Kari-oca Declaration -- Meeting of 400 Indigenous delegates in Kari-oca, Brazil, on May 30, 1992 -- a week prior to the UN Earth Summit
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                            RIO DE JANEIRO 

     Around 400 indigenous delegates from all parts of the world came 
to meet in a community in Karioca, situated some 30km from Rio.  The 
conference was held from 25-30 May, 1992, a week prior to the UN 
organised governmental summit in Brazil on Environment and 
Development.  Despite language barriers this meeting evoked an 
atmosphere of fraternity in which one voice of condemnation and 
defiance was heard.  This common expression was directed towards the 
States that today show concern over the destruction of the 
environment, but at the same time exclude the indigenous peoples from 
the UNCED proceedings. 

     The indigenous nations, peoples and organisations present there, 
take the opportunity to remind international public opinion that they 
have for centuries maintained a close bond and respect for Mother 
Nature.  In this relationship, interdependence and ecological balance 
have remained in complete harmony.  Indigenous peoples around the 
World are in the front line in defending their rainforests and are 
currently struggling against logging companies.  The construction of 
hydroelectric dams poses another threat, by contaminating the water 
and directly affecting the lives of entire indigenous peoples, as well 
as undermining their spiritual life. 

     The following is the Declaration brought forward by the 
Indigenous Delegates participating in the Kari-oca Conference: 

             D E C L A R A T I O N   O F   K A R I - O C A 

                    Kari-oca, Brazil  30 May, 1992 


The World Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Territory, Environment 
and Development. (25-30 May 1992). 

The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia, 
Europe, and Pacific.  United in one voice at Kari-oca village express 
our collective gratitude to the Indigenos Peoples of Brazil. 

Inspired by this historical meeting, we celebrate the spiritual unity 
of the Indigenous Peoples with the land and ourselves. 

We continue building and formulating our united commitment to save our 
Mother the earth. 

We, the Indigenous Peoples, endorse the following declaration as our 
collective responsibility to carry our indigenous minds and voices 
into the future. 


We, the Indigenous Peoples, walk to the future in the footprints of 
our ancestors. 

From the smallest to the largest living being, from the four 
directions, from the air, the land and the mountains.  The creator has 
placed us.  The Indigenous peoples upon our Mother the earth. 

The footprints of our ancestors are permanently etched upon the lands 
of our peoples. 

We, the Indigenous peoples, maintain our inherent rights to self-
determination.  We have always had the right to decide our own forms 
of government, to use our own laws, to raise and educate our children, 
to our own cultural identity without interference. 

We continue to maintain our rights as peoples despite centuries of 
deprivation, assimilation and genocide. 

We maintain our inalienable rights to our lands and territories, to 
all our resources -- above and below -- and to our waters.  We assert 
our ongoing responsibility to pass these onto the future generations. 

We cannot be removed from our lands.  We, the Indigenous peoples are 
connected by the circle of life to our lands and environments. 

We, the Indigenous peoples, walk to the future in the footprints of 
our ancestors. 

Signed at Kari-oca, Brazil on the 30th Day of May, 1992. 

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