On November 8th Earth Watch we speak to Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network about what President Barack Obama’s re-election means for the climate change and the environment.
Statement from Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network on the Re-election of United States President Barack Obama
Released 1:00 a.m., November 07, 2012
Bemidji, MN – The Indigenous Environmental Network extends its hand shake to President re-elect, Barack Obama. IEN and indigenous communities on the frontlines of environmental and economic injustice will continue to work with President Obama and his administration for the next four years.
We will be vigilant towards building coalitions and alliances to give Obama a mandate from the grassroots people for systems change, not climate change. There has been too much silence from Obama during his re-election campaign on the critical issues of global warming and climate change.
In the words of Tonya Gonnella-Frichner, Onondaga, founder and director of the American Indian Law Alliance in New York City, “Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island have had to live with indigenous silence for over 500 years. The human family can no longer live a game of chance in climate silence or climate ignorance not after the destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy.”
It is time to create political will from the people of America, from all walks of life, to fight for a just transition away from a fossil fuel economy to an economy that respects Life and Mother Earth. This transition will be based upon implementation of: an indigenous agricultural economy comprised of traditional and healthy food systems; sustainable housing and buildings; sustainable jobs; access to clean water and sanitation; a goal for zero waste management; reform of toxic and chemical regulatory laws; and clean energy, energy efficiency; and natural resource management systems based upon indigenous science and traditional knowledge.
IEN will build upon the strength of our Native youth, Native Nations, our women and grassroots defenders of indigenous rights and Mother Earth, to mobilize indigenous action to push the Obama administration to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration sets the minimum standards for real protection for the well-being, dignity and rights of American Indians, Alaska Natives, First Nations of Canada and all Indigenous peoples of the world. The full adoption by the United States of this declaration would ensure our full and effective participation including the principles of free, prior and informed consent in all governmental decisions that affect our communities, Native Nations and environment.
Contact: Tom B.K. Goldtooth, mobile (218) 760-0442