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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WORLD INDIGENOUS CONFERENCE IN KARI-OCA,
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
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
Signed at Kari-oca, Brazil on the 30th Day of May, 1992.
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