Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Indigenous Leader to NGOs: No One Speaks For Us – Or Thinks For Us


Indigenous Leader to NGOs:
No One Speaks For Us – Or Thinks For Us
Author: Tashka Yawanawa


While a small contingent of indigenous leaders and NGOs were campaigning against REDD in California this week, many more were at a pan-Amazon meeting in Acre, Brazil focused on the impact of climate-change on indigenous people. Tashka Yawanawa is one of them, and sent this open letter from Brazil.

19 October 2012 | Acre | Brazil | From here, I can see and feel beyond my eyes and my soul...

We are here right now in the middle of a meeting with indigenous peoples from Acre, Rondônia and Mato-Grosso states, together in a meeting to discuss how indigenous peoples will confront climate change in the new face of this millennium...

We together are trying to find positive solutions that can avoid direct impacts in our life and in our territory...

With all respect to you all, please stop trying to cause more division among indigenous peoples who either support or do not support REDD or any other projects. The time right now is not to discuss who is in favor and who is not. The time now requires wisdom to confront this dilemma that we are living in this millennium which affects us all.

We are tired of anthropologists, environmentalists, church-related organizations, and other specialists speaking for us and using us for their self-interest. Please respect our self-determination to make our own decisions.

At this moment, nobody is authorized to speak in the name of the indigenous movement in the state of Acre, because we are different peoples, also we have a different background and history from other indigenous peoples from other countries. You also have to take that into consideration.

We don’t have any organization that represents all the indigenous peoples of our state. Anyone who speaks in the name of all indigenous people from our state is not being truthful.

Yesterday, we created a Commission that is going to work to organize a big assembly in my land in the Mutum community in the second week of December of this year, when all indigenous people will meet to create a reference for the indigenous peoples movement in our state. Also at this meeting we are going to create a indigenous organization that will represent all indigenous people in our state of Acre.

Indigenous peoples need to walk together and not divide us in a black and white picture.

With respect

Tashka Yawanawa
Chief of Yawanawa people and coordinator of Associacao Sociocultural Yawanawa - ASCY



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