The voice of indigenous peoples in the Social Summit for Climate Change

The Social Summit for Climate Change started on December 6 in Madrid. It is an alternative to the COP25 and takes place from 6 to 13 December where will participate organizations from all the world.

In this context, also started the Minga Indígena, the Indigenous Peoples’ Summit during COP25, that would have taken place in Chile. On its first day, different talks took place for an approaching of indigenous’ knowledge and experiences of different communities, for the good of all humanity against climate change. During the first conference, representatives of different native communities talked about topics related to indigenous medicine, the sustainability of their way of life, and they made a call to protect the Earth.

In a film they projected called “A call for the earth”, the testimonies of a lot of people claimed that we have to start treating fire, earth, wind and water as elements, and not anymore as resources. Also, they called for the decolonisation of the spirit and they explained the project they are carrying out to protect forests, called Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians.
For indigenous people, 1992 was not the 500 years celebration of the West call “the discovery of America”, but the representation and commemoration of 500 years’ resistance. As Mindahi Bastida said, “the world is now waking up to face climate change, but this crisis exist since colonialism started, mistreating and damaging the earth for the economic system”.

The indigenous representatives affirm that they have been protecting the Earth for centuries, and now it must be formed an alliance between nations because they cannot be taking care for the 80% of the earth anymore, because now it is threatened by exploitation, mining industry and fracking, among others.

As Emilie Gaillard, lawyer from Normandy Chair For Peace, commented, “it’s necessary to create new ways of defence, transform international laws and change its narratives to include national laws that could protect future generations”. Furthermore, she added that “international law is lacking of concepts and rights that really defend indigenous communities”.

Even native countries have faced the loss of more than half of their languages, they affirm that they will keep doing what they have done until now, because it is the right thing and they have faith that we can create a convergence area between communities, for the West to learn from indigenous’ experiences of resilience.
After the presentations and talks, the indigenous went to the climate change protest along with the thousands of people that yesterday filled the streets of Madrid. During the whole week, a lot of events will occur to put closer of native knowledge to humanity, with the wish that everybody could learn and act against climate change
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