Feathers, Mother Corn and sacred copal incense, Church of Santo
THE TRAGEDY OF SILENT GENOCIDE
ANTONIO ESPINOZA HUAYLLAS, AYMARA
KONRAD SIOUI, HURON Wendat
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You know our ancestors were good people, and one day,” he
(my father) says, “time is the father of truth, one day you
are going to write it, the true history. You are going to
allow it that the people of your generation… you are going
to re-write all that. You’re going to repossess what has
been stolen away, what has been taken away from you”.
Well, this is the way it is. We are in the right and we
speak the truth. It seems to me that the truth that we seek
was sought long before the usurpers, the intruders came.
They have covered our truth, but the truth comes out again,
that does not end.
I wanted more than anything to say that within the truth
there are four values, four philosophical principles,
everything we have, our way of life, without removing
spirituality. I very much agree that we should no longer
speak of religion, because it is false, it is much better to
speak of spirituality because we carry that inside - yes?
These four values are, first reciprocity, because we are all
a community, in harmony. Reciprocity has been practiced for
thousands of years. Then comes solidarity, because we are
like a family in it, wherever we may be, be it in a town, in
an Aymara Nation, in a Quechua one, in the end we are like
one family and this is why we should practice solidarity.
Next, honesty must be practiced. To have no stains, not to
walk like this, but straight, from this comes honesty. And
finally comes responsibility. We, who were born in a native
culture, originating from the world, more so when we are
born in this culture, they teach us these principles. We
then learn upon this. We learn the responsibility that it
called “to serve your community” and not “help yourself to
your community”, like those who have taught us evil in
reality. These principles are worth more, much more, than
the Ten Commandments from the Lord’s Law, which they have
imposed on us. It is much stronger and this is why we
believe that we will continue to move forward.
Because it’s so clear what he (you) said, that I understood
every point of it. The reciprocity as we call it, that
parallel road, the co-existence, the coexistence principle.
It’s a capacity for our Nations to be able to continue to
practice our way of life. To continue to do what we have to
do as Nations, as peoples. To play our role and for the
other Nations to have the reciprocities, so that we respect
also the mutual roads, the two roles that we have to follow.
One should never try to assimilate. One should never try to
integrate. One should never try to have the other becoming
him or her. We need reciprocity. We need mutuality. We need
to respect those two very roles, because they exist. Because
we were here first so we have our way of life, we have our
roles. We have our spirituality. Another person arrives; we
don’t want him to become me. We don’t want him to become us.
We want to say to that person, let’s live in reciprocity,
let’s live in mutuality, as co-exist, co-existence
The other principle, the solidarity, is the very circle, as
the circle. We need to have solidarity. We need to have
unity. We need to be able, especially today during the very
important days in our struggle, we need to have unity. We
need to speak with one voice and this is also a principle
that we share, also as indigenous people from the North.
Now the honesty, the honesty, this is
what we have to recognize as to be the most fundamental
teaching that we receive as young children, as young people.
There is a proverb that says, if you don’t learn how to be
honest on the knees of your mother, you will never be able
to be honest. So it comes from your mother, directly from
you mother, from within. Probably from the womb of you
mother, when you’re inside your mother. That is how
important it is to recognize and put that principle of
honesty in place, because without that it’s disorder.
Without that it’s tragical.
And the last one, the responsibility, we translate the
responsibility as to be the self-determination capacity. We
are responsible people. We know what we want for ourselves.
We know the kind of decisions that our people want to take.
So we are responsible and we want to fulfill our
responsibility. Our responsibility has been taken away from
us by force and imposed by other values. Now we want to
repatriate that responsibility that is ours. It’s a sacred
right and we call it the inherent right. The inherent
because it comes from the Creator. It comes from the
Creator; it does not come from Nations, States, Governments.
It comes from the Creator, that is why we say inherent right
to self determination, and this is what we call to be
responsible for ourselves.
So your principles, your four principles, they sound in my
ear as to be household. The very four principles that we put
in place, that we put ahead and that we use and utilize and
need to continue to utilize and again, it is a teaching. I
learnt a lot tonight because I find that what we are
exchanging together is, is really alike, you know, and this
is great to know. I have a beautiful feeling inside of me.
Well, to give hope to those who are on the same path. Now
all this thinking and all this conversation must finally
unite all the communities, First Nations and Indigenous, it
must unite us all with this form of thinking. This is our
task, even though it will not be easy, we will achieve it.
Don Antonio, a friend
Thank you and Goodbye
Recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
UN Conference on Environment and Development
The Earth Summit
Silent Genocide |
Relationships | History