NOELI POCATERRA ULIANA
Wayuu - Venezuela
Presentation on the Inauguration of the International Year of Indigenous
Peoples December 10, 1992
What would humanity be like without aboriginal
peoples, without blood linkages with the mother earth, without forests, without
rivers, without birds, without butterflies, without air to breathe? What would
the night be like without stars? What would the mother be without children and
children without the mother?
With the advantages of space travel would you immediately adopt another planet?
Is it possible that we have forgotten the thousands of years that our adaptation
to the tropic forest has taken, to the Antarctica, to the deserts, to the Arctic
polar circle? Is it possible to continue breaking down the equilibrium of life?
Can man live without his kind and other beings of the cosmic community? Can a
human being not acknowledge its counterpart - outside of the concert of Mother
nature and multiple civilization? No. This cannot continue to be.
(Therefore,) More than an alliance of thought we require an alliance with Mother
nature, with her children, with the Great Spirit. It is the existence of peoples
and nations with the cosmic community reestablishing the place of life, not only
for Indigenous Peoples but for all the peoples of the world, since it is
necessary to understand once and for all that the destruction of Indigenous
Peoples of the world is the destruction of all.
We demand to be heard and to be taken into account, that our rights be included
in the constitutions of countries, therefore we call to the General Assembly of
the United Nations to reflect on the present consideration, that this will not
be left as mere expectations. We need, rather, to take action. These are the
wishes and feelings of Indigenous Peoples (ladies and gentlemen).