Indigenous representatives from around the world met in Anchorage, Alaska, from April 20–24, 2009, to share experiences and strategies to confront environmental degradation. On April 24, they issued a declaration that detailed their observations and demands from the front lines of the climate crisis.
Demands included: cooperation from international agencies and countries to protect vulnerable communities, return and restore stolen territories; discard false solutions to global warming; support Indigenous leadership, and bring “an immediate end to the destruction and desecration of the elements of life.”
The four-page Anchorage Declaration, with 14 different calls for action, continues:
Mother Earth is no longer in a period of climate change, but in climate crisis. We therefore insist on an immediate end to the destruction and desecration of the elements of life.
Through our knowledge, spirituality, sciences, practices, experiences and relationships with our traditional lands, territories, waters, air, forests, oceans, sea ice, other natural resources and all life, Indigenous Peoples have a vital role in defending and healing Mother Earth. The future of Indigenous Peoples lies in the wisdom of our elders, the restoration of the sacred position of women, the youth of today and in the generations of tomorrow. Read more.
The Zinn Education Project offers a role play on the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit, ‘Don’t Take Our Voices Away’: A Role Play on the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change, which asks students to develop a list of demands to present to the rest of the world at a climate change meeting. Try the role play in your classroom today.
This event is included on the Zinn Education Project’s Climate Crisis Timeline.