Greetings from Sápmi on International Day of Worlds Indigenous Peoples!
”Since 1992 the ecosystems of the earth have been compounding in change.
We are in crisis. We are in an accelerating spiral of climate change that will not abide unsustainable greed.
Today we reaffirm our relationship to Mother Earth and our responsibility to coming generations to uphold peace, equity and justice.
As peoples, we reaffirm our rights to self-determination and to own, control and manage our ancestral lands and territories, waters and other resources. Our lands and territories are at the core of our existence – we are the land and the land is us”
This is a brief quote from the important Kimberley-declaration that were established by indigenous delegations prior to WSSD in 2002.
Sisters and brothers, ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce my self. My name is Stefan Mikaelsson and I am a long time member of the Sámi parliament plenary assembly, swedish side. And also the oldest one.
Today we can globally honor as well as jointly celebrate this significant important day of community for all of the indigenous peoples of the world. Altho we, the sámi people, lives in some of the worlds richest and safest countries havent that always meant a positive development for our striving to establish the civil sámi society and later the successfull fight for the establishment for the law that made the formal establishment of the sámi parliament possbile.
And it is only 28 years since the sámi family became whole again, when representatives for the Sámi organisation located on kola peninsula were allowed to cross borders and could join other sámi organisations and establish border crossing activities. A small step for mankind but a giant leap for the Sámi nation.
The borders of the four national states divide sápmi, our homeland. The sámi people cant cross these borders without hindrance. Our nation were acknowledge already in annex of a border treaty in 1751 between kingdoms of Denmark – Norway and kingdom of Sweden and is still valid even today. The borders were created against our will, and caused todays differences, opposing interests and disagreements, for us – the Sámi nation.
The new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, José Francisco Cali Tzay, have expressed serious concerns over the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on indigenous peoples beyond the health threat
”In some countries, consultations with indigenous peoples and also environmental impact assessments are being abruptly suspended in order to force through megaprojects relating to agribusiness, mining, dams and infrastructure.
But in the face and in the midst of such threats, the indigenous communities that have managed to best resist the COVID-19 pandemic are those that have achieved autonomy and self-government, which allows them to manage their lands, territories and resources, ensure food security through their traditional crops and traditional medicine.
Now, more than ever, Governments worldwide should support indigenous peoples to implement their own plans to protect their communities and participate in the elaboration of nationwide initiatives to ensure these do not discriminate against them”
Its needed and usefull to echo the words of UN Special Rapporteur also in the midsth of European Union with its nationalistic. elitistic and fanatic membercountries with their dominating cultures.
Indigenous peoples make up to 5 percent of the world’s population. These 5 percent preserve about 22 percent of the earth’s surface. And on these 22 percent of the surface is 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity remaining.
Indigenous peoples are not part of the problem, we are part of the solution. The problems such as global warming, escalating climate change and pandemic situation that mankind face to day, are in many cases created by the greedy loan-based growth-economy of Europe and north-America.
It is with Human Rights as it is with love, its not possible to get to much. Neither is it harmful for your non-indigenous neighbours or the main society.
A different world is possible, and its only with implementing the traditional knowledge & awareness provided by us, the Indigenous Peoples, that it will be achievable to change course and establish a better future for all of mankind.
And as always; Nothing about us, without us!
Sisters and brothers, may the force be with us!
Statement of Stefan Mikaelsson, long time member of Sámi parliament plenary assembly on International Day of Worlds Indigenous Peoples 9.8.2020
Listen to the statement on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guN-R96ODno
The link to twitter: https://twitter.com/StefanMikaelson/status/1292499383544623104?s=20