For Immediate Release: September 3, 2022
Rapid City, SD – Today, in response to the proposed Chilean constitution – which includes groundbreaking protections for Indigenous peoples including Free Prior and Informed Consent, land return, and plurinational self-determination – 17 Indigenous groups from across Turtle Island (U.S. and Canada) sent a letter to the president of Chile expressing their gratitude and support for the proposed constitution.
The Chilean people will vote on the proposed constitution tomorrow, Sunday, September 4th, 2022.
- The letter and organizational sign-ons can be found here.
- The full text of the proposed constitution can be found here.
“Chile’s newly proposed constitution sets a precedent for the U.S. and other governments to not only recognize it is beyond time to update our draconian constitutions, but also that integrating Indigenous rights into our core laws will move us towards truly achieving equity and justice,” said Jade Begay, Climate Justice Director at NDN Collective. “Further, the climate crisis demands that our policies reflect the severity of the problem ahead of us. Proposing and passing new constitutions is precisely the bold action that climate justice advocates expect to see, as all facts demonstrate that we know best how to protect the planet and biodiversity as the original caretakers of the land.
“Indigenous Peoples in the United States have been championing and advocating for the inclusion of self determination, Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and land return to government officials and elected leaders for decades. Yet time and time again, our leaders fail to adequately integrate Indigenous rights into their policies, and in the worst cases, leaders have little to no knowledge of what frameworks like FPIC are.
“We are heartened to see a proposed constitution from Chile that so adequately addresses Indigenous rights, and hope to see it pass – both to finally give Indigenous Peoples in that region the rights they need and deserve, and to set a critical example for both racial and climate justice for the rest of the world.”
NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.