Declaration of the Indigenous World Uranium Summit Window Rock, Navajo Nation, USA
We, the Peoples gathered at the Indigenous World Uranium Summit, at
this critical time of intensifying nuclear threats to Mother Earth and all life,
demand a worldwide ban on uranium mining, processing, enrichment, fuel use, and weapons testing and deployment, and nuclear waste dumping on Native Lands.
Past, present and future generations of Indigenous Peoples have been
disproportionately affected by the international nuclear weapons
and power industry. The nuclear fuel chain poisons our people, land, air and
waters and threatens our very existence and our future generations. Nuclear
power is not a solution to global warming. Uranium mining, nuclear energy
development and international agreements (e.g., the recent U.S.-India nuclear cooperation treaty) that foster the nuclear fuel chain violate our basic human rights and fundamental natural laws of Mother Earth, endangering our
traditional cultures and spiritual well-being.
We reaffirm the Declaration of the World Uranium Hearing in Salzburg,
Austria, in 1992, that “uranium and other radioactive minerals must remain
in their natural location.” Further, we stand in solidarity with the Navajo Nation for enacting the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act of 2005, which bans uranium mining and processing and is based on the Fundamental Laws of the Dine. And we dedicate ourselves to a nuclear-free future.
Indigenous Peoples are connected spiritually and culturally to our Mother, the
Earth. Accordingly, we endorse and encourage development of renewable
energy sources that sustain — not destroy — Indigenous lands and the Earth’s ecosystems.
In tribute to our ancestors, we continue centuries of resistance against colonialism. We recognize the work, courage, dedication and sacrifice of those individuals from Indigenous Nations and from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, the United States, and Vanuatu, who participated in the Summit. We further recognize the invaluable work of those who were honored at the Nuclear-Free Future Awards ceremony on December 1, 2006. And we will continue to support activists worldwide in their nonviolent efforts to stop uranium development.
We are determined to share the knowledge we have gained at this Summit
with the world. In the weeks and months ahead, we will summarize and disseminate the testimonies, traditional Indigenous knowledge, and medical and scientific evidence that justify a worldwide ban on uranium development. We will enunciate specific plans of action at the tribal, local, national and international levels to support Native resistance to the nuclear fuel chain. And we will pursue legal and political redress for all past, current and future impacts of the nuclear fuel chain on Indigenous Peoples and their resources.
In September 1992 in Salzburg, Austria, individuals from around the globe gathered to testify at the World Uranium Hearing. There, before a ‘Board of Listeners,’ those living on the Nuclear Age’s frontlines gave witness to the invisible, toxic threat radiating from uranium mines and mills, nuclear waste disposal installations, and nuclear test sites.
Over the course of the Hearing one pattern grew increasingly plain: around the globe, those individuals most regularly victimized by the deadly fallout from the nuclear cycle are members of First Nations.
Many of the witnesses arrived feeling powerless, isolated in their situations, for the violation of their traditional lands was largely ignored by the mainstream culture. How many people understand that the curse of uranium is loosed the moment it is mined from the earth? How many people realize that the electricity generated by nuclear power plants satisfies only 2.5 percent of the world's energy needs, and that for this whit of voltage entire cultures are ravaged? For a week we joined hands, for a week we felt superior to the captains of the uranium industry and the pro-nuclear gladhanders sitting in governments.
Out of this experience was born the idea of the Nuclear-Free Future Award. Taken directly from the World Uranium Hearing’s Declaration of Salzburg (Geneva United Nations Document File #E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1994/7), our central message is:
URANIUM AND OTHER RADIOACTIVE MINERALS MUST REMAIN IN THEIR NATURAL LOCATION.