Our Perspective on WHAT is ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE?

 

Our Perspective on WHAT is ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE?

 

  • To Aboriginal peoples, native to the land they live in since time immemorial, the term "environmental justice" goes beyond the issue of disproportionate toxic and nuclear contamination and health exposure of our elders, men, women, youth, children and our traditional food web.

  • It includes issues of exploitation, ecological damage, restoration of natural resources, compensation for victims of exposures and protection and healing of biological diversity that sustains us and allows us to practice our culture, language, and spirituality.

  • It includes the protection of all areas that are sacred and that are culturally and historically significant to our peoples.

  • It addresses economic development and social justice issues towards building sustainable communities with safe and sustainable jobs and livelihoods.

  • Environmental justice means the de-colonization of our minds and recognition of traditional knowledge as the foundation of who we are.

  • It addresses ethical and policy issues concerning biotechnology, ownership of life, introduction of genetically modified organisms into the environment and policy issues on intellectual property rights of Indigenous knowledge.

  • It means developing and maintaining education and language programs that teaches adults and the younger generation what their relationship is to the sacredness of our Earth Mother.

  • It means understanding and defending our treaties and to exercise our right to self-determination as Indigenous peoples.

  • It means to claim our inherent right to protect our traditional land, water, air and our future generations.

  • It means the right to develop our own tribal environmental protection programs with our own water and air quality standards, and seek delegated authority to implement our own environmental programs - which strengthens our sovereignty.

  • It means to have the right to fully protect our environment and all natural resources in our traditional territories, reserves and reservations by applying, monitoring and enforcing our own tribal-based environmental, historical, sacred areas, endangered species and conservation laws.

  • Environmental justice means to be active - from the grassroots to tribal government - in all policy decisions from the local, tribal, state, national and international levels where policy development is being made that would affect our future generations and all life that sustains us and our Earth Mother
based upon the work done within the framework of the Indigenous Environmental Network http://www.ienearth.org/index.html

 

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