The Purpose of The Summit
April 26 – May 1, 2010
Indigenous communities are perhaps the most impacted by Climate Change and the least responsible for causing it. Indigenous elders and environmental specialists have also been the first to warn of changes and offer viable suggestions for response strategies yet their critical messages have usually gone unheeded by dominant societies. The International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy provided a forum for Indigenous thinkers from around the world to gather in a retreat setting to discuss how Indigenous Environmental Philosophy is distinct from Western Environmental Philosophy. Following much discussion and compromise, the following consensus statement was unanimously approved:
Redstone Statement, 1 May 2010
“Leave Us A Future!”
We are Indigenous environmental philosophers who have come from the four corners of the earth to Redstone, Oklahoma, to discuss the future of the planet.
Indigenous environmental philosophy respects a mutually supportive network of interconnected physical and spiritual entities that is sustainably maintained, and which connects the ancestral past with the distant future. The vision of our Indigenous peoples is to reach spiritual and material well-being through conscious action. Mother Earth is a living, dynamic being with inherent value, and her principles must be actively embodied in order to remain in harmony and balance.
Today, we are at a tipping point at which humanity is in danger of being removed from the cycles of Mother Earth. We bring this urgent message in response to Indigenous women, youth and children from around the world who have consistently asked us to leave them a more balanced planet.
We come as individuals from cultures whose authority originates from our unique relationships with nature and the environment. Our ways of living, and very existence, are threatened by the resistance of nation-states to include our institutions as part of the solutions that can save our planet. Consequently, we issue this call to the world.
Environmental, social, economic, and political conflicts over natural resources and access rights, climate change concerns, and other significant issues threatening international and local communities did not suddenly erupt on the global landscape. Rather, they are an outcome of the historical process that today affects every area of creation. Spiritual, cultural, social, economic, and political structures and values lost their connections to the communities and now focus exclusively on the individual. The world shifted from the circle of community to the ascendancy of the individual, resulting in a dangerous environmental imbalance with significant spiritual and health consequences. Balance must be restored in order to heal the earth, and it must include the participation of all ages, races, genders and cultures.
Effective mechanisms necessary for restoring balance include implementing the following:
1. Recognition of the interdependence of all things;
2. Indigenous self-determination;
3. Indigenous land, air, water, territory, and natural resource management;
4. Protection and preservation of Indigenous traditional knowledge, lifeways and languages, cultures, sacred sites, and folklores/oral traditions;
5. Indigenous authority over all actions impacting Indigenous communities;
6. Respect for, and protection of, traditional agricultures and genetic resources;
7. Seed sovereignty and food security;
8. Rights of movement, rights of access, rights of participation and communication in the exchange of environmental knowledge and culture.
We must assure the well-being of both humanity and nature. This requires a unification of diverse people who are open to ideas; people who are wise, clear, and profoundly human; and people who can transcend the self-imposed limits of their minds, reaching deep into their conscience and spirit for solutions.
All governments, communities, leaders, individuals, industries, and corporations must immediately act together to restore the balance that is essential for continued existence.
We call for a review of existing commercial practices and an end to any further non-sustainable exploitation and degradation of natural resources- for all generations to come. We also call for a portion of profits to be invested in the development of renewable energy resources.
We as Indigenous environmental philosophers breathe life into this statement and commit to implementing the provisions contained in it.
Developed through a process of consensus, agreed upon unanimously, and signed by the delegates. Click here to download the Redstone Statement on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy. Click here to download the International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy delegates signature page.
Декларация от 1 мая 2010, принятая на саммите в Рэдстоуне (Redstone Statement Russian translation)
Declaración de Redstone,1 de Mayo de 2010 (Redstone Statement Spanish translation)
A group of Kiowa youth was present during much of the drafting process. They became very engaged in the issues and wrote a document of support, which they read immediately after the Redstone Statement public signing ceremony. Here is their statement:
INDIGENOUS YOUTH OF REDSTONE (T’so – Goodle in the Kiowa language)
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
MAY 1, 2010
We, the Indigenous Youth of Redstone USA, the host site for the First International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy, submit our support for the Redstone Statement of May 1, 2010.
We are not only the future- We are the present. We will soon take leadership roles among our people. We understand the critical issues facing our planet and we are ready for our time of action.
We support the Eight Effective Mechanisms necessary for restoring balance as outlined in the statement and agree that they are needed.
We, as present and future Indigenous Environmental Philosophers, commit to carrying on the work developed by the delegates of this First International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy.
Following a three day retreat in Redstone, Oklahoma, the Summit delegates and elders spent two days in the Dallas area. There, they visited local schools and participated in the 4th Annual International Indigenous Student Videoconference on Culture and Environment at the University of North Texas. The week culminated on Saturday, May 1, 2010, with a public signing ceremony at Southern Methodist University.
The International Indigenous Student Videoconference on Culture and Environment was a live webcast. It may be viewed through this link.
Majala Wilderness Centre Video
Anne Poelina, our Australian delegate to the International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy 2010, has provided a short video titled Majala Wilderness Centre.