In December 2015 Voices that Shake! travelled to the alternative summit at COP 21 in Paris to offer solidarity to indigenous communities fighting for climate justice. This video features a speech extract delivered by Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation and organiser with Indigenous Environmental Network recorded on Human Rights Day, 10th December 2015.
A transcript of the speech is below:
“…We are suffering from environmental genocide where I live. The Occupied Territory of the United States of Amerikkka that belongs to the indigenous nations of the Americas has long understood the policies that have come down.
We have had in the Concho Nation six treaties made, not one has been honoured. So when I hear of a treaty coming out of the UN I understand…
One of my relations told me – and we are all related, I want us to remember that – he said, you know, when the government speaks to you they’re telling you these things this way but behind you they’re going “heeeey” like that. They’re telling each other this is a joke.
But here at the United Nations where the United States is not upholding the rights of indigenous people, gender rights, human rights be included in their final document… requires us to readjust what is real what is true what is power.
What is power is that the cold came today because it’s time for it to be here, it should be here. We should all be living in a good way where this cold allows the creepy crawlies to sleep, allows things to readjust on the earth. When the father sun comes and the day begins and the sun shines and warms us a tiny bit – that’s power! When the wind blows and the breath begins to go in and out of your body, and the body of all our relatives – that’s power! When the water flows and it flows in your body; when the water is clean herself when she is loved when she is not defiled – that’s power! It’s not human beings.
So when they call this Human Rights Day that’s because you yourself are made of Mother Earth. You are made of the flesh of the forelegs, you are made of the flesh of the wings, you are made of the blood of the mother called water. You are made with the breath of the creator, you are made with the warmth from the sun, you are made to be part of all living things. So we can’t just call it Human Rights Day – there’s no such thing in our languages.
We are all related to everything in the universe. When the Moon Mother looks down on you tonight and speaks in your dreams about the rhythm of life that’s where you’re gonna understand, pay attention to those things, send your prayers, send your power to those of us who understand how to rearrange the world.
Where I’m living right now the fracking has caused 5,000 earthquakes this year alone, in Oklahoma. So we’ve passed a moratorium in Oklahoma using the sovereignty of the indigenous nations…”