Archive for June, 2007

TONATIERRA: Message to the US Social Forum – Atlanta

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

TONATIERRA: Message to the US Social Forum – Atlanta
June 27, 2007

I am compiling here some notes from the process of conversation with the organizers of the event of the US Social Forum in Atlanta. It seems to be that clarifications are in order, in order to first determine: Is the USSF an EVENT based strategy, or can it be transformed into movement building instrument. In hopes of the latter, towards the principles of clarification to be established, one way or another, in order to “move” forward we must know collectively where we stand in terms of the issues.

First of all, the Indigenous Peoples can never be defined in terms of the US society, except as victims of genocide and colonization. Anything less is subjugation and domination under the guise of “civilization”, “Manifest Destiny”, “Doctrine of Discovery”, “Americanization”, etc: all of which have as prime determinant the concept of “white person” defining all social relationships in terms of the hierarchy of the system. Are we to add the term “social justice” to this list? US civil rights laws (including the aspects environmental justice) in this respect could not be more explicit, defining the civil rights for minority populations under US jurisdiction specifically in terms of “the rights ascribed to white persons”. In this legal context, within the tradition of the US legal system of precedent, we the Indigenous Peoples are defined as “savages”.

The USSF must recognize the Indigenous Peoples as Nations with the full right of Self Determination.

The USSF must renounce the Doctrine of Discovery as an instrument of mass destruction, being an attribute of the ongoing genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas in terms of the jurisprudence of racism evidenced by the Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493 to recent US Supreme Court decisions.

The USSF must demand that the US Government cease and desist from further actions in violation the territorial rights of the Nations of the Indigenous Peoples, specifically in fulfillment of the orders issued by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination (CERD) in the case of the Western Shoshone Nation.

The USSF must demand that the US government stop blocking the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on June 29, 2006 and take immediate action at all levels of government to recognize, respect, and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples described in the declaration as a minimum standard of affirmation of the inherent rights of the Indigenous Peoples globally.

In absence of the above, or in the interim, the USSF must take action to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the UN Human rights council on June 29th, 2006 at the community, organization, regional, and national level of networks, coalitions, and alliances as a common bond of commitment to authenticate the process of decolonization, internal and external, by means of collective actions of self empowerment.

The USSF commitment to the principles of decolonization, by means of collective actions of self-empowerment, must extend to the entirety of the continent and the globe, in solidarity and in complement to the decolonization strategies of the Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [the Americas], Africa, Asia, Europe, the Artic, and Oceanic territories of the Mother Earth globally.

The USSF must acknowledge that unless the forgoing principles are in place in terms of clarifications and commitments, the discussions on the issues of immigration will not be framed within the dynamics of collective actions of self empowerment, but will instead serve as justifications to merely reform, not transform the system specifically in terms of the relationships of our common humanity distorted by the imposition by force on our continent of Abya Yala by the borders of the government states currently accorded international recognition in the international regime of the UN, and the Organization of American States.

The USSF must move to redefine the principle of sustainability, beyond the context of the control concepts of allegiance to the state, racism, or the survival of the meta-national corporate regimes, which are in self-destruct presently with the Wars of Petropolis, and heading to world water war. The Principles of Community Ecology: Respect, Inclusion, Reciprocity-Community, and Peace should be considered as guide for strategies of collective actions of self-empowerment, which may serve as base for the global social transformation necessary to effectively address the climate crisis and the degradation of planetary ecosystems, including that of humanity itself.

The USSF should consider an collective act of categorical rejection of the concept of “white persons” as a false construct of racism and institutionalized discrimination within all strata of US society, in violation of the human rights of all US constituencies in particular the right to humanity of our European American relatives. (When did the thirteen colonies stop colonizing?)

The USSF should consider redefining the national motto from E Pluribus Unam (from the many one) to E Pluribus Diversitas (from the many, Diversity).

Respectfuly submitted,

Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh
Tlahtokan Nahuacalli


I was on a conference call yesterday re: the USSF, and brought up the Doctrine of Discovery as the continent cutter cross cutting issue that MUST be addressed in solidarity and with instruments of commitment and accountability by the US Social Justice individuals, groups, organizations, etc., in attendance in ATLANTA.

My opinion is this is not a recommendation for a workshop or content for an article but should be a demand, prior to attending the event.

If we do not have this in place, at least in the form of a well defined mechanisms of accountability to the positions of the Nations of the Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island and continentally Abya Yala – not just within the “BOX” [USofA] of the colonizing states of mind that derive justification from the “Doctrine of Discovery” : then what will we have in terms of alliances or even coalitions to the benefit of the cause of the Indigenous Peoples in a year, in five years, in a generation??

The case of the Western Shoshone is one prime example where these issues converge, presenting a historic opportunity for an Agenda of Action at the USSF.

Will the social justice movements of north america stay behind inside the fort, within the circled wagons, as the rest of the hemisphere moves to decolonize? Or are we to buy the trinket argument that self-determination of the Indigenous Peoples of north america is only a domestic contruct? (The official US position) Does the social justice movement of north american view the indigenous cause in the shadow of the same intellectual edifice of: domesticated Indians?

If not, the Doctrine of Discovery and the derivitory violations of our common humanity must be effectively addressed, with a strategy that moves beyond the Civil Rights context into the realms of Human Rights and in affirmation of the full right of self determination of Indigenous Peoples: in accord with the natural LAWS of the Land, Air, Water, and Spirituality of life globally.

Agenda of Action: During the conference call, we also made the connection of the issue of the Doctrine of Discovery with the fight at the UN over the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, specifically the position of the US government in this regard.

Agenda of Action: We have shared with the USSF organizers the Declaration of Iximche, proclaimed at the Continental Indigenous Summit Abya Yala held in Guatemala in March of 2007.


We were told by the Papal Nuncio at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on Thursday May 17 in New York that the Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493 has been institutionally abrogated within the context of doctrines upheld by the Catholic Church. At the same time, the Papal Nuncio and his staff attempted a holy brush off of the issue by making the statement that the Vatican could not be held culpable, much less responsible for the Domestic Jurisprudence derived from the imposition of the Doctrine of Discovery which is based upon the precepts, concepts, and moral justifications whose intellectual author remains the Vatican State, specifically evidenced by the papal bull Inter Caetera of 1493.

FYI: We are awaiting the follow up letter from Steve Newcomb to the Vatican to move forward on the issue as a Continental Indigenous Commission on the Doctrine of Discovery.

all for now