Report from the 34th Annual Conference of the IITC, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, June 19 -22, 2008
The 34th annual gathering of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) was held June 18-22, 2008 in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, at the ASECSA Community Training Center. Two hundred seventy five delegates registered for this gathering representing Indigenous Peoples of North, South and Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Over the 4-day gathering, plenary presentations were made on topics of shared concern including: impacts of pesticides and toxics, community organizing in response to mining, human rights and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Land and Treaty rights, youth organizing, and biocolonialism, among others. A number of cultural presentations also took place including a Mayan Deer Dance preformed by local cultural group, and a traditional Mayan summer solstice ceremony.
At sunrise of the first day, a welcoming ceremony was performed by the Mayan spiritual leaders. Following the ceremony, representatives from the Treaty Council, host organizations, representatives from the local community, and the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry representatives welcomed participants. In the afternoon, torrential rain and hail brought the gathering to a close by knocking out the power. But this also gave participants the opportunity to spend time networking and relaxing (by candlelight!).
On the second and third day, participants spend much of their time working together in Commissions, sharing information and developing resolutions addressing critical issues of concern to provide direction for the work and positions of Treaty Council in the coming year. Representatives of each Commission presented the resolutions in the final plenary General Assembly session on Sunday morning. Following discussion in which some amendments and additions were accepted, each resolution was adopted by consensus.
Resolution on the Protection of the Environment and biodiversity: Climate Change, Mining, Oil, Water and Natural Resources (PDF 30K)
Resolution on Economic Justice, fair trade and economic self determination for Indigenous Peoples; the effects of “free trade” and migration and workers’ rights (PDF 27K)
Resolución sobre la justicia económica, el comercio justo y la libre determinación económica para los Pueblos Indígenas; los efectos de los acuerdos de “libre comercio” y la migración y los derechos de los trabajadores (PDF 27K)
Resolution on the Protection of Indigenous Sacred Sites, Burial Places and Spiritual Rights (PDF 31K)
Resolución sobre los Derechos de la Mujer y los Niños (PDF 23K)
Resolución sobre Derecho a la Alimentación, Soberanía Alimentaria y Derechos de Subsistencia (PDF 30K)
Resolution on the position of CANZUS relating to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (PDF 37K)
Resolution on the Dakota/Lakota Treaties of 1805 and 1868 (PDF 29K)
Resolution on Land, Territories and Natural Resources, Treaties and the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (PDF 52K)
Photos from the event are online at:
Alyssa Macy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/indigenousflygirl/sets/72157606034131029/
Les Malazar: http://gallery.mac.com/les.malezer#100407&bgcolor=black&view=grid
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