Indigenous Peoples Day is coming up on October 9th, and today I celebrate as my home city passes a resolution to recognize the holiday and stop recognizing "Columbus Day".
Last year, I had the pleasure of preaching on Indigenous Peoples Day to the Westside UU Church in Ft. Worth, Texas, about the connection between Indigenous Rights and Climate Justice, as part of the UUYACJ 100 Worship Services campaign. You can watch that sermon, here:
SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED since October 9th, 2016. We are waking up. The #NoDAPL Indigenous-led movement was a momentous, historic sign to this effect. More change will come, and Unitarian Universalists are called by our values to be an embodied part of it.
There's an amazing correlation between biodiversity decline and Imperialist/settler colonization and control. I'm no time traveling mad scientist, but I suspect that the global climate crisis and the global crisis of biodiversity collapse would not even exist right now if the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples had been respected over these past few centuries. Eighty percent of remaining biodiversity on the planet resides in Indigenous territories, and yet Indigenous people are getting displaced by conservation efforts --- and carbon offset markets --- and are not fairly represented and respected at the United Nations, despite the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. That Indigenous Nations, which collectively represent the territories with 80% of remaining biodiversity, are not given a voice as more than "special interest groups" at International climate and conservation summits --- that their ecological wisdom and stewardship, sovereignty, and treaty rights are still not being respected --- is outrageous, it's racist, and it's got to change. Recognizing Indigenous Rights and sovereignty is fundamental to creating climate justice.
- Indigenous Environmental Network
- Unist'ot'en Camp
- Owe Aku: Bring Back the Way & International Justice Project
- Honor The Earth
- UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
- Global Alliance Against REDD
- White Earth Land Recovery Project
- Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society (online journal)
- Nuclear Colonialism resources (HOME: Healing Ourselves and Mother Earth)
- "A Slow Genocide of the People": Uranium Mining Leaves Toxic Nuclear Legacy On Indigenous Land (Democracy Now, March 14, 2014)
Resources and Information on UU action and postitions:
- UUA webpage on the Doctrine of Discovery and Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- 2015 UUA Sacred Public Witness with Lummi Nation and Commit2Respond
- UUYACJ's blog from participating in the Resist450 direct action protests, September 2015
- "This Land is Your Land" award winning sermon by Christopher Allison
- GA 2017 Workshop "Decolonization is Climate Justice"
- Over 50 UU Clergy Bear Witness at Standing Rock - Media Advisory