Thursday, October 29, 2020

Xochimiqueh

 


Xochimiqueh (flor de los Muertos or flor de los ancestros) is a Nahuatlaca tradition that is now reduced to a celebration that begins on the evening of October 31 and ends on November 2.  Our relationship with Mother Death (Mictlancihuatl) is more involved and complex. 

 

Every 20 days in the Tonal Maciotl (Aztec Calendar) there is one day (micailhuitl) dedicated to Miquiztli (Death). And every 260 days Death gets to carry a 13-day count as Ce-Miquiztli. Everyone of the days gets to do that every 260 days. 

 

There is also our Creation story in which Quetzalcoatl goes down into Mictlan and negotiates with Mictlantecutli and Mictlancihuatl to recover the bones of humanity so that we can be part of this present world. In the end it is the blood of his broken bones which restores us to Life.

 

Then there is the annual migration of the Monarch butterflies which ends in central Mexico at the end of October/beginning of November. These butterflies represent the return of the Spirits, but also the black Monarchs are announcement of death (similar to an owl’s presence).

 

Xochimiqueh, the flowers of the departed are called Zempoaxochitl (Cempoazuchil), zempoa meaning 20 or the number that describes a complete human being (10 finger + 10 toes = 20). It was by coincidence that the Catholic alteration of the Celtic days of the dead (today known as Halloween), All Saints, and All Souls day coincided with part of our Death tradition and our ancestors were able to preserve some of our Xochimiqueh ceremony. 

 

Carlos Aceves 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Barrios Unidos Park Science and Culture Project

 Barrios Unidos Park Science and Culture Project


Tonal Yohualpapalotl Chicyei Tekpatl Xihuitl
Sunrise Fall Equinox
September 22, 2020


Observation is the foundation of all science.
The science of observation, is the science of science.


For a Mexican Barrio that has all but vanished due to the expansion of Sky Harbor Airport and subsequent commercialization, the preservation of a sense of the past community history and culture is necessary in order to provide a true accounting of the present reality. This sense of history and culture, which is now being regenerated, is a necessary part of a community healing process that struggles for justice.

When the world around you is described and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing. The collective consciousness of this community has now united to resist this void.

We support the reintroduction and the regeneration of our ancestral sacred knowledge in the form of the depiction of the Sun Stone at Barrios Unidos Park, as an instrument of science and culture well recognized for its mathematical and astronomical precision.  This project intends to serve as a definitive element of our comprehensive community planning into the future generations, with the goal of realizing equilibrium and peace within our community, with all  humanity, and with Mother Earth.



*************


Golden Gate Barrio * Las Cuatro Milpas * Barrio Ann Ott * Barrio Campito * Barrio Green Valley Park

Nuestros Barrios AZ: Is a group of dedicated individuals, agencies &   business partners focused on preserving the memory, experiences and stories of historic barrios in Arizona. 

Barrios Unidos Park

Community-Cultural Art Proposal

 

Introduction:

 

Nuestros Barrios is comprised of historic barrios located in Central City Phoenix, just west of Sky Harbor International Airport. Historically, the community has been impacted and displaced by the growth and development of the airport. Nuestros Barrios AZ is focused on the preservation of the memory, experiences, and stories of these historic barrios though various community development initiatives.

The creation of cultural public art will allow the community to reclaim, regenerate and “culturize” the area and provide an interactive educational experience and cultural awareness to the residents of Nuestros Barrios and for the entire community of Phoenix at large. 

 


 

Program Description:

a) TONATIERRA Community Development Institute working with artist AJ Larson, utilizing traditional, cultural and scientific methods of the “Mexikayotl” and focusing on the concrete platform amphitheater at Barrios Unidos Park, will capture and depict the careful and scientific observations of an Indigenous Peoples Sun Stone Calendar, in order to mark and serve as a permanent legacy of recognition and dignity for the Original Barrio of the ancestral 400 Milpas.  The project is embedded in an ongoing continental Indigenous Peoples cartography project of the Original Nations of Abya Yala.

 

The project at Barrios Unidos Park with launch with a ceremonial welcome of Yohualpapalotl at dawn of September 22, 2020 (Fall Equinox) on site.

 



The project will be implemented in exercise and in accord with the Cultural Competency Policy of the City of Phoenix in regard to public works, and in the context of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), specifically articles:

Article 11

Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.


Article 13

Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.

 

 

Through this Community Cultural Art initiative, TONATIERRA will provide the community(s) of Nuestros Barrios with the following services:

 

●  Indigenous Peoples Educational Services and Consulting

●  Community/Cultural Public Art Installation at Barrios Unidos Park


Antigua Residencia de los Aztecas
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo US-Mexico 1848

About the Artist: The artist AJ Larson has agreed to work with TONATIERRA and the community, free of charge to complete the public art display in Barrios Unidos Park in Phoenix, AZ.

Launch Date: September 22, 2020

Location: Barrios Unidos Park located at 16th Street and Mohave Phoenix, AZ 85034

 


YouTube:
Tonal Machiotl:
A Xinachtli Workshop with Carlos Aceves


September 5, 2020





UNDRIP: Human Rights of the Future Generations

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Eighth Session  May 20, 2009 UN Headquarters New York, NY

Agenda Item: 4 (a) Human Rights
Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Self Determination: It's not a question, it's a quest.

That in follow-up to the above and in anticipation of emerging themes for future work, the UNPFII establish partnership with the diverse initiatives of the Indigenous Peoples across the planet in terms of Education and Human Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, in accord with the principles of the UNDRIP, and in particular as related to the development of complementary systems and services of social cognition, compilation and dissemination of bioregional planning instruments, such as the Indigenous Peoples Geography Project.

Itilmaloyan Abya Yala

YouTube:

Barrio Cuatro Milpas Peace Treaty



Raíz de Aztlan


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Raíz de Aztlan



Raíz de Aztlan

Crece y madura

En Los ojos de nuestros

Hijos y hijas.

Sus pies, floating

On the

Memory

of river water.

 

March 21, 2003

 

As with many other indigenous traditions from the length and breadth of the continent of Abya Yala, there exists with the Xicano-Azteka historical accounting and recounting the theme of transformation of the worlds, the arrival and traveling of the people through great periods of change, epochs of distinct character for humanity and the Earth.  These cycles, which include aspects of both light and shadow, take their names from the count of calendric symbols that describe the Tonatiuh, the power of the sun, for that era.  They have been described as the Five Suns, and their historical narration is found in the Tonalmachiotl, the Kuauhxicall - an Azteka stone monolith sometimes called the Sun Stone, or the Aztec Calendar. 

 

This calendric system is well recognized for the mathematical and astronomical exactness with which it continues to serve the indigenous nations of Itzachitlan, Abya Yala [Las Americas].  Distinct from the count of time, and thus the sense of history, of the so called “West”, our calendar is not linear but cyclical.  History for us has a human face not technological.  It is astronomically measured in terms of generations, a common proportion that is inextricably colored by our orientation in space, and that of our home the Mother Earth - in this universe of the Four Directions.


*******

 

It has always been good to wonder.  We as Indigenous Peoples of the continent have been wondering for over 500 years now about the arrogance of the European-American presence on our homelands, their claims of “Discovery”, and the moral and legal justifications given to not only colonize the continent, but to shield an ongoing colonization from impartial intellectual scrutiny.  At a time in world history when the concept of nation-state that grew to dominate international law and politics from its foundations in feudal Europe is increasingly being recognized as inadequate, where will the European-Americans abandon their racist concept of state and nationality?  When will they give up on being “white”?

 

This question is not meant to be rhetorical, but if the discussions in progress between mainstream environmental justice activists and organizations and the “communities of color” are to establish working collaborations, the institutionalized racism inherent in all sectors of European-American society must be addressed.  The foundations of “white” supremacy and environmental racism must be exposed, in particular as they reflect the political doctrines of genocide and colonization of the native nations of this continent.  Environmental racism is a term that has gained popular recognition, but the attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency to jacket the issue by calling it, “environmental equity” is like turning toxic pollution into a multi-cultural festival.  It doesn't address the root of the problem.  Was not the slaughter of the vast buffalo herds of the Great Plains an example of environmental racism?

   

From an indigenous perspective, the issue of environmental racism as it has become to be defined is only the latest manifestation in contemporary industrial and economic mode of an assault that began over 500 years ago.  On May 3rd and 4th  of the year 1493, Pope Alexander VI issued the Papal Bull Inter Cetera by which he granted “dominion” to the European Christian Royalty justifying a claim for title to the territories of the Western Hemisphere under the concept of Discovery.  Beyond the question of “dominion”, the philosophical basis for living “off of” and not “with” the land, the right to Discovery was restricted to the European.  It became a race concept when it was codified and made a legal identity as “white”.  The U.S. Civil Rights laws to this day use as the standard for juridical evaluation the “rights of white persons”.  Again, the question from Indigenous Peoples: “How did it come to pass that one branch of the family of mankind has isolated and elevated itself to define a superior race identity based on skin color?”  When will this form of American apartheid be exposed?

   

In the spring of 1984, an alliance of indigenous nations met in the construction zone of a Central Phoenix highway and began an effort to communicate to the world our understanding of this problem and attempt to initiate a solution.  The site called, La Ciudad, had been an ancient settlement of the people known as the Hohokam. These were the original constructors of the canal systems that when modernized led to the establishment of the Phoenix of today.  There had been removed from the site some one hundred cremations which were taken to the state university for study.  It was the old “Discovery” and “dominion”  doctrine once again, which was not surprising considering that the original Papal Bull of 1493 has never been revoked and continues to serve as the legal justification for all the Nation-states claiming jurisdiction in the Americas.  The gathering of the alliance at the site lasted four days, and one result was the initiation of a campaign to revoke the Doctrine Discovery as a violation of the Human and Environmental Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [Americas].

 

This linkage between Human Rights, Environmental Justice and the Rights of Mother Earth is a movement which now is gaining momentum throughout the world.  And around the world, it is Indigenous Nations that are leading the movement.  The same doctrines of political and racial exclusion that are the foundation of environmental racism within the United States are an integral part of the international order as well.  As Indians are not “persons” within the meaning citizenship of the U.S. Constitution, Indigenous Peoples are not considered Peoples within the United Nations but only indigenous populations.  Defined as minority populations, the indigenous nations of the world are precluded from invoking rights of self-determination established by international norms and are forced to take drastic actions against the efforts of Nation-states to illegally claim their territories, such as happened as Wounded Knee South Dakota in 1973.

 

The Wounded Knee confrontation of 1973 resulted in a trip to the United Nations in New York by the Lakota Chiefs.  Their intentions were to speak on the floor of the General Assembly as sovereign nation, with a valid treaty with the United States Government- the Treaty of 1868.  It was nearly twenty years before a Lakota spoke on the floor of the General Assembly.  The occasion was the inauguration of the International Year of Indigenous Peoples, declared by the United Nations for the year 1993.  Indigenous representatives from throughout the world arrived to express with a natural dignity the message of the caretakers of the Earth.  The continental and worldwide resistance to the glorification of the Columbus Quincentenary by the colonizer governments had forced the United Nations to listen to the true nations of the world.  That, and the undeniable and impending ecological catastrophe threatening the planet, which the indigenous people hold the key to averting, signaled the arrival of the new but yet ancient power for all mankind - a New Sun.

 

There were concrete proposals presented to the General Assembly.  One was the revocation of the Papal Bull of 1493.  Another was to collaborate with the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention Discrimination and Protection of Minorities for the purpose of advancing the linkage between Human Rights and Environmental Justice Rights. But what was most evident was that the great transformations sweeping the world are destined to place the bloc of indigenous nations, some 300 million around the world, as the major global counter factor to the New World Order.  In fact, this has always been so.  It has always been the people of the land who care for the Earth as a sacred mother to the generations of all life.  It has always been the tradition of the Original Nations to look upon our Father Sun as the source of life for all humanity.  Within the  cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of the world is the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of the entire human experience, not only the past 500, 2,000, or 5,000 years.  And for the true nations of the world, there is only one race- the human race.

 

To we in Abya Yala - Itzachitlan [the Americas] has fallen a great responsibility in this global effort to reestablish the path of balance for the human family.  Across North and South Abya Yala the OrigiNations are in movement, uniting in anticipation of the historical moment that will surely come soon now.  It always was there, in our calendar and in our prophesies.  The Confederation of the Eagle and the Condor has been invoked, and wind of their wings bring a great change.  This transformation has been called the coming of the Sun of Justice, the Sun of Consciousness.  With roots in indigenous precepts of natural law, the equilibrium of nature, and the integral part that humanity has in the web of life is the ancestral concept of justice observed in harmony with the natural world of reciprocity and equilibrium.  Environmental Justice.

TONATIERRA

802 N. 7th Street Phoenix, AZ 85006

Mail:  P.O. Box 24009 Phoenix, AZ 85074

www.tonatierra.org

(Authors note: The piece above was written en 2003, four years before the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and before the Climate Justice and Rights of Mother Earth were articulated in the global agendas of the UN system)

###

YouTube:

 Return to Aztlan
In Neklhuayotl, In Aztlan

November 9, 2018

A report from the site of the National Chicano Youth Liberation Conference of 1969 at the headquarters of the Crusade for Justice in Denver, Colorado by Tupak Huehuecoyotl, Izaloteka.
The Spirit of the Roots of Truth: In Nelhuayotl, In Aztlan.

 

 ****************************

Nohuanyoqueh,

 

The following is a transcription of the intervention submitted to the United States Government representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland in 1987. It is being offered here as an initiative of the Archives of Aztlan, www.tonatierra.org

 

In Geneva in 1987, we met with traditional leaders from the Indigenous Peoples of South Africa, chieftains of the Zulu who were living in exile in Switzerland due to their trade union activism. We discussed the points that we were bringing forward and compared our histories and knowledge. Upon reading our position paper which called for the reopening of the question of integration of the territories within the bounds of the US control in light of the current international instruments and protocols for decolonization, these leaders immediately drafted a parallel document that exposed as identical the legal tactics of the British-Boer regimes to those of the British-American techniques of colonization.

 

 

From the Archives of Aztlan:

 

Tlahtokan Izkalotl

Chicano Spiritual Council

Aztlan Traditional Nation

 

November 2, 1989

 

The Honorable George Bush

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, DC

 

On August 3rd, 1982 we wrote a letter to the Department of Justice requesting a clarification of our legal status as native "inhabitants" of the territories relinquished to the United States under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo-1848 and the Gadsden Treaty of 1853. The response from the representative for the Civil Rights Division by Mr. James M. Schermerhorn was to the effect that the US Attorney General was only authorized to render legal opinions to you as President, and the heads of the executive departments of the federal government. The pertinent declarations and inquiries of our initial correspondence are as follows:

 

Aboriginal Title – Aztlan

 

It is a common assumption that by Treaties of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848 and the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 that the US acquired clear title to the territories therein described. Yet, the Native Nations populating these territories - legal holders of aboriginal title and sovereignty, never relinquished these powers to the government of the Mexican Republic of 1848. The case of Pit River, and the California Tribes with their unratified treaties are a testament to this fact as is the Hopi Nation. Thus, the land right acquired by these treaties is not one of clear title, but only a franchise to pursue extinguishment of the Indian or Aboriginal Title.

 

 

Citizenship

 

The falsehood that all Mexicanos in the relinquished territories became full US citizens as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has as it basis the 8th Article which states:

 

". . . but they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States."

 

In fact, for those Mexicano inhabitants of the territories who were nonwhite (non-European) no such opportunity was legally available. This is evidence by US naturalization law then in effect which required the racial identity of "WHITE" to be eligible for naturalization. Secondly, the California Constitution of 1849 limited the political rights of citizenship to "white male citizens of Mexico." Thirdly, the territorial acts of New Mexico and Utah, 1850, also restricted participation to "free white males." Fourthly, the 14th Amendment opening US nationality to nonwhites was 20 years away (1868) and finally as stated in the 1868 Convention regarding citizenship of Emigrants between US and Mexico, Article 1:

 

"The declaration of an intention to become a citizen of one of the other country has not for either party the effect of naturalization."

 

In view of these facts, did the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo identify the "white" and "nonwhite" Mexican inhabitants of the territories as separate and distinct populations within its provisions? Specifically, please clarify the identity of "established" vs. "not established" Mexicans as stated in Article 8.

 

Finally, if no distinction was made in the treaty, what is the explanation of the US Government for the division of Mexicanos into "white" and "nonwhite" classes in Federal, State and Territorial Governments since it was through these mechanisms that US Citizenship was to be acquired?

 

Clearly, these are questions of law that must be evaluated before a foundation of justice based on truth can exist for the Xicano Mexicano Peoples and indeed for all the aboriginal sovereignties of the treaty territories. What is essentially called into question is the process of integration of the territories into the political domain of the United States, which in addition to the defect in popular participation outlined above, must be reevaluated in terms of current international legal standards. We remind you of the United Nations Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle V:

 

"Once it has been established that such a prima facia case of geographical and ethnical or cultural distinctions of a territory exists, other elements may then be brought into consideration. These additional elements may be, inter alia, of an administrative, political, juridical, economic or historical nature. If they affect the relationship between the metropolitan State and territory concerned in a manner which arbitrarily places the latter in a position or status of subordination, they support the presumption that there is an obligation to transmit information under Article 73 e of the Charter."

 

Mr. President, in consideration of the above, we are requesting that you intercede with the power of your office and direct the current Attorney General to render a legal opinion regarding the question we have posed.

 

We attentively await your reply.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tupac Enrique Acosta

TLAHTOKAN IZKALOTL

 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Raíz de Aztlan

Raíz de Aztlan

Crece y madura

En Los ojos de nuestros

Hijos y hijas.

Sus pies, floating

On the

Memory

of river water.

 

March 21, 2003

 

As with many other indigenous traditions from the length and breadth of the continent of Abya Yala, there exists with the Xicano-Azteka historical accounting and recounting the theme of transformation of the worlds, the arrival and traveling of the people through great periods of change, epochs of distinct character for humanity and the Earth.  These cycles, which include aspects of both light and shadow, take their names from the count of calendric symbols that describe the Tonatiuh, the power of the sun, for that era.  They have been described as the Five Suns, and their historical narration is found in the Tonalmachiotl, the Kuauhxicall - an Azteka stone monolith sometimes called the Sun Stone, or the Aztec Calendar. 

 

This calendric system is well recognized for the mathematical and astronomical exactness with which it continues to serve the indigenous nations of Itzachitlan, Abya Yala [Las Americas].  Distinct from the count of time, and thus the sense of history, of the so called “West”, our calendar is not linear but cyclical.  History for us has a human face not technological.  It is astronomically measured in terms of generations, a common proportion that is inextricably colored by our orientation in space, and that of our home the Mother Earth - in this universe of the Four Directions.

 

*******

 

It has always been good to wonder.  We as Indigenous Peoples of the continent have been wondering for over 500 years now about the arrogance of the European-American presence on our homelands, their claims of “Discovery”, and the moral and legal justifications given to not only colonize the continent, but to shield an ongoing colonization from impartial intellectual scrutiny.  At a time in world history when the concept of nation-state that grew to dominate international law and politics from its foundations in feudal Europe is increasingly being recognized as inadequate, where will the European-Americans abandon their racist concept of state and nationality?  When will they give up on being “white”?

 

This question is not meant to be rhetorical, but if the discussions in progress between mainstream environmental justice activists and organizations and the “communities of color” are to establish working collaborations, the institutionalized racism inherent in all sectors of European-American society must be addressed.  The foundations of “white” supremacy and environmental racism must be exposed, in particular as they reflect the political doctrines of genocide and colonization of the native nations of this continent.  Environmental racism is a term that has gained popular recognition, but the attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency to jacket the issue by calling it, “environmental equity” is like turning toxic pollution into a multi-cultural festival.  It doesn't address the root of the problem.  Was not the slaughter of the vast buffalo herds of the Great Plains an example of environmental racism?

   

From an indigenous perspective, the issue of environmental racism as it has become to be defined is only the latest manifestation in contemporary industrial and economic mode of an assault that began over 500 years ago.  On May 3rd and 4th  of the year 1493, Pope Alexander VI issued the Papal Bull Inter Cetera by which he granted “dominion” to the European Christian Royalty justifying a claim for title to the territories of the Western Hemisphere under the concept of Discovery.  Beyond the question of “dominion”, the philosophical basis for living “off of” and not “with” the land, the right to Discovery was restricted to the European.  It became a race concept when it was codified and made a legal identity as “white”.  The U.S. Civil Rights laws to this day use as the standard for juridical evaluation the “rights of white persons”.  Again, the question from Indigenous Peoples: “How did it come to pass that one branch of the family of mankind has isolated and elevated itself to define a superior race identity based on skin color?”  When will this form of American apartheid be exposed?

   

In the spring of 1984, an alliance of indigenous nations met in the construction zone of a Central Phoenix highway and began an effort to communicate to the world our understanding of this problem and attempt to initiate a solution.  The site called, La Ciudad, had been an ancient settlement of the people known as the Hohokam. These were the original constructors of the canal systems that when modernized led to the establishment of the Phoenix of today.  There had been removed from the site some one hundred cremations which were taken to the state university for study.  It was the old “Discovery” and “dominion”  doctrine once again, which was not surprising considering that the original Papal Bull of 1493 has never been revoked and continues to serve as the legal justification for all the Nation-states claiming jurisdiction in the Americas.  The gathering of the alliance at the site lasted four days, and one result was the initiation of a campaign to revoke the Doctrine Discovery as a violation of the Human and Environmental Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [Americas].

 

This linkage between Human Rights, Environmental Justice and the Rights of Mother Earth is a movement which now is gaining momentum throughout the world.  And around the world, it is Indigenous Nations that are leading the movement.  The same doctrines of political and racial exclusion that are the foundation of environmental racism within the United States are an integral part of the international order as well.  As Indians are not “persons” within the meaning citizenship of the U.S. Constitution, Indigenous Peoples are not considered Peoples within the United Nations but only indigenous populations.  Defined as minority populations, the indigenous nations of the world are precluded from invoking rights of self-determination established by international norms and are forced to take drastic actions against the efforts of Nation-states to illegally claim their territories, such as happened as Wounded Knee South Dakota in 1973.

 

The Wounded Knee confrontation of 1973 resulted in a trip to the United Nations in New York by the Lakota Chiefs.  Their intentions were to speak on the floor of the General Assembly as sovereign nation, with a valid treaty with the United States Government- the Treaty of 1868.  It was nearly twenty years before a Lakota spoke on the floor of the General Assembly.  The occasion was the inauguration of the International Year of Indigenous Peoples, declared by the United Nations for the year 1993.  Indigenous representatives from throughout the world arrived to express with a natural dignity the message of the caretakers of the Earth.  The continental and worldwide resistance to the glorification of the Columbus Quincentenary by the colonizer governments had forced the United Nations to listen to the true nations of the world.  That, and the undeniable and impending ecological catastrophe threatening the planet, which the indigenous people hold the key to averting, signaled the arrival of the new but yet ancient power for all mankind - a New Sun.

 

There were concrete proposals presented to the General Assembly.  One was the revocation of the Papal Bull of 1493.  Another was to collaborate with the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention Discrimination and Protection of Minorities for the purpose of advancing the linkage between Human Rights and Environmental Justice Rights. But what was most evident was that the great transformations sweeping the world are destined to place the bloc of indigenous nations, some 300 million around the world, as the major global counter factor to the New World Order.  In fact, this has always been so.  It has always been the people of the land who care for the Earth as a sacred mother to the generations of all life.  It has always been the tradition of the Original Nations to look upon our Father Sun as the source of life for all humanity.  Within the  cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of the world is the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of the entire human experience, not only the past 500, 2,000, or 5,000 years.  And for the true nations of the world, there is only one race- the human race.

 

To we in Abya Yala - Itzachitlan [the Americas] has fallen a great responsibility in this global effort to reestablish the path of balance for the human family.  Across North and South Abya Yala the OrigiNations are in movement, uniting in anticipation of the historical moment that will surely come soon now.  It always was there, in our calendar and in our prophesies.  The Confederation of the Eagle and the Condor has been invoked, and wind of their wings bring a great change.  This transformation has been called the coming of the Sun of Justice, the Sun of Consciousness.  With roots in indigenous precepts of natural law, the equilibrium of nature, and the integral part that humanity has in the web of life is the ancestral concept of justice observed in harmony with the natural world of reciprocity and equilibrium.  Environmental Justice.

 

 

 

 

TONATIERRA

802 N. 7th Street Phoenix, AZ 85006

Mail:  P.O. Box 24009 Phoenix, AZ 85074

www.tonatierra.org

 

(Authors note: The piece above was written en 2003, four years before the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and before the Climate Justice and Rights of Mother Earth were articulated in the global agendas of the UN system)

 

Nohuanyoqueh,

 

The following is a transcription of the intervention submitted to the United States Government representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland in 1987. It is being offered here as an initiative of the Archives of Aztlan, www.tonatierra.org

 

In Geneva in 1987, we met with traditional leaders from the Indigenous Peoples of South Africa, chieftains of the Zulu who were living in exile in Switzerland due to their trade union activism. We discussed the points that we were bringing forward and compared our histories and knowledge. Upon reading our position paper which called for the reopening of the question of integration of the territories within the bounds of the US control in light of the current international instruments and protocols for decolonization, these leaders immediately drafted a parallel document that exposed as identical the legal tactics of the British-Boer regimes to those of the British-American techniques of colonization.

 

 

From the Archives of Aztlan:

 

Tlahtokan Izkalotl

Chicano Spiritual Council

Aztlan Traditional Nation

 

November 2, 1989

 

The Honorable George Bush

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, DC

 

On August 3rd, 1982 we wrote a letter to the Department of Justice requesting a clarification of our legal status as native "inhabitants" of the territories relinquished to the United States under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo-1848 and the Gadsden Treaty of 1853. The response from the representative for the Civil Rights Division by Mr. James M. Schermerhorn was to the effect that the US Attorney General was only authorized to render legal opinions to you as President, and the heads of the executive departments of the federal government. The pertinent declarations and inquiries of our initial correspondence are as follows:

 

Aboriginal Title – Aztlan

 

It is a common assumption that by Treaties of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848 and the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 that the US acquired clear title to the territories therein described. Yet, the Native Nations populating these territories - legal holders of aboriginal title and sovereignty, never relinquished these powers to the government of the Mexican Republic of 1848. The case of Pit River, and the California Tribes with their unratified treaties are a testament to this fact as is the Hopi Nation. Thus, the land right acquired by these treaties is not one of clear title, but only a franchise to pursue extinguishment of the Indian or Aboriginal Title.

 

 

Citizenship

 

The falsehood that all Mexicanos in the relinquished territories became full US citizens as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has as it basis the 8th Article which states:

 

". . . but they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States."

 

In fact, for those Mexicano inhabitants of the territories who were nonwhite (non-European) no such opportunity was legally available. This is evidence by US naturalization law then in effect which required the racial identity of "WHITE" to be eligible for naturalization. Secondly, the California Constitution of 1849 limited the political rights of citizenship to "white male citizens of Mexico." Thirdly, the territorial acts of New Mexico and Utah, 1850, also restricted participation to "free white males." Fourthly, the 14th Amendment opening US nationality to nonwhites was 20 years away (1868) and finally as stated in the 1868 Convention regarding citizenship of Emigrants between US and Mexico, Article 1:

 

"The declaration of an intention to become a citizen of one of the other country has not for either party the effect of naturalization."

 

In view of these facts, did the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo identify the "white" and "nonwhite" Mexican inhabitants of the territories as separate and distinct populations within its provisions? Specifically, please clarify the identity of "established" vs. "not established" Mexicans as stated in Article 8.

 

Finally, if no distinction was made in the treaty, what is the explanation of the US Government for the division of Mexicanos into "white" and "nonwhite" classes in Federal, State and Territorial Governments since it was through these mechanisms that US Citizenship was to be acquired?

 

Clearly, these are questions of law that must be evaluated before a foundation of justice based on truth can exist for the Xicano Mexicano Peoples and indeed for all the aboriginal sovereignties of the treaty territories. What is essentially called into question is the process of integration of the territories into the political domain of the United States, which in addition to the defect in popular participation outlined above, must be reevaluated in terms of current international legal standards. We remind you of the United Nations Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle V:

 

"Once it has been established that such a prima facia case of geographical and ethnical or cultural distinctions of a territory exists, other elements may then be brought into consideration. These additional elements may be, inter alia, of an administrative, political, juridical, economic or historical nature. If they affect the relationship between the metropolitan State and territory concerned in a manner which arbitrarily places the latter in a position or status of subordination, they support the presumption that there is an obligation to transmit information under Article 73 e of the Charter."

 

Mr. President, in consideration of the above, we are requesting that you intercede with the power of your office and direct the current Attorney General to render a legal opinion regarding the question we have posed.

 

We attentively await your reply.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tupac Enrique Acosta

TLAHTOKAN IZKALOTL