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The Anchorage Declaration- Indigenous People's Global Summit, 2009

Here is a page showing the Anchorage Declaration from when the Indigenous Global Summit met in Anchorage, Alaska. It may not seem like much but it is a good start. I am printing the opening and it can be read in full at:

The Anchorage Declaration
24 April 2009

From 20-24 April, 2009, Indigenous representatives from the Arctic, North America, Asia, Pacific, Latin America, Africa, Caribbean and Russia met in Anchorage, Alaska for the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change. We thank the Ahtna and the Dena’ina Athabascan Peoples in whose lands we gathered.

We express our solidarity as Indigenous Peoples living in areas that are the most vulnerable to the impacts and root causes of climate change. We reaffirm the unbreakable and sacred connection between land, air, water, oceans, forests, sea ice, plants, animals and our human communities as the material and spiritual basis for our existence.

We are deeply alarmed by the accelerating climate devastation brought about by unsustainable development. We are experiencing profound and disproportionate adverse impacts on our cultures, human and environmental health, human rights, well-being, traditional livelihoods, food systems and food sovereignty, local infrastructure, economic viability, and our very survival as Indigenous Peoples.

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.

We uphold that the inherent and fundamental human rights and status of Indigenous Peoples, affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), must be fully recognized and respected in all decision-making processes and activities related to climate change. This includes our rights to our lands, territories, environment and natural resources as contained in Articles 25–30 of the UNDRIP. When specific programs and projects affect our lands, territories, environment and natural resources, the right of Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples must be recognized and respected, emphasizing our right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, including the right to say “no”. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreements and principles must reflect the spirit and the minimum standards contained in UNDRIP.


Fatima Waziri's picture

One of my law school

One of my law school professors is big on indigenous rights issues. He was a memberthe think tank that drafted the convention on the rights of indigenous people. My best friend died volunteering at the native american bahai institute in Arizona. I am always interested when i come across issues that deal with indigenous rights. Thank you Maria.


Maria de Chirikof's picture


I wish I could have attended it since it would have been so interesting going but on the free to the public night I had to work. Are you in Law school? It is so hard to remember who is doing what! I think it is an important area to get into and one of my daughters is still thinking about it or architecture/energy. Oh, sorry to hear about your friend, what happened to them?



Kizzie's picture

This is interesting. I

This is interesting.
I attended this event called apologies last March and we were talking about governments apologizing to indigenous people (Canadian and Australian governments did so) We watched the clips and it was really sad.

Maria de Chirikof's picture


What I think is an apology is meaningless unless you intend to never to that sort of thing again. It was just a tiny step in the right direction and not 'the done deal' which I hope to help create awareness of. In America it is hard since it seems everywhere, even other minorities sometimes, ignore the indigenous people's struggle for Justice. "Apartheid" would be a good word for it almost. I want to make it seem so reasonable and natural that the way the indigenous peoples are thought of will undergo a total change.

thank you for your reply!


Kizzie's picture

I agree with you, we brought

I agree with you, we brought up this point. Many of the audience members felt that the apology for colonialism was meaningless in view of the invasion of Iraq. I agree with you. I haven't seen how Native-Americans live in the US, but my friend told me a lot about reservations and the horrible standards of living there. It's very sad.

Do you recommend any books written by native american writers?

Maria de Chirikof's picture

some online sites:

Here are some sites I browse occasionally. I have to go t work soon but wanted to show some, thank you for your interest!

This is just a good site in general:

Another interesting one:

An interesting one:

Another interesting one:

Indigenous one, this is Reznet

A member of here, her blog site:

Alaska Federation of Natives, my local group:


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