November 5, 1997
IN THIS ISSUE:
The Pastors for Peace Caravan will soon be underway after its Toronto kick-off. We wish them and our colleage Johny Hodgson who has joined them from Bluefields all the best in their encounters with supporters in North America and on their journey southwards.
This is a special issue of URACCAN UPDATE. It is mainly devoted to sharing with you some of URACCAN's networking work to promote indigenous education and indigenous rights.
First, we share with you the Bulletin of the Network on Indigenous Education and Programs (TLAMATINI) [in English translation courtesy of the editor of URACCAN UPDATE].
Second, the Founding Charter of a new indigenous alliance in Central America - The Permanent Forum on Autonomy and Indigenous Rights - EL FORO.
Lastly, information forwarded to us by the Environmental Task Force of the U.S. Nicaragua Network concerning efforts to protect the Caribbean rainforests of Nicaragua. Our thanks to the U.S. Nica Network for this information.
We will be including information about the III International Simposio on Autonomy in a subsequent issue of URACCAN UPDATE. The Simposium was eminently successfull both in the breadth of its representation, its political pluralism, and generational and gender participation. The documents of the event are currently being edited and will be made available to us shortly.
BULLETIN OF THE NETWORK OF INDIGENOUS UNIVERSITIES AND PROGRAMS
COSTA RICA YEAR 1 - NUMBER 1 OCTOBER 1997
The information presented in this Bulletin is unique and exceptional. It is the first issue of the Bulletin of the Network of Indigenous Universities and Programs, constituted in Costa Rica on May 15, 1997.
This is the first link in a chain of institutions with similar objectives: to create educational models for indigenous peoples rooted in their real necessities, and in some cases elaborated by indigenous peoples themselves.
We hope this Bulletin will become a permanent vehicle for information interchange among members of the Network and other institutions interested in the theme of higher indigenous education.
We've named it TLAMATINI - the name of Aztec wise men and philosophers - in order to link ourselves to ancestral indigenous wisdom and to our Mesoamerican origins. According to Leon Portilla, el TLAMATINI "is writings and wisdom, a path and true guide to others that makes their faces wise."
We hope the spirit of that beautiful definition permeates all our initiatives and enable us to widen our horizons and form bonds with other institutions.
Bulletin of the Network of Indigenous Universities and Programs
Central Office: Universidad para la Paz
Ciudad Colon, San Jose
Telephones: 506-249 2633 249 1511 249 1512
Fax: 505 249 1929
Carla Victoria Jara
P. Marcelo Farfan
Translated by: Felipe Stuart Courneyeur/URACCAN
INDIGENOUS NETWORK IN ACTION
by Susana Rochna-Ramirez, International Indigenous Program, Universidad para la Paz
HAVING SUCCEEDED IN FORMING A NETWORK FOR EXCHANGE AND FEEDBACK ON THE THEME OF INDIGENOUS EDUCATION, INDIGENOUS UNIVERSITIES AND RELATED PROGRAMS HOLD THEIR FIRST WORKSHOP
From May 13 to 16, 1997 the Indigenous Program of the Universidad para la Paz (UPAZ)and the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast (URACCAN) held a Seminar on "Indigenous Universities and Related Programs".
It took place on the UPAZ campus in Costa Rica. A broad range of institutions participated (23 organizations representing a 90% turnout of those invited). The majority of persons participating (65%) were indigenous professionals.
The objectives of the Seminar were: to interchange experiences among different institutions involved in higher indigenous education and to find ways to permit an ongoing relationship and exchange among them. Some isolated experiences of a similar nature had occurred in the past, but did not result in direct contact among most of the universities.
The quality of the participants and their presentations was exceptional and showed the degree to which the theme of indigenous education has advanced. Forty delegates from North, Central, and South America participated, as well as a student of the Inuit University of Greenland (Ilisimatusarfik) and an ex-student of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College from Easter Island.
The Seminar decided to set up the Network of Indigenous Universities and Programs which will enable the group of organizations participating in it to have a greater profile in their efforts to grow institutionally and academically.
An interesting fact is that following the Seminar three institutions requested affiliated to the Network of Indigenous Universities and Programs - the Tinku Intercultural University (Ecuador), the University of the Amazon Basin (COICA-Ecuador), and the Sami Studies Program of the University of Helsinki.
The following agreements were reached:
It was agreed to hold the first meeting of the Network Coordinating Committee in Managua at the time of the III International Symposium on Autonomy, October 12 - 15, 1997.
The purpose of the Coordinating Committee meeting in that Central American capital will be to elaborate concrete action proposals for the first year of the Network's activities. Representatives of the Universidad de la Frontera [Frontier University, Chile, Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, and the International Indigenous Program of UPAZ (Costa Rica) will join host leaders from URACCAN in th
is first coordinating committee meeting.
GETTING TO KNOW ABOUT INDIGENOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS
[In this Section indigenous universities and programs describe their main goals and achievements]
INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS PROGRAM, UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSIDAD DE LA PAZ
The International Indigenous Program got underway at the Universidad para la Paz in a common initiative with the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) of Canada. An International Program of Indigenous Studies was begun in 1994 aimed at young members of indigenous organizations in Canada. The course has two semesters, one taken in Canada and the other in Costa Rica.
The curriculum in Costa Rica includes both theoretical and practical elements. Materials cover themes such as contemporary economic and political reality, indigenous history and culture, research methodology, paradigms of indigenous development, conflict negotiation and resolution, and indigenous legislation. Practical activities include a series of visits to indigenous communities in the countr
y and throughout the region.
As well the International Indigenous Program carries out from year to year a series of activities dealing with the regional indigenous problematic. This involves seminars and workshops on key themes for indigenous people in the region.
At this time the Program is developing a series of workshops in support of the Confederacion de Pueblos Autoctonos de Honduras [Confederation of Autonomous Peoples of Honduras] (CONPAH); and, in coordination with the Central American-Panama Office of the ILO, an accompaniment program "Acuerdo de Indentidad y Derechos de los Pueblos Indigenas" [Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples] in Guatemala.
UNIVERSITY OF THE AUTONOMOUS REGIONS OF THE NICARAGUAN CARIBBEAN COAST (URACCAN)
URACCAN has 2,258 students - Miskito, Criollo, Mayangna, Rama, Mestizo, and Garifona. It services the two Autonomous Regions of Nicaragua with two campuses in the North at Bilwi (formerly called Puerto Cabezas) and Siuna; and one campus in the South at Bluefields. Extension courses are offered in the North in Waspam, Bonanza, and Rosita; and in Pearl Lagoon in the South.
Fifty percent of teaching staff are indigenous. Almost 100 percent of the staff are from the Coast region and 29 teachers are now studying for their Masters Degree.
URACCAN has the following mission:
URACCAN offers different kinds of courses (regular, ordinary, by workshop, and extension) aimed at teachers of public school. Course content reflects the multicultural, multilingual, and socio-economic reality of the autonomous regions and ethnic groups within Central America.
URACCAN students must take courses in: History of the Caribbean Coast; Natural Resources; Mathematics; English; Spanish; and at least one of the regional indigenous languages.
The Academic Program includes:
Engineering (5 years) Maritime and Agroforestal Resources.
URACCAN has interdisciplinary studies that are part of four research institutes affiliated with the University:
SCHOOL OF LINGUISTICS, PHILOSOPHY, AND LITERATURE, UNIVERSITY OF COSTA RICA
The School of Linguistics, Philosophy, and Literature of the University of Costa Rica sponsors social action projects in service of indigenous communities, especially in the field of education:
AVELINO SINANI INSTITUTE - BOLIVIA
"Avelino Sinani" offers post secondary education. It involves formation of indigenous educators in the area of Alternative Education -- Community Education and Adult Education. Beneficiaries are Aymaras and Quichuas indigenous peoples.
A group of young people of both sexes have begun their university careers as part of the first semester of Formacion Sistemica (Systemic Formation). The course uses a modular modality beginning with a first 50-day stage of intensive learning [in-class] and another stage based on tutorials in accordance with each student's needs.
The Institute is helping with the formation of other educators who work in the FERIA Program (Rural Integral Adult Education). Our Institute is associated with this Program as an institute of higher education.
The Institute has just completed its curriculum and has presented it to the Catholic University (the Institute which accords us academic status) for its approval.
SALESIANA POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
Cotopaxi Academic Program, ECUADOR
The PROEIB-ANDES Network [PROEIB=Intercultural Bilingual Education Program] was set up to link all the efforts underway in the Andes Region (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile) in support of intercultural, bilingual education.
In Ecuador la Comision de Gestion [Management Commission] has been organized; participants include the Direccion Nacional de Educacion Intercultural Bilingue [National Board of Intercultural Bilingual Educacion], Cuenca University, the Cotopaxi Academic Program, and national indigenous organizations.
The main areas of activity within the Network are: a Masters Degree program, short courses, advising, research, and documentation. Coordination of the Network is in the hands of the University of San Simon, Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The Cotopaxi Academic Program has elaborated a proposal to train teachers for basic intercultural bilingual education in the north Andean-Ecuadorian region. The goal is to offer a part-time educational model for professionalization of indigenous teachers.
Next October, according to the curriculum plan, we will be granting intermediate titles (Pedagogical Assistant and Professor in Basic Intercultural Bilingual Education) to 27 students in our programs.
The second edition of our Program's magazine "Revista de Educacion Intercultural Bilingue" is now in circulation. The magazine aspires to be a space for reflection, discussion, and sharing of experiences related to indigenous education.
SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN FEDERATED COLLEGE (SIFC), CANADA
Offers courses and career programs in indigenous studies, indigenous art, indigenous education, indigenous social work, indigenous management and administration, communication, indigenous health, and Masters programs in sciences, dentistry, business and public administration, and special disciplines.
Because it is federated with the University of Regina, SIFC students can take courses and career programs offered by that University.
More than 1500 students are currently enrolled on our three campuses -- Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert.
Since 1986 SIFC has offered scholarships to international students who are backed by their organization or community. A new scholarship program, directed towards indigenous educational institutions working with indigenous peoples,
is presently being negotiated.
SIFC is also planning for a series of seminars and gatherings on a continental level called "Beyond the Year 2000: Indigenous Peoples Speak to the World". These events will reflect upon the past and our survival and upon strengthening ourselves for the future.
INSTITUTE FOR INDIGENOUS STUDIES - UFRO-CHILE
In August an activity called Areas for Indigenous Development was held in Temuco. Some 27 expositions were planned based on the following themes:
+ reconstruction and delimitation of territoriality
+ experiences in indigenous development areas of Lake Budi Lonquimay
+ environment and territorial sustainability
+ political organization and indigenous rights
+ self-development and territoriality
+ population and territory
Issue Number 6 of the Review "Pentukum" is now in circulation. It contains studies on contemporary Mapuche reality, poetry, opinions, and related documents. In July we had the booklaunching for "Pueblos Indigenas: Educacion y Desarrollo" [Indigenous Peoples: Education and Development]. Publication of the book was coordinated by the Center for Women's Studies and Development.
In September and December we will carry out extension activities of the project "The wisdom of a people woven by women's hands". It will offer a sampling of products of the Mapuche loom and its multiple relations with the life of this people.
FOCUS ON CHILE - Mapuche People Appropriating Their Own Education
by Pablo Mariman - Researcher and teacher at the Institute for Indigenous Studies, Frontier University, Temuco
"A Mapuche University whose main center must be in the city of Temuco. The university will prepare professionals in disciplines that are urgent and necessary for the Mapuche community: teachers, agricultural technicians, agronomists, lawyers, veterinarians, etc. Obligatory will be allied courses in the Mapuche language and in the culture and history of our people. That is to say, special progr
ams will be offered in accord with Mapuche idiosyncrasies and culture, promoting related specialties."
The above quote is a very particular snapshot of Chilean events. This specific demand of one of the organic expressions of the Mapuche movement came to public attention in a context of political negotiations in an electoral period, a process signifying the political re-democratization of the country on the threshold of the decade of the 90s.
The relation with school for broad sectors of the Mapuche population has a double-edged meaning. One the one hand it is seen as an instrument injurious to Mapuche being as changes in usage, customs, beliefs, and language signified a distancing from their own social norms.
For others, however, school represents a tool for resistance against the pillage and territorial alienation of which they have been victims. Within both viewpoints will be those who see in school a road to integration and "whiting" in order to get along in a larger society that coercively imposes but one way to resolve cultural conflict via their definitive Chileanization.
In present circumstances the demand for a Mapuche University is well suited to the new Intercultural Bilingual Education current and to the new juridical framework that proposes to transform the colonial relationship that nation states maintain with the so-called tribal societies and communities.
Convenant 169 will be a powerful point of reference for the Mapuche people's struggle. It asserts that: "Indigenous children have the right to all levels and forms of State education. All indigenous people also have this right and the right to establish and control their educational systems, imparting education in their own languages and in consonance with their cultural methods for teaching and
The relation with school for broad sectors of the Mapuche population has a double-edged meaning: -an instrument injurious to Mapuche being and a tool to resist the pillage.
Covenant 169 became an impossible issue for the Chilean political class to resolve and, at the same time, a reference point that raised Mapuche expectations. Although rather symbolic for now, important national juridical advances have taken place with the passing of a new indigenous law that allows for implementing a system of intercultural, bilingual education in those zones with a high concentr
ation of indigenous peoples.
Within a new context of inter-ethnic relations in Chile and singularly through a discussion focused on this theme, Mapuche elements committed to deepen this issue came forward in 1995.
Here we offer a synthesis of the two currents that oriented those discussions. On the one hand, the experience acquired through internal discussion that has taken place within the Mapuche movement throughout the century. On the other hand, its connection with an international current that takes cultural particularities as the basis of a new way of understanding the nature of nation-states and th
e participation of all sectors, groups, classes, and ethnic peoples making up those states.
Indigenous children living outside their communities have the right to education in their own languages and cultures.
What today is becoming a reality in Chile - at least on paper - can already be noted as a fact in different parts of our continent, especially in North America.
The particular history of colonial relations both in Canada and in the United States resulted in the native reserves having control of the content and administration of educational establishments.
They have managed to create their own spaces in secondary and postsecondary education, involving human resources in a process of autonomy and economic self-management aimed at ending all kinds of dependency and colonial bitterness.
The experience of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College is but one among others - but with a difference, up until now because it is legally recognized within the higher educational system.
In our country there has been more than a decade of footdragging on the theme of higher indigenous education. We have yet to see any planning on the part of responsible official organizations - the Commission of the Ministry of Education and the National Corporation for Indigenous Development.
Despite that, the Mapuche people continue to yearn for intercultural bilingual education at all levels - kindergarten, preschool, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary.
Postsecondary education demands its own institutional framework. The university is what it radiates, creates, cultivates, researches, and synthesizes from what its society wants for the future.
Concretely, what is needed is:
+ an Indigenous University (open to all interested)
+ creation of indigenous faculties in traditional state, private, and regional universities
+ higher education centers that give priority to the creation of work centers for indigenous graduates of different levels of education
+ centers for research, documentation, outreach, and practice of diverse indigenous arts.
The cards are dealt.
To wait around for pronouncements and action by state agencies is to play dangerously with time and with a generation that is demanding changes and is committed to participate in them. Even so, for the Mapuche of Chile this signifies a new will on the part of those who have the responsibility to speak out and to accept these challenges.
We have to open a new road whose motor power is believing and having confidence in ourselves; is utilizing our own force and capacities just as we have to get rid of those practices that have led to our dispersion and to defending causes that solely end up strengthening the culture of the other at the cost of our own ethnocide.
ADDRESSES OF INSTITUTIONS PARTICIPATING IN THE INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON INDIGENOUS UNIVERSITIES AND RELATED PROGRAMS
CHARTER OF THE 'PERMANENT FORUM ON AUTONOMY AND INDIGENOUS RIGHTS
We, the undersigned, met in the facilities of the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports, San Jose, Costa Rica, on October 24, 1997 to found the "Permanent Forum on Autonomy and Indigenous Rights." Hereafter called EL FORO, its definition and character are as follows:
1 - EL FORO will be a means for organizing, promoting, and applying indigenous thought regarding law and the autonomy of indigenous peoples in the Central American region -- from Chiapas to Panama. We will also have support from other regions of the continent and the world. This FORO will fill a regional void where no organizations have been doing regional work in this field. Communication of e
xperiences of systematization of indigenous rights, legislative processes, existing laws, a judicial decisions regarding demands about the recognition and exercise of indigenous rights, including the right to autonomy, is of vital importance.
2 - The general goals of the FORO are:
* Promote the recognition and application of rights and indigenous legislation from the viewpoint of indigenous identity.
* Promote spaces for interchange, discussion, and analysis of the rights of indigenous peoples and about autonomy processes in the region.
* Help elaborate and clarify a conceptual and juridical framework for implementing autonomy for indigenous peoples.
* Actively participate in legislative processes that tend towards recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples.
* Promote the adoption and monitor the carrying out of international juridical instruments for indigenous rights.
3 - Specific goals of the FORO are:
* Help recuperate and put into practice indigenous rights in each member country through exchange of experiences.
* Backing proposals of indigenous peoples to the respective national governments through lobbying, diplomatic initiatives, and whatever other means are found necessary.
* Develop our analysis to ground collective proposals to national governments that will lead to recognition, respect for, and the exercise of autonomy and rights by indigenous peoples.
* Undertake unity initiatives around specific themes among representatives of indigenous peoples to put forward universal proposals within multiethnic and multilingual societies.
* Help in analyzing and ultimately in getting adopted, international juridical instruments for indigenous rights such as the UN and OAS Declarations of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
4 - The FORO's structure will be based on a General Coordinating Commission that will be rotated among the permanent members. Likewise, member groups will carry out the function of coordination within their respective countries. Other coordination tasks will be elaborated later in a specific work plan. Members will participate in an individual capacity with the backing of the respective indigen
ous organizations they represent. Those organizations can name new representatives whenever it turns out that their current representatives are unable to carry our their functions. As well the FORO will count on a Technical Support Team, composed of professionals and other people to be designated by the FORO. This Team will have technical but not political functions and will base its activities
on agreements made by FORO members.
5 - FORO activities will take up five thematic areas:
* (1)Indigenous Juridical Rights
* (2)Regional Autonomy Processes
* (3)Training and Interchange of Experiences
* (4)Relations and Political Action with Indigenous Peoples, national governments, and public and private entities.
* (5)Compilation and analysis of Legislation and Jurisprudence with respect to Indigenous Rights.
6. Coordination of the five above areas will tentatively be assigned as follows: (1) Francisco Raymundo and Victor Cal; (2) Cesar Paiz; (3) Margarito Ruiz; (4) Eusebio Bilbord and Doly Diaz; and (5) Amadeo Martinez and the Technical Support Team.
7 - The FORO's administrative center will be in Costa Rica. It will obtain legal status for purposes of administering funds, developing archives, and offering secretarial and technical support. Collaborators and functionaries of this Center will be responsible to FORO members for carrying out their decisions, mandates, and general line.
8. Each FORO member will develop a preliminary proposal for work themes they consider relevant for his/her country or region of origin. The different proposals will be systematized by the Technical Team under the supervision of FORO members, in order to develop a single proposal and work plan to be revised in the next meeting of the FORO.
9 - The next meeting will be held on January 29 - 31 1988 in San Bartolome de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. This meeting will elaborate a definitive work plan and a proposal for long term activities of the FORO. This plan will be sent to pertinent national and international organizations able to offer financial support.
10 - Advantage will be taken of meetings already planned for the region in order to bring together members of the FORO and progress in defining activities, taking decisions, and discussing pending issues. Tentatively we are considering the possibility of a December 1997 meeting in Guatemala organized by the Rigoberta Menchu Foundation, the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Car
ibbean Coast (URACCAN), and the Iniciativa Indigena por la Paz. Similarly, we'll try to take advantage of a workshop to take place in Bilwi (RAAN, Nicaragua) organized by URACCAN and the Skoki Center/Iriria Tsochok Foundation.
Signing the CHARTER
NICARAGUA -- CESAR PAIZ C. URACCAN
PANAMA -- EUSEBIO BILBORD M. CONGRESO GENERAL NGOBE-BUGLE
HONDURAS -- DOLY DIAZ M. CONFEDERACION PUEBLOS AUTOCTONOS
EL SALVADOR -- JESUS AMADEO MARTINEZ AMADAOR MOVIMIENTO AUTOCTONO INDIGENA SALVADORANA, M.A.I.S/CONSEJO COORDDINADORA NACIONAL INDIGENA SALVADORENA C.C.N.I.S.
GUATEMALA -- FRANCISCO RAYMUNDO HERNANDEZ DEFENSORIA MAYORIA
BELICE -- VICTOR CAL KEKCHI COUNCIL OF BELICE ASOCIACION DE ALCALDES DE TOLEDO
CHIAPAS, MEXICO -- MARGARITO RUIZ HERNANDEZ RAP-ANIPA
COSTA RICA (TECHNICAL SUPPORT TEAM)
-- AMILCAR CASTANEDA C. CENTRO SKOKI
-- MARCOS GUEVARA B. FUNDACION IRIRIA TSOCHOK
-- CISELLE CHANG VARGAS MISTERIO DE CULTURA, JUVENTUD Y DEPORTES
* U.S. SOLIDARITY WITH NICA CARIBBEAN COAST ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS PLEASE SIGN ON TO STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES ON INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION ON NICARAGUA'S CARIBBEAN COAST PARTICIPATE IN NOVEMBER 10 ACTIONS AT NICARAGUAN EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON, DC . . . OR CONSULATES IN NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, SAN FRANCISCO, MIAMI, OR NEW ORLEANS
The Environmental Task Force of the Nicaragua Network is organizing an International Day of Action on Monday, November 10 to pressure the Nicaraguan government to respect the rights of the indigenous peoples on its Caribbean Coast and stop the destruction of the rainforests there. We are asking organizations to sign on to our Statement of Principles, and for people to come out to our actions in Washington, New York, and other cities. In our actions, we will be presenting a Statement of Principles in support of the demands of the people living in Nicaragua's Northern Autonomous Region who are affected by the logging activities of companies operating under illegal land concessions. The concessions, to companies like the Korean multinational Kumkyung's Solcarsa subsidiary, have been declared illegal by Nicaragua's Supreme Court and condemned by the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights at the Organization of American States. In Washington, we will be gathering outside the Nicaraguan Embassy (1627 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., near DuPont Circle metro) at 12:00 noon. For further information on this action, call Nicaragua Network at the number below.
In New York, people will gather at the Nicaraguan Consulate, 820 Second Avenue (between 43rd & 44th Streets) at 11:00 a.m. for an action, followed by a march to the Korean consulate nearby. For further information, call Wetlands Rainforest Action Group, 212/966-5244. Contact Nicaragua Network for information on actions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and New Orleans. An English version of the Statement of Principles we will be presenting is attached. If your organization would like to sign on (by November 6), please respond to this e-mail (or with a fresh message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>). You can also call us (202/544-9355) or fax us (202/544-9359).
Nicaragua Network Environmental Task Force
STATEMENT of PRINCIPLES on INDIGENOUS RIGHTS and NATURAL RESOURCE
CONSERVATION in the ATLANTIC COAST REGIONS of NICARAGUA
With respect to the political autonomy of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, and in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua adopted by its National Assembly in January, 1987, the signatories to this Statement of Principles recognize the right of the Atlantic Coast communities to preserve their multi-ethnic cultural identities and to organize themselves according to their historical traditions. We recognize their rights to traditional lands, forests and waters and we support their on-going request for a rapid and efficient demarcation of indigenous lands. These things concern us:
The number of jobs created for the people of the region is not proportionate to the profits from resource extraction. Labor is imported into the Autonomous Regions, leaving the people of the Autonomous Regions with fewer economic opportunities. The Indigenous Communities have their own vision of economic development and their own solutions for meeting their basic needs.
The Western vision is not the only vision for improving the quality of life on this planet. It is questionable whether mass production, mass distribution and overconsumption have provided meaningful jobs and meaningful lives for the masses of people anywhere. Thus, we respect the economic decisions of Indigenous Communities, and we recognize their intitiatives to develop and empower their own economic capabilities.
For these reasons, as non-governmental organizations and as individuals concerned with Indigenous Rights and Forest Conservation, we offer our support to the many popular organizations in the Autonomous Regions that have formed to bring about sustainable development by the people of their own Region and for the people of their own Region. We invite the citizens of all countries to join us in furthering the dialogue among communities committed to their own self-determination.
PRINCIPLES ADOPTED BY THE SIGNATORIES
November 10, 1997