We, the Undersigned Representatives of those Indigenous Nations and other peoples associated with the Snowchange Symposium in December 2008 at Waitara, Taranaki, Aotearoa /New Zealand who witness daily the destruction of our Mother Earth through the thoughtless actions of humanity, make the following statement:
On this 7th day of December in the year 2008, we commit ourselves to those principles contained in this solemn Declaration.
For the sake of the multitude of Nations that co-habit the fragile ecosystems on planet Earth that have sustained our forebears, those present and for our children’s children yet to be born, we will endeavor to make our collective voices heard in a respectful but assertive manner in order to achieve positive changes to arrest the progressive destruction of our environment. We shall urgently venture to ensure that a necessary balance is achieved in everything that we undertake in a fair and equitable way whilst respecting life in all its forms and living in harmonious and sustainable ways within our communities.
We therefore commit to carry this Declaration forward to all the thinking and caring peoples of the World, in the spirit symbolized by the white feathers of the Prophets of Peace of Parihaka, Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Glory to God
Peace on Earth
Goodwill to all Humankind
With the specific objective of bringing together Indigenous peoples to share their experiences, insight and perspectives on climate change, the Symposium assembled delegates from Evenki, Even, Chukchi, Yukagir and Sakha Nations in Siberia (Russian Federation), Inuit peoples of Nunavut (Arctic Canada), Gwitchin Nation of Northwest Territories (Arctic Canada) and Maori from across Aoteoroa. In addition the Symposium gathered Snowchange Cooperative participants from Finland, India, Mauritius, the United Kingdom and the USA as well as a range of other stakeholders including government officials, scientists, researchers, planners and environmental managers. The Symposium was officially opened by the co-leader of the Maori party and current Minister of the New Zealand Government, the Honorable Tariana Turia.
We, the Snowchange Symposium
RECOGNIZE that Indigenous Peoples have been living off the land since time immemorial and that the traditional (and modern) cultures of Indigenous peoples are being threatened by a diverse range of social, economic and environmental challenges in association with climate change.
Notwithstanding the complexity of these challenges, and the need to better understand the links between these often competing forces, the experiences and perspectives of Indigenous peoples are an often neglected source of understanding which offer important contributions to the way we not only interact with one another but also our planet. Furthermore, climate change is regarded as a serious threat to the existence and survival of not only Indigenous peoples but life in all its forms.
In order to find solutions to potential future crises caused by a rapidly changing climate the following recommendations were undersigned on the final afternoon of the Symposium by all Snowchange participants. We collectively
1. ENDORSE that the Snowchange Network will develop a community-to-community information sharing tool that will offer direct dialogue, mechanisms and resources to address threats, opportunities and processes relevant to the Indigenous communities. Special emphasis will be devoted to industrial activities which are planned on Indigenous homelands.
2. DECIDE on a concrete action so that the Snowchange network with the Northern Forum Academy (Russia) and Barefoot College (India) will initiate an historical South to North pilot project whereby Siberian nomadic community women will be trained at the Barefoot College of India to solar electrify several reindeer tents in the High Arctic of Kolyma River in the Russian Federation. This
Snowchange 2008"- IPY; The Mahinekura Reinfelds Declaration
Mon, Feb 02, 2009
The Mahinekura Reinfelds Declaration in memory of an Indigenous Maori leader, educator and great communicator from the tribal group Ngati Mutunga