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Indigenous Peoples International Declaration on Self-Determination and Sustainable Development

Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world met at the “Indigenous Peoples International Conference on Sustainable Development and Self Determination,”  from June 17 – 19,  2012 at the Museu da República in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the declaration that will be delivered to world leaders at the Rio+20 Summit.

"We thank the Indigenous Peoples of  Brazil for welcoming us their homelands and express our solidarity for their struggles imposed development such as the Belo Monte Dam which threaten their homelands and ways of life. We also thank indigenous peoples from all regions of the world for their preparatory activities and engagement in this process.

We affirm with one voice that it is time to assume the historical responsibilities to reverse centuries of predation, pollution, colonialism, the violation of rights and genocide. It is time to assume the responsibilities towards our future generations. It is time to choose life.

Culture as a fundamental dimension of Sustainable Development
As Indigenous Peoples, our fundamental cultural belief systems and world views based on our sacred relationships to each other and Mother Earth have sustained our peoples through time. We recognize the contributions and participation of our traditional knowledge holders,  indigenous women and youth.

Cultures are ways of being and living with nature, underpinning our values, moral and ethical choices and our actions. Indigenous peoples’ abiding survival is supported by our cultures, providing us with social, material, and spiritual strength. We believe  that all societies must foster cultures of sustainability, and that  Rio +20 should highlight the cultural, moral and ethical dimensions, as the most fundamental dimension  of sustainable development.

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