Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 20, 2022

EGYPT: Dineh Chili Yazzie 'Indigenous Perspective and the Climate Crisis'

Chili Yazzie with Bill Erasmus, former Dene National Chief in Egypt


By Chili Yazzie
Dine' of Shiprock, New Mexico
Presented to the UN Climate Summit COP27
November 10, 2022, in Egypt
French translation by Christine Prat at:
As Indigenous people we have remained on the lands we are original to; remaining intrinsically connected to our lands. The Indigenous Perspective as it speaks to land, water, all of nature is an understanding, an innate realization, an honoring of the sacred reality that the Earth Mother is a spiritual living entity beyond her physical nature. This recognition requires observance to assure the continuum of life; our Indigenous observance through prayer, song and ceremony are constant.

These understandings are an integral part of the natural order. A fallacy of Western thought is the attempt to separate the physical from the spiritual, this led to materiality over spirituality, the commodification of the earth and the turbulent acquiring of wealth. For life to be, there can be no separation, distinction, or boundary between the physical and the spiritual paradigms. Only in death is there a separation.

We have lived divergent paths. The manner of life we live today reflect our life journeys, the histories we have made tell of our adherence to or the deviations from the Original Instructions. Indigenous peoples have remained true to the Original Teachings.

We as Indigenous know we are the children of our Earth Mother. We have the awesome responsibility to care for her as she unfailingly and tenderly cares for us each moment of our lives. We belong to her; she belongs to us, as a mother and child belong to each other. We understand her and she understands us. Her life is our life.

These Original Teachings tell of how we should live to have happiness, how to treat each other and the Earth Mother. The Original Teachings were provided, in common to the four colors of humanity at our separate times of creation. The four colors of peoples are of one life source, we have one mother, one father - our Earth Mother and our father Creator. We are all truly sisters and brothers.

Our declaration is that the world’s governments, corporations and subscribers to modern science and technology do not consider all perspectives including the Indigenous Perspective. Thus, they are at a disadvantage as their thought process is incomplete, they are in conflict with the Original Instructions with their disregard for Indigenous Knowledge. For there to be a true opportunity to rescue humanity, our planet home; the wisdom of Indigenous peoples must be recognized and honored. We do have answers and solutions. You must hear us.

Some of our elders, medicine people say it is too late, but for the sake of the grandchildren we continue to blow on the embers of hope. We will never stop fighting to protect our Earth Mother, we must never stop defending the future of the grandchildren.

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