Wabanaki Confederacy Conference Statement 2015

(Presented by request to the New Brunswick Commission on Hydrofracturing in Richibucto, NB on October 15 2015)

The Wabanaki Confederacy Conference 2015

The Wabanaki Confederacy Conference was hosted by the Western Abenaki, in N’dakinna (Shelburne, VT) on August 19-22, 2015.

Present at the Confederacy were representatives from the following Nations: Western Abenaki, Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, The Aboriginal Peoples Council, and (7) Nations of the Akwesasne / St. Regis / St. Frances Iroquois, Kahnawake Iroquois, Metis.

Preamble:

We, the Peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy, affirm that the Three Sisters (corn, beans, & squash) are a significant attribute of our life-ways. They have sustained and cared for us since time immemorial. To honor the special sacrifice and contribution of the Three Sisters; we the people will plant our beans, corn & squash as a means of protecting and supporting each other; as well as maintaining a healthy balance in our lives and communities.

The following statements are adopted by the Wabanaki Confederacy:

  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy supports the revitalization and maintenance of the indigenous languages of the Wabanaki Peoples.
  2. The Wabanaki Confederacy recognizes and strongly affirms Article 25 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, within traditional Wabanaki territories (i.e. our relationship to land, food and water)

Article 25 states: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.

  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy will establish decolonized maps of our traditional territories. ( English names taken off maps and replace Indigenous names )
  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy strongly supports the Wingspread statement on the Precautionary Principles; and endorses the application of these principles to all activities affecting Wabanaki Peoples, their homelands and waters.

The precautionary principle is an approach to risk management that has been developed in circumstances of scientific uncertainty, reflecting the need to take prudent action in the face of potentially serious risk to public health without having to await the completion of further scientific research.”

  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy is deeply concerned that all levels of governments ( Canada & USA ) are not meeting their obligation to obtain free, prior, and informed consent of the Wabanaki Peoples; on all matters that pertain to Wabanaki territories, as required under Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Article 19 states: States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.”

  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy reaffirms that free, prior, and informed consent is required prior to any further infringement on our territories.
  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy will strive to unite the Indigenous Peoples; from coast to coast.
  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy is dedicated to protecting our food supply, including our indigenous food ways, seeds, waters and lands, from chemical and genetic contamination.
  1. Wabanaki Confederacy Grandmothers, who are an extension of the spirit of the Earth Mother; know that the Great Mother has rights, and therefore, we mandate the protection of Wabanaki lands and waters.
  1. We recognize and fully support the Grandmothers who have put their lives on the line to protect the land and waters of Signigtewa’gi.
  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy recognizes and confirms the decision-making structures of the Wabanaki Peoples in accordance with Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Article 18 states: Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.

  1. Our vision is to construct a Lodge, which will serve as a living constitution and decision making structure for the Wabanaki Confederacy.
  2. The Wabanaki Confederacy recognizes the Western Abenaki living in Vermont and the United States; as a ‘People’, their tribes, their territories; and as a member nation of the Confederacy.
  1. The Passamaquoddy have agreed to host the 2016 Wabanaki Confederacy Conference.

  1. The Wabanaki Confederacy and the Seven Nations of Iroquois agree to support one another in peace and friendship. We also agree to develop working relationships between our nations in support of uniting all native peoples in preserving our nations, our territories, our culture, our language, and our way of life. Wampum belts were presented by the Vermont Western Abenaki people and have become part of the sacred Wabanaki bundle, to document these agreements of peace and unity.

Adopted unanimously at N’dakinna (Shelburne, VT) on August 21, 2015

Signed:

The Wabanaki Confederacy of Indigenous Nations

Eastern Wabanaki: Penobscot

Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet)

Passamaquoddy

Mik’maq

Western Wabanaki: Vermont Western Abenaki Tribes

Seven Nations: Akwesasne/St. Regis/St Francis Iroquois


See also:  Wabanaki Confederacy Statement 2015 Final Document from Nulhegan Tribe Abenaki Nation Vermont – Memphremagog – http://www.abenakitribe.org/Wabanaki_Confederacy.html