohlone people; and
WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” acknowledge that indigenous peoples here and around the world continue to resist the violent oppression and exploitation of colonizing nations like the United States, and as a result have a great amount of experience that could strengthen the “Occupy Wall Street” movement; and
WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” acknowledge that after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the consistent disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we all find ourselves on a polluted and disturbed planet, lacking the wisdom to live sustainably at peace with the community of Life; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that those participating in “Occupy Oakland” seek the genuine and respectful involvement of indigenous peoples in the rebuilding of a new society on their ancestral lands; and
As a signal to the national “Occupy Wall Street” movement and the indigenous peoples here and there who have felt excluded by the colonialist language of occupation used to name this movement, it shall be declared that “Occupy Oakland” aspires to “Decolonize Oakland” – to “Decolonize Wall Street” – with the guidance and participation of indigenous peoples; and
Extending an open hand of humility and friendship, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” respectfully invite indigenous peoples to join the uprising against corporate greed taking place across this continent. “Occupy Oakland” wishes to further the process of healing and reconciliation and implores indigenous peoples to share their wisdom and guidance, as they see fit, so as to help restore true freedom and democracy in this country, to initiate a new era of peace and cooperation that will work for everyone, including the Earth and the original inhabitants of this land.
In Solidarity, Corrina Gould (Chochenyo Ohlone), American Indian Child Resource Center of Oakland Joanne Barker (Lenape [Delaware Tribe of Indians])¸ SFSU Luz Calvo, CSU East Bay Andreana Clay, SFSU Andrew Jolivétte (Opelousa/Atakapa-Ishak), SFSU Melissa Nelson (Anishinaabe [Turtle Mountain Chippewa]), SFSU Kathy Wallace (Karuk, Yurok, and Hupa), SFSU John-Carlos Perea (Mescalero Apache), SFSU
People’s Assembly of Victoria
Statement of Intent and Action for Decolonizing Victoria & Memorandum of solidarity and support with Indigenous peoples.
Ratified at The Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, 6 November 2011
RESOLUTION, Statement of Intent and Action for Decolonizing Victoria & Memorandum of solidarity and support with Indigenous peoples of this land and all Indigenous peoples in what is commonly known as British Columbia and Canada.
WHEREAS, that as a signal to the “Occupy Together” movement and Indigenous peoples here who have felt excluded by the colonialist language of occupation used to name this movement, we meet under the name: The Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.
WHEREAS, we acknowledge that we are on Lekwungen land, territory that is shared in ways with WSANEC and other Indigenous communities but has never been ceded and is illegally occupied by British Columbia and Canada.
WHEREAS, we acknowledge that despite great colonial pressures Lekwungen, WSANEC and other Indigenous communities from the area remain sovereign nations and we will endeavor to build open and supportive communication with members of these communities.
WHEREAS, we recognize that much of the wealth and its distribution being protested in the Occupy-Together Movement is derived from the past and continued theft of Indigenous peoples’ land and resources and an unsustainable exploitation of the Earth.
We, The Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria do hereby declare it:
RESOLVED, that we will take greater responsibility to learn the histories of Vancouver Island and surrounding area, including colonial legal history and the Douglas Treaties.
RESOLVED, that we will be open to cultivating political and social relationships with Indigenous peoples that will effect meaningful change to address historical and contemporary injustices.
RESOLVED, that we will create a standing working group focused on living up to these commitments and developing further actions in the spirit of addressing the problems of colonialism. We respectfully seek a pathway to prepare ourselves to build non-colonial relationships with Indigenous peoples and their lands. We are open to benefiting from the involvement, knowledges and participation that Indigenous peoples and communities want to offer this standing working group.
RESOLVED, that moving forward, we are open to potential forms of alliances, mutual learning, action and solidarity with local Indigenous peoples, when, and if, they view such cooperation to be appropriate and constructive for achieving change to our relationships.
Extending an open hand of humility and friendship, The Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria respectfully recognizes the protocol breach of not approaching Lekwungen before convening this assembly on their land. We take this opportunity to ask for permission now.
We offer these gifts as a token of the Assembly’s sincerity to address colonialism and all of our relations.
Decolonize and (Re)Occupy Winnipeg
Passed by the Occupy Winnipeg General Assembly on Sunday November 6th 2011.
Occupy Winnipeg acknowledges the trail of broken treaties and covenants worldwide left in the wake of ongoing colonization. We are appalled by the neglect and poverty experienced by Indigenous communities resulting from government inaction and paternalist policies based in structural white supremacy and individual racism. We acknowledge that colonization remains the forced settlement and assimilation of Indigenous peoples to western and industrial economies, ideologies, and socio-political structures. We oppose the economic policies of the 1% that are presently continuing the colonization and ecological destruction of Indigenous territories. Occupy Winnipeg commits to the long and hard process of decolonizing the global Occupy movement and reclaiming our shared humanity. We welcome Indigenous peoples as an integral part of the 99%.
Winnipeg sits on the territory of Treaty One (1871), which was negotiated between the Queen and the Anishinaabeg (Ojibway) and the Nehiyawak (Plains Crees). Treaty One territories are also currently home to the Dakota people, and members of the Dene, and Inuit. Treaty One is also the homeland of the Red River Métis, and the traditional territory of the displaced Nakota (Assiniboine/Stoney). The Treaty One negotiations clearly demonstrate that the Indigenous peoples of this territory intended to keep the majority of their lands for their own traditional uses while offering non-Indigenous peoples a new home. Most importantly, they intended to keep full sovereignty and jurisdiction over their communities. The Canadian Government assumed and asserted jurisdiction and its ability to annex the land, demanding the Indigenous sign the treaty or lose everything. Even after gaining Indigenous acquiescence to these demands, the Government of Canada did not live up to the terms of the negotiation process, excluding significant provisions from the written draft, including outside promises for guaranteed income and education. Nor were the Indigenous peoples informed of the intended jurisdiction of the impending Indian Act, which directly breaches Indigenous sovereignty. The Government of Canada has continually broken a treaty it did not negotiate in good faith. The Canadian Government is in breach of Treaty One. To this day the Anishinaabeg and the Nehiyawak maintain they did not surrender and cede their lands to Canada or give up their sovereignty, instead they insist the numbered treaties were peace treaties based in customary Indigenous international law.
Understanding this, Occupy Winnipeg General Assembly demands the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba, as well as the City of Winnipeg, fully respect and implement the written and outside promises of Treaty One that give us our rights and responsibilities to occupy this territory. Moreover, we call for all people in Treaty One to work towards a larger and more dynamic process of decolonization and revolution. This transformative process ought to include respecting the original Indigenous negotiating position and the ecological responsibilities that go along with inhabiting this territory that we were adopted into by the treaty process.
Occupy Winnipeg General Assembly acknowledge that the capitalist system advanced by the 1% is a primary driver of ongoing colonization and environmental destruction. In solidarity with Indigenous peoples fighting for justice and self-determination in Manitoba and around the world we demand:
- Sovereignty: An immediate withdrawal of all state supported military, paramilitary, police, and security forces from all Indigenous communities.
- Cultural Survival: An immediate implementation of fully funded and staffed language/cultural reclamation programs for all urban and rural/reserve communities for Indigenous peoples of all ages, in addition spots for professionals of other communities so indigenous languages can become part of the public sphere – a basic way to begin to actually reverse the results of residential schools world-wide.
- Economic Justice: An immediate guaranteed material income (water, food, clothes, shelter, health care, education) for all peoples worldwide regardless of status, ethnicity, gender, age, etc – recognizing that this will proportionally affect Indigenous communities the most because of their levels of poverty.
- Self-Determination: Immediate support and recognition for the revitalization of traditional and hybrid governance structures for all Indigenous communities that express interest in reviving these processes. Traditional systems of government and organizational structures are sovereign and based on traditional knowledge.
- Ecology: An immediate end to imposed economic development, including the tar sands and associated pipelines; Manitoba Bi-Pole III; Nuclear waste disposal.
- Social Justice: A complete end to the current child-welfare system that promotes apprehension and removal of Indigenous children from their families.
- Rights and Responsibilities: Respect for and implementation of all oral, wampum, and written treaties and covenants between peoples.
- Abolition: Immediate support for the prison abolitionist movement and complete support for transformative justice models based in Indigenous processes of reconciliation.
- Decolonization: for every individual and people to actively and mindfully transform their beings and organization to promote ecological sustainability and relationships based on respect, and natural democracy.
Occupy Winnipeg advocates that all Occupy movements engage in a process of decolonization and alliance building with Indigenous communities. In this spirit, Occupy Winnipeg offers our minds, bodies and hearts in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in our common struggle against the policies of the 1%. We respectfully call all peoples to walk together with this spirit and join us at Memorial Park in Winnipeg. We call for a diversity of leadership roles in our own community and in all sectors of society. Please join us in our continuing struggles for justice and decolonization – a revolutionarily beautiful future. We affirm that decolonization will require both personal and collective transformation and liberation. Biskaabiiyang Winnipeg Nanaakawiidaa!
Occupy Ottawa (Direct Action Committee)
Article: “Occupy(ed) Ottawa”
From Unceded and Unsurrendered Algonquin Territory
Occupy Ottawa is organizing a protest at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 10 Wellington St., at the North Tower in Hull on Thursday, Dec. 1st at 2:45pm
We are doing this in response to the call made by Indigenous People in Solidarity with the Occupy Movement for a Day of Action on Thursday, Dec. 1st.
Attawapiskat Declares State of Emergency
At the same time that many Occupies were being evicted and their tent cities being confiscated and/or destroyed, the community of Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency due to the Fourth World living conditions:
According to the Ottawa Citizen, the living conditions are horrible and deteriorating:
For at least the past two years, many residents – including in some cases, multiple generations of one family – in the community have been living in makeshift tents and shacks without heat, electricity and indoor plumbing.
At least 90 people have resorted to living in two construction workers' portables equipped with only two washrooms and four showers to use among them.
Others are using buckets as washroom facilities and sleep in fear of fire because of wood-burning stoves in their homes, the chief said.[i]"
This is what occupation and colonization truly look like. While first nations are forced into inhumane conditions, the Canadian government and Canadian and Transnational corporations continue to benefit and profit from the historic and ongoing theft of indigenous lands and genocide of Indigenous Peoples.
While Stephen Harper can say that, "Canada has no history of colonialism," Indigenous people, communities and nations continue to struggle with the legacy of the Residential School System, a system designed, in the words of Duncan Campbell Scott, the head of the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913 to 1932, ‘"to get rid of the Indian problem.… Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question, and no Indian Department...."'
The most basic function of the Residential School system – to take Indigenous children from their communities and to forcibly assimilate them into the culture of their colonizers is precisely what article 2(e) of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is referring to: "Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group". And while the 2(a) – 2(d)[ii] may not have been intentional, they are also most certainly applicable as far as the real day-to-day practices of the Residential School System.
From Columbus to the Tar Sands
In 1492 Colombus "discovered" the Americas, or, more specifically, what we now call the Carribean. In 1493 he returned with 17 ships and installed himself as "Viceroy and Governor of [the Carribean Islands] and the mainland"... "[H]e promptly instituted policies of slavery...and systemic extermination against the native Taino population.[iii]" Although each colonizing power would proceed somewhat differently, and Indigenous Nations would resist in their different ways, the pattern for European colonization of the Americas had already been set in 1493: the usurpation of Indigenous Sovereignty, the genocide of Indigenous people, either directly, through mass murder, or indirectly by working them to death as slaves, the theft of their lands, all while the European invaders praised themselves for being civilized, Christian, and European, for being immeasurably superior.
The complete genocide of the Beothuk people (Newfoundland) stands as a stark example of the brutality of colonialism in Canada. Similarly the brutal wars between the English and the Micmac, where the English continued their genocidal policy towards Indigenous People, and where they repeatedly broke and violated peace treaties, is another example of the violent, deceitful nature of the English Crown and its representatives.
However, to take us from then to now (through a series of broken treaties, the illegal occupation of British Colombia, the Residential School System, and the essentially useless and certainly unjust specific and comprehensive claims processes) we arrive at the Tar Sands, which are currently considered the single largest industrial project in the history of humanity. The impacts on the environment, on working-class and poor people, and especially on indigenous communities is and will be extensive:
"Currently, tar sands operations are licensed to divert 652 million cubic meters of fresh water each year, 80% from the Athabasca River. In comparison, this amounts to approximately 7 times the annual water needs of the city of Edmonton. About 1.8 million cubic metres of this water becomes highly toxic tailings waste each day.
In 2008, tar sands operations produced 37.2 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, an increase of 121% between 1990 and 2008. Planned tar sands growth indicates a near tripling of emissions between 2008 and 2020, to a projected 108 megatonnes.
In 2006, unexpectedly high rate of rare cancers were reported in the community of Fort Chipewyan. In 2008, Alberta Health confirmed a 30% rise in the number of cancers between 1995 -2006. However, the study lacks appropriate data and is considered a conservative estimate by many residents.
Caribou populations have been severely impacted by tar sands extraction. The Beaver Lake Cree First Nation has experienced a 74% decline of the Cold Lake herd since 1998 and a 71% decline of the Athabasca River herd since 1996. Today, just 175 – 275 caribou remain. By 2025, the total population is expected to be less than 50 and locally extinct by 2040.[iv]"
For all of these reasons, and for all the reasons that we haven't been able to include in this short statement, Occupy(ed) Ottawa will be holding our protest on Thursday, Dec. 1 at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in order to show our solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and their struggles for the land, freedom, justice and dignity.
The Direct Action Committee For Occupy Ottawa
[i] Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/occupy-protestors-evicted-from-tents-first-n...
[ii] In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
[iii] Excerpted from the book Indians are Us (Common Courage Press, 1994) by Ward Churchill, http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html
[iv] Canadian Tar Sands: Impacts to US and Canadian Indigenous Communities, http://www.ienearth.org/tarsands.html
Occupy Santa Fe
Statement of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Passed by Occupy Santa Fe GA on Jan 13, 2012
We, the people of Occupy Santa Fe, hereby issue a statement of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. We begin by recognizing and affirming that we are all related. As the Haudenosaunee teaching goes, we are a part of everything that is beneath us, above us, and around us. Our past is our present, our present is our future, and our future is seven generations past and present.
We will uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We stand in support of decolonization and the full transformation of our society and civilization to one that is just, democratic, inclusive, respectful, and honoring of the Earth and all beings.
We acknowledge colonization and its harmful impacts, beginning with the genocide of the land-based peoples and the physical occupation of this land by the various European colonial governments and later by the government of the United States of America and the corporatocracy.
We see that at the very root of our society and the corporatocracy’s rise to power is a colonizing view of and relationship to the Earth and all beings. We steadfastly commit to help end the very root of our societal racism and the corporatocracy’s rise to power with its colonial practices of conquest of humankind, Earth, and all that existed before its rise from the ashes of desecration.
We know that redressing historical wrongs starts with ending this culture of violence and moving towards inter and intra-national peace. While recognizing the demoralizing and exponential nature of historical trauma, and the impossibility of redressing all historical wrongs, we acknowledge the necessity of healing the wounded ancestral spirit of life-giving.
We honor the ground upon which we stand as the ancestral land of man Pueblo and other First Nations’ Peoples. We humbly offer our respects for ancestral landedness, and recognize the sovereignty of the remaining 19 pueblos of New Mexico, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the Navajo Nation, and the Ute Mountain Tribe. We understand that the Occupy movement must consult, partner, and work with others to help create healed and decolonized societies. We must work upon ourselves to unlearn the effects of colonization and to initiate efforts to eradicate all systems and forms of violence and oppression. Indigenous peoples have long advocated for a society in which historic and current grievances are addressed and treaties honored.
We acknowledge the complexity of the use of the word “occupy” to name this movement, and that the word itself must also be transformed as the movement gains maturity.
We pledge our commitment to educate ourselves on the told and untold history, and the effects of white supremacy and racism. We must listen deeply and respectfully to all voices within our communities and give voice to the silenced ones and to the voiceless amongst us.
Let us now all move towards healthy relationships with the Earth and all our inner and outer relations.
This is an open, living document. The Occupy Santa Fe community has the right and responsibility to review and revise this document on an ongoing basis.