We, the Members of the Human Family speak as one, guided by the sacred teachings and spiritual traditions of the Four Directions that uplift, guide, protect, warn, inspire and challenge the entire Human Family to live in ways that sustain and enhance human life and the lives of all who dwell on Mother Earth. We hereby dedicate our lives and energies to healing and developing ourselves, the web of relationships that make our world and the way we live with Mother Earth.
The spiritual foundation of the Indigenous world-view is the ancient understanding of the fundamental oneness and unity of all life. Therefore, all members of the Human Family are a part of the Sacred Circle of Life. Since all members of the Human Family are a part of the Sacred Circle of Life, we are all Indigenous Peoples of our Mother Earth. Therefore, every Human Being is responsible for the well-being of one another and all living things on our Mother Earth.
Whether or not the nation-states, multinational corporations or international development agencies that surround us are willing or able to participate with us at this time, our Indigenous Peoples and Allies of the Human Family are moving dynamically forward in rebuilding and reunifying the Americas and beyond. Our actions and vision, guided by the Natural Laws and Guiding Principles inherent in our Indigenous Worldview and Legal Order, are based on an eternal and spiritually enduring foundation:
Furthermore, it is clear that these collective resources will empower us to become a primary spiritual and economic force, not only in the Americas but also throughout Mother Earth. We are destined to play an ever-increasing role as global leaders in wisely mandating the sustainable and harmonious ways for developing Mother Earth's gifts and resources. We will ensure that when the development of the natural resources of Mother Earth is not sustainable, no matter the profit, they will not be developed. Our Sacred Places and the Healthful Life of our Beloved Mother Earth are not for sale or exploitation for any price.
As we move courageously and wisely forward, in greater and greater love, compassion, justice, and unity, we are reconnecting to our firm and eternal spiritual and cultural foundations for healing, reconciliation and collective action for Protecting and Restoring the Sacred everywhere on Mother Earth. The full realization of our spiritual and cultural foundations for prayerful, wise, unprecedented and unified action, assures that our ultimate victory will gracefully unfold at the right time and place as foretold by our Ancient Ones. With the full understanding of these unshakable, spiritual and cultural foundations, we fully dedicate ourselves and our resources to realizing these unprecedented and unified actions to stop runaway climate change.
Articles~International Treaty to Protect and Restore Mother Earth
Article 1 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to Protecting and Restoring the Sacred. We will remind ourselves and our Human Family, through our sacred prayers, songs, ceremony, and our ancient prophecies, that Mother Earth is our holy provider of life.
Restoring the Sacred includes preserving and protecting sacred sites worldwide and returning holy heirloom objects taken from their rightful owners. We will return to these sacred sites and objects to their original cultural and spiritual purposes.
Article 2 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to supporting the global emergence of the Seventh Generation, as promised, by fostering youth participation, leadership, and wisdom in all decision-making processes impacting all life on Mother Earth.
Article 3 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to reducing consumption and waste. These reductions must start in the prosperous nations among the wealthy and comfortable, to restore the values of simplicity, respect, and humility. Our Human Family can live much happier and more fulfilling lives with less consumption, and without wasting any of Mother Earth’s body and energy.
Article 4 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to protecting women’s reproductive rights and to stabilizing human population. We’ve grown past Mother Earth’s capacity, and our human numbers cannot keep growing. Our ancient relatives knew that their communities had to fit their habitat. We practiced natural patterns of creation that resulted in extended families in balance with the natural world. Today, over a billion of our Human Family are hungry daily, and 10 million of these relatives starve to death every year.
For the population of our Human Family to be stable, it is essential to ensure that women everywhere have reproductive rights and health. Wherever women have rights over their reproduction, and where contraception is freely available, the birth rate naturally declines. Universal education, social justice, and ecological justice allow communities to limit their population growth.
Article 5 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to transitioning to ecologically sustainable and renewable energy sources and to zero waste. We will take every peaceful action possible to reduce, mitigate, and eliminate fossil fuel emissions — coal, oil, gas — and to build the renewable zero-emission infrastructure for solar, wind, and hydropower, where it is acceptable and approved through a process of free, prior and informed consent. Conservation and zero-waste will be components of any genuine energy transition, using power modestly and carefully to minimize consumption and eliminating any non-conforming resource extraction projects like the Alberta Tar Sands.
We call for nation states everywhere on Mother Earth to use all possible means to support the transition to solar technology and other proven renewable energy sources. And we call for nation-states to increase carbon taxes and eliminate subsidies to the petroleum industry, and to use these funds to subsidize renewable energy research and installation.
Article 6 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to restoring and protecting the health and vitality of our planetary ecosystems and ecosystem services by restoring and protecting the biodiversity of our ecosystems on land, water, and air, and by reversing the decline of forests, coral reefs, wetlands and other productive ecosystems. We commit to replanting, restoring and protecting the wild forests to provide natural species diversity to grow again and to supply human communities with materials and renewable energy solutions for modest lives connected to productive ecosystems.
To achieve this, we require a paradigm shift in our economic systems, a change from unsustainable growth and extraction to the preservation of real wealth: our natural ecosystems. Rather than monetize nature, we must do the opposite and naturalize the economy.
Article 7 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to permitting only organic and traditional farming by ending the industrial farming methods that have destroyed soils, spread toxins, and harmed our planetary ecosystems. For Indigenous Peoples, organic agriculture is conventional agriculture. Through our farming methods, we also aim to protect and restore the biodiversity in our planetary ecosystems, with special emphasis on the protection of organic seeds from GMO manipulation and any other forms of genetic manipulation.
Article 8 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to building a robust zero-emission infrastructure for public transportation by eliminating the overuse of fossil-fueled vehicles and restoring efficient public transportation systems including light-rail, zero-emission trains, and trolleys. We will rebuild our communities so people can access their needs by walking and bicycling.
Article 9 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to waging peace with the understanding that war is the highest consumer of oil and energy, the most significant contributor to ecological destruction and the most destructive force among the Human Family. War benefits only the powerful, the wealthy and the weapons industry.
We will make peace a global priority, refuse to fund war machines, refuse to participate in war-making, and stop glorifying war. We call the nation states to eliminate the weapons industry that lives off the misery of the victims among our relatives.
Through the full realization of the spiritual awareness of the Oneness of the Human Family, the elimination of all forms of prejudice, the elimination of anything that causes a human being or society to feel superior and entitled to oppress to another, World Peace will be realized.
Article 10 We, the Members of the Human Family, are committed to restoring, promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Industrial economies have consistently pushed Indigenous communities from their productive land. By restoring the rights of all Indigenous communities, indeed of all members of the Human Family who know how to live in harmony with the natural world, we take an essential step forward towards healing our world and Mother Earth.
These Indigenous rights include the full legal implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with particular emphasis on the principle of free, prior and informed consent.
Article 11 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to cleaning up and redeveloping toxic waste sites. We call for all nation-states and multinational corporations responsible for generating dangerous waste - including nuclear, petroleum, chemical, agricultural and any other poisonous waste - to immediately develop and implement a global plan to eliminate those toxins from all ecosystems, air, land, and water, by 2020.
Article 12 We the Members of the Human Family commit to implementing universal gender equality by realizing that the full equality of women and men is a prerequisite of peace. The denial of such balance is an injustice against half of the world’s population and promotes harmful attitudes and habits among males, from the family into the workplace, into political life, and international relations.
Ultimately, any gender discrimination, including gender violence, leads directly to a negative relationship with Mother Earth. There are no grounds — moral, practical or biological — by which this can be justified. Only when women and men have a full partnership in all fields of human endeavor will we be able to create the moral and psychological climate to realize international peace.
Article 13 We, the Members of the Human Family commit, to facilitating decision-making and leadership that remains beneficial for seven generations into the future, a policy known by Indigenous people as "Seven Generations" decision-making.
In the Ihanktonwan Dakota Traditions, the thirteenth tepee pole is the women's pole, around which the hide or canvas is tightly wrapped. After erecting the first twelve poles, the thirteenth pole is put in place, and the skin of the tepee is unwrapped around the others, covering all. Without this pole, of course, there is no shelter.
Scientific evidence shows that the toxic pollution of industrial culture is poisoning the wombs of womankind, infecting our future generations, causing disease, diabetes, congenital disabilities, cancers, and chemical violence. These toxins are breaking the thirteenth pole, harming our women and all women, endangering unborn children so that there may not be the seventh generation. Making decisions to generate money rather than maintaining the health of all members of our Human Family is the opposite of Seventh Generation decision-making.
Article 14 We, the Members of the Human Family commit, to establishing and maintaining Bioregional Marine Sanctuaries throughout Mother Earth, as soon as possible.
Bioregional Marine Sanctuaries are named areas of Earth, Water and Air where natural animal populations, protected and restored to more than 50% of historic levels as soon as possible, and water quality and forest biomass levels are preserved and restored to very high concentrations.
Bioregional Marine Sanctuary boundaries correspond to natural features such as watershed topography, vegetation types, oceanic continental shelves, and margins, including all rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, estuaries, and aquifers.
Article 15 We, the members of the Human Family, commit to reducing the large-scale farming of animals. Despite livestock being the world’s leading emitter of methane, the role of animal agriculture in climate change has been largely ignored during climate conferences. Furthermore, the increased demand for raising animals for human consumption is leading to the destruction of the rainforests and rural land that many of our brothers and sisters call home; causing human rights abuses, poverty, and violence.
We will hold the factory farming industry and the governments who shelter them with laws, accountable for these tragedies. We will also play our part in protecting Mother Earth from further destruction.
Article 16 We, the Members of the Human Family, commit to holding governments and corporations responsible for making genuine progress to solve the growing challenge of Climate Change. Historically, after decades of climate conferences, governments and corporations have accomplished little to address the ever-increasing global problem of climate change, and have instead subsidized the petroleum energy industry that intensifies it.
While we will hold governments and corporations responsible for making genuine progress, we will not rely on them to restore the harmony and balance of life. The majority of the work to protect and restore the sacredness of life remains with every one of us.
We call all members of Human Family of Mother Earth, including all levels of non-Indigenous and Indigenous governments, citizen organizations, businesses, labor unions, non-governmental organizations, and third parties to recognize, support and uphold this International Treaty to Protect and Restore Mother Earth. We invite you to signify your commitment by signing the Addendum to this International Treaty.
Signed by Indigenous Leaders from across the Americas, Indonesia, and other Allies of our Human Family, April 22, Mother Earth Day, 2016, New York City, New York.