October 22, 2009
Good greetings relatives. Please accept our humble salutation to the gathering of the Seventh Southwest Indigenous Uranium Forum along with our best wishes for a productive and powerful gathering. Unfortunately, we are unable to attend in person but would like to extend this message of solidarity and commitment to the initiative and continuity of your efforts as a grass roots movement of Indigenous Peoples in defense of Mother Earth.
As Nican Tlacah, Indigenous Peoples of the Nahuatlacah Nations of Anahuac, Abya Yala North territories now predominantly lying within the bounds of the Republic of Mexico, it was brought to our attention some years ago the the progression of genocide and terracide upon the Nations and Pueblos of the Confederacy of Anahuac could be mapped with specific quantifiable geographic correlation to the assault of extractive mining industries. Beginning with gold and silver, the export of millions of tons of these stolen metals to feed the industrial revolution of Europe, also cost millions of indigenous Mexican lives during the initial invasion by the Hispanic Colonizers. The numbers most commonly referenced are somewhere between 20-25 million indigenous lives lost between 1521-1600.
We are still attempting to recuperate from the historical trauma which we endured, and continue to endure as children of the OrigiNations of Anahuac: the Nican Tlacah. In this process, in order to heal, we found it was necessary to confront the assault of colonization in both external and internal dimensions. We found it was also necessary to seek out our relatives who had survived the pogrom of centuries of genocide, and reestablish the ancient confederacies of alliance and exchange across the hemisphere.
In 1990, this journey brought us to Quito, Ecuador and the First Continental Encounter of Indigenous Nations, Pueblos and Organizations hosted by the CONAIE: the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador. The CONAIE itself is constituted by three regional indigenous confederations from the Amazon region, the Highlands and the Coast. Presently, we are working with the CONIAE to organize the 20th Anniversary of that First Encounter of the Eagle and the Condor, now set to take place in Quito, Eucador June 14-16 of 2010.
Most recently, in our planning for the events of next year, and as we attended the IV Continental Indigenous Summit Abya Yala in Puno, Peru in May of this year, a conversation on the need for a Continental Indigenous Network of Indigenous Nations and Pueblos affected by Mining has gathered momentum to the point where come June of 2010 in Quito, this organizing initiative is tentatively programmed for the agenda of the 20th Anniversary event.
Although we are not able to report in person to the Seventh Southwest Indigenous Uranium Forum regarding these developments, please consider this message as an attempt to communicate from your relatives from Abya Yala South, in particular from Mexico, Columbia and Ecuador, in anticipation of connecting as a Continental Indigenous Network of Indigenous Nations and Pueblos affected by Mining.
In closing, may we also humbly ask that you consider in your deliberations of strategy, the concept of the mining of Indigenous Labor as a dimension of the mining issues to be addressed, in particular as we collectively confront the regimes of the “Free Trade” neo-liberal policies such as NAFTA.
Again, all the best. Our prayers and our commitments are with you.