Albuquerque, New Mexico
September 5-8, 1996
We, the Indigenous Peoples gathered here for this summit, standing in defense and protection of our Mother Earth and all our relations, do hereby unanimously express our total opposition to the nuclear power and weapons chain and its devastating impacts and deadly effects on our communities.
The Indigenous Anti-Nuclear Summit brought together a network of Indigenous Peoples from different areas of Mother Earth that are negatively impacted by the nuclear chain. These impacted areas of the nuclear chain include: Uranium mining in the Grants Mineral Belt, that has had devastating health and environmental impacts on Navajo and Pueblo peoples in New Mexico; The uranium mining industry has actively targeted northern Saskatchewan where the mining exploration process has already had negative implications on the culture of Chipewyan, Metis, Dene, Blood, and other Indigenous Peoples in the region; Conversion fuel fabrication, and enrichment have impacted Indigenous Peoples in Oklahoma who live near the Sequoyah Fuels Uranium Processing Plant, and among Indigenous people, whose way of life depends upon the Columbia River where Hanford Nuclear Reservation is located (Washington/Oregon); Power plant operation at the Prairie Island Power Plant has manufactured deadly waste impacting the Mdewankanton Dakota; and Storage has been a tool of divide and conquer among Indigenous Nations targeted for the United States Department o Energy’s Monitored Retrievable Storage proposals.
Although we are varied in language and beliefs, we have the common ground of being Indigenous Peoples who have no desire to give up the traditional laws that the Creator gave us and accept the deadly, unsustainable ways the colonists have tried to force upon us. We are not asking anyone else to accept our ways, however, we are exercising our right to live our sustainable lifestyles in our own lands.
The nuclear industry which has waged an undeclared war has poisoned our communities worldwide. For more that 50-years, the legacy of the nuclear chain, from exploration to waste has been proven, through documentation, to be genocidal and ethnocidal and a most deadly enemy of Indigenous Peoples.
United States federal law and nuclear policy has not protected Indigenous Peoples, and in fact has been created to allow the nuclear industry to continue operations at the expense of our land, territory, health and traditional ways of life. This system of genocidal and ethnocidal policies and practices has brought our people to the brink of extinction and amongst some Indigenous Peoples it is believed that if they die, all life on Earth will stop. Therefore, we demand an immediate stop to these crimes against our peoples, communities and future generations by the nuclear industry, their stockholders, and nuclear governments including the United States, Japan, France, Canada and China.
We demand all levels of governments, including tribal, state, national and international, to do whatever possible to stop all uranium exploration, mining, milling, conversion, testing, research, weapons and other military production, use, and waste disposals onto and into Mother Earth.
We further demand increased research and development, funding allocations and utilization of sustainable energy such as solar, wind, and appropriate technologies that are consistent with our natural laws and respect for the natural world (environment).
We particularly call upon tribal governments to measure their responsibilities to our peoples, not in terms of dollars, but in terms of maintaining our spiritual traditions, and assuring our physical, mental, spiritual well being. It is our responsibility to assure the survival of all future generations.
We invite you to join us by:
(1.) At the Summit, October 13th (Unplug America – Give Mother Earth a Rest Day) and July 25th (Anniversary of the Rio Puerro Nuclear Accident and Nuclear Testing by the French in the Pacific at Bikini Atoll) were designated as national days of acknowledging the devastating impacts of the nuclear industry against Indigenous Peoples. We encourage you to create an event in your community that brings awareness and attention to these issues.
(2.) Recognizing that the proposed transportation of nuclear waste will affect numerous communities throughout the United States, we encourage you to contact your local representatives and let them know that you place health and safety as a priority and that you believe it is their job to protect human rights and opposed transportation through your region.
(3.) If you live in a state that currently depends upon nuclear power plant(s) for energy – we encourage you to contact your representative to phase out nuclear power plants and implement sustainable energy production methods (i.e.. solar energy, wind energy, etc.).
(4.) You are invited to join as a co-signer of this declaration. For more information please contact N. Butler at (415) 512-9025 or write 568 Howard Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco CA 94105.
(5.) Please circulate this declaration – through newsletters, mailings, tables at events, etc.
IANS Declaration Signatures
Citizen Alert Native American Program
Columbia River Education, Economic and Development
Ejit Iep Jeltok Women Club
International Indian Treaty Council
Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment
Nuclear Free Future Campaign – Indigenous Lands – Greenpeace
Ohana Koa/NFIP Hawaii Chapter
Rural Alliance for Military Accountability
Sovereign Dineh Nation – Dineh Alliance
The Seventh Generation Fund
Tribal Environmental Watch Alliance
Uranium Radiation Victim Committee
U.S.-Japan Committee on Racial Justice
Water Information Network
Abya Yala Fund
Amanaka’a Amazon Network
Amerindian Research Unit – University of Guyana
Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping
Community Action International Alliance
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Duckwater Shoshone Tribe
Energy Research Foundation
Federal Land Action Group
Healing Global Wounds
International Forum on Globalization
Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Los Alamos Study Group
National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans (NECONA)
Native American Council of New York City
Native American Journalists Association
Native Arts Circle
Piscataway Indian Nation
Rainforest Action Network
Red Feather Production Company
The Arctic to Amazonia Alliance
The Healing Forest Conservancy
Urban Habitat Program
Western Shoshone Defense Project