Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 19, 2012

Agenda Rights of Mother Earth Haskell April 2012

Rights of Mother Earth:
Restoring Indigenous Life Ways of
Responsibility and Respect
International Indigenous Conference APRIL 4 - 6, 2012
at Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence Kansas
Click here for Conference Details
Click here for registration options.
A Sacred Fire will be on site
This is an Indigenous Gathering

Download and Print Flyer - PDF

Download and Print Flyer - PDF

In April 2010, a historical moment occurred. More than 32,000 people, including Indigenous Peoples, social movements, small farmers and some world governmental leaders, converged in Cochabamba, Bolivia for the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Two outcomes of this conference were the Cochabamba Peoples Accord and the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. The Accord and Declaration gave voice to peoples of the world experiencing the effects of climate chaos and its many accompanying issues, including depletion of freshwater and other natural resources and the problems of food security, poverty and environmental crises, along with the financial meltdown within the United States and globally.
During the Cochabamba world conference, President Evo Morales of Bolivia officially proposed that the United Nations adopt a declaration that recognizes that Nature or “Mother Earth” has certain inherent rights that we humans must respect and defend. The adoption by the United Nations and national and local governments of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth would expand the class of holders of legally rights and would initiate a global process of transformation.

Our prophecies and teachings tell us that life on Mother Earth is in danger and is coming to a time of great transformation. As Indigenous Peoples, we are accepting the responsibility designated by our prophecies to tell the world that we must live in peace with each other and the Earth to ensure harmony within Creation.

Our Indigenous lifeways are the original “green economies.” This is more than an abstract philosophy. Our Mother Earth is the source of life. Water is her lifeblood. The well-being of the natural environment predicts the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual longevity of our Peoples. Mother Earth’s health and that of our Indigenous Peoples are intrinsically intertwined. When our homelands are in a state of good health our Peoples are truly healthy. This inseparable relationship must be respected for the sake of our future generations and for the well-being of the Earth herself.
Alliances are being formed, globally of Indigenous and non-indigenous groups and individuals committed to creating a system of jurisprudence that sees and treats nature and Mother Earth as a fundamental, rights bearing entity. A paradigm, that is based on Indigenous thought and philosophy needs to be forwarded which grants equal rights to nature and which honors the interrelation in all life.

This is the greatest challenge facing humanity in the 21st Century. How do we re-orientate the dominant industrialized societies so that they pursue human well-being in a manner that contributes to the health of our Mother Earth instead of undermining it? In other words – how do we live in harmony with Nature?

A 3 day conference has been scheduled at Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas, April 4-6, 2012 with Indigenous Peoples together from the North and Global South to learn more and to have a discourse about this Rights of Mother Earth, Rights of Nature movement.

We invite humanity to come together to improve our collective human behavior so that we may develop a more sustainable world. We can preserve, protect, and fulfill our sacred duties to live with respect in this wonderful Creation. We have the power and responsibility for change.

Tom B.K. Goldtooth
Indigenous Environmental Network
Dr. Daniel Wildcat
Haskell Indian Nation University
Click here to print the conference agenda. (PDF)
All events occur in Haskell Auditorium unless otherwise noted
Wednesday, April 4
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Registration - Continental Breakfast
Foyer of Auditorium

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Opening Prayer / Song / Drum Group

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Welcome: Dr. Daniel Wildcat, Dean of Social Natural Sciences
Introduction: Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
9:30 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.
What is Wild Law and Rights of Nature: New Constructs of Self Determination - Ben Price, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Ecuadorian Process Defending Indigenous Territories With Rights of Mother Earth: Patricia Gualinga Montalvo, Spiritual Indigenous Leader, Sarayaku, Ecuador
10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
10:45 a.m. - 11:25 a.m.
Environmental Law, Federal Indian Law, Cultural Heritage, and Rights of Mother Earth: Dean Suagee, Native Attorney, Washington D.C.
11:25 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice - Cormac Cullinan, Environmental Attorney, S. Africa
11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Foundations for Indigenous Thought Renee Gurneau
12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Setting the Framework for Working Groups: Kandi Mossett, IEN Staff
12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Stidham Union Building
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Working Groups Convene
Facilitators and Conference Attendees

3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Reassemble Working Groups
4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Report Back from Working Groups
4:30 p.m. - 5: 30 p.m.
Open Mic: Response from Conference Participants
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Stidham Union Building
8:00 p.m.
Film: The Big Fix - Uncovering the Truth About the BP Oil Spill
7:45 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
Foyer of Auditorium

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Opening Prayer / Song / Drum Group - Introduction to the Day and Agenda Review: Tom BK Goldtooth
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Spiritual Introspective
10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Continuation of Spiritual Dialogue
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Navajo Nation Policy - The Peace Keepers: Robert Yazzie, attorney and educator, Dine College
12:00p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Stidham Union Building
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Rights of Indigenous Nations, Its Peoples & Lands: Steven Newcomb, author

2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) Speaker: To Be Announced
2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Working Groups Convene
Facilitators and Conference Attendees
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Open Mic: Reflection Dialogue

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Cultural Banquet and Entertainment
Stidham Union Building
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Opening Prayer / Song / Drum Group
It’s Time For Indigenous Solutions: Dr. Daniel Wildcat
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Global Voices on Rights of Mother Earth: Marlon Santi, Sarayaku, Ecuador - MKalani Souza, Pacific Islands and Others
10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
10:45 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.
The Global Approach, Rio+20, and the United Nations: Shannon Biggs, Global Exchange - Robin Milam, Global Alliance for Rights of Nature - Karen Dallett, The Pachamama Alliance
11:20 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Perspectives From Our Youth & Students
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
1:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
What’s Next? Strategic Planning and Development for Rights of Mother Earth, Our Grassroots Organizations and Tribal Leadership: Ben Price, Tom BK Goldtooth, Shannon Biggs

3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
A Call to Action: Tom BK Goldtooth

4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Reflection and Analysis
Closing Prayer / Song / Drum Group
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Stidham Union Building
7:30 p.m. - ?
Indigenous Hip-Hop Free-Will Donation Fundraiser
Featuring: Quese IMC followed by open mic with Haskell’s Amazing Student Talent
CONFERENCE DETAILS - Travel - Lodging - Inclusions
Conference Agenda and Schedule to Be Published Soon. This will be posted to our Facebook Page and Shared on Twitter with link back to this page.
Sponsoring Hotel: Holiday Inn, Lawrence, Kansas. Reservations at a discounted rate of $69.99 pnite+tax until March 27th - BOOK NOW! Mention the Conf (+1) (785) 749 - 8932
Book Travel: Traveler's Fare Inc. | Brainerd, MN 56401 | Call: (800) 450-3273
email Traveler's Fare:
Conference Registration Fee Includes:
Continental Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: April 4, 5, 6, 2012
Banquet, Entertainment, Printed Materials and more
  • Elders and Youth: No charge

  • Community Indigenous Environmental Groups: $ 54.00 per person

  • College Faculty & Staff: $ 70.00 per person

  • Elected Tribal Officials, Federal, State and Local Governments: $110.00 per person

  • Professionals (Attorneys, Allied Organizations): $150.00 per person

  • University and College Students: No Charge to attend Plenary meetings and Breakout sessions - if meals are required cost is $54 per person
    See IEN website for PayPal:
    Send conference fee to:
    Indigenous Enivironmental Network
    PO Box 485
    Bemidji, MN 56619
    Or attendees can pay at on site at time of registration.

    For questions and Conference Attendance Reservations:


    Shereena Baker 1- 785 - 550 - 8592 or email:


    Karen Dallett 1- 415 - 561- 4522 extension 112 or email:

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