March 2023

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 16, 2007

NCAI urges Senate probe of US banned pesticides impacting Indigenous Peoples

By Brenda Norrell

DENVER -- The National Congress of American Indians adopted a resolution of the International Indian Treaty Council's North-South Indigenous Network Against Pesticides.
The resolution urges the halt of the exportation of banned pesticides by US corporations. The action follows illnesses and deaths of Indigenous Peoples, including Yaquis in Sonora, Mexico and American Indians in Alaska, where banned pesticides are used in agricultural fields and toxic chemicals are carried by water and winds.
The resolution states that the health and subsistence foods of Indigenous Peoples in Northern regions such as Alaska are affected by these contaminants which are transported through the air and water. Further, the harmful toxins bio-accumulate in the food chain and in the bodies of humans. The use of dangerous pesticides in the United States increased 33 times from 1945 to 1995 and pesticides used today are now up to 10 times more toxic. Many pesticides are transferred to developing babies though the placenta, and after their birth through their mother's milk, resulting in birth defects, learning and developmental disabilities.
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Photo: Yaqui gathered in Potam Pueblo, Sonora, Mexico, to urge the halt of banned pesticides resulting in illnesses and deaths for Yaqui working in agricultural fields, and living near the fields. Photo Jeff Conant.

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