[Marxism] Press Release: Arctic Youth Receive Standing Ovation at Dene National Assembly

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Fri Aug 26 16:19:05 MDT 2005


Arctic Youth Receive Standing Ovation at Dene National Assembly

The Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance (AIYA) received a standing ovation
from Chiefs and delegates at the Dene National Assembly in Deline
(August 18, 2005). AIYA presented a resolution to the 35^th Dene
National Assembly to support the youth in their opposition to the
proposed Mackenzie Gas Project.

The Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance has consulted with Indigenous youth
and Elders across the Northwest Territories for the past two years.
Based on these consultations, AIYA believes that in order to achieve a
sustainable, balanced and healthy environment for future generations the
proposed Mackenzie Gas Project must not proceed.

AIYA member, Michael Francis from Fort McPherson expressed concerns
about the impacts on animals and the land: "I want to be able to take my
children out on the land and teach them our traditions like my
grandparents did for me. You can't eat oil. You can't eat gas. You can't
eat money."

The Youth Alliance is developing its vision for the future based on
guidance from Indigenous Elders in the NWT.

"Youth and Elders have expressed a desire for an economy that reflects
our culture and our values, and incorporates renewable energy sources
which respect natural laws" said Jennifer Duncan, AIYA Co-founder.

AIYA will make a presentation on alternative development opportunities
and renewable energy technologies at a special assembly of the Dene
Nation in October. AIYA hopes the Dene Nation will pass its resolution
at the Special Assembly and support the work of the Youth Alliance.

The Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance is a grassroots, non-profit youth
organization based in the Northwest Territories, Canada. They seek to
empower youth to engage decision makers (industry and government), and
equip them to make decisions for a sustainable development framework
based on the traditional knowledge and customary practices of the Dene
and Inuvialuit Indigenous peoples.

Please see attached Resolution.

For more information, contact:

Jenn Sharman James T'seleie Felix Isiah

Office Manager (867) 873-4579 (867) 695-3808

Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance

Box 7, Stn. Main

Yellowknife, NT

X1A 2N1

(867) 920-6120

(867) 873-0285

Resolution presented to the Dene National Assembly August 18, 2005

Whereas, the land is sacred to us and as Indigenous Peoples, who have
been a part of the land since time immemorial, we have a responsibility
to future generations, and

Whereas, the Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance (formerly Dene Youth
Alliance), was created in 2002 and given a mandate to advocate for the
rights of Indigenous youth of Denendeh by raising awareness and
educating youth and Elders about the environmental, health, cultural,
political and spiritual impacts of the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project, and

Whereas, the Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance has spent two years
consulting grassroots youth and Elders in the Inuvialuit, Gwichin, Sahtu
and Deh Cho regions and, in solidarity, are opposed to the proposed
Mackenzie Gas Project, and

Whereas, we do not have the resources to address the current social,
health and education crisis in our communities and the proposed
Mackenzie Gas Project will increase these problems, and

Whereas, no amount of money is ever going to be enough to compensate us
and future generations for the loss of our lands, our culture, and

Whereas, the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project will increase the effects of
climate change and economic globalization in the Arctic, and

Whereas, the youth and Elders have expressed a desire for sustainable
development, an economy that reflects our culture and our values, and
renewable energy sources that respect natural laws, and

Whereas, youth are aware of the human rights abuses that oil and gas
corporations have perpetrated against Indigenous Peoples around the
world and are aware that these corporations have a history of
disrespecting the land and people in the North, and

Whereas, the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project is a continuation of
colonization and oppression of Indigenous Peoples, and

Whereas, we have a responsibility to our youth, our land, our future,
and our Elders, to exercise our self-determination to protect our
Indigenous rights to the land, and

Whereas, we should rely on the guidance of our Elders who are the
keepers of the past and the bearers of Traditional Knowledge, and

Therefore, be it resolved that the Dene National Assembly supports the
Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance's opposition to the proposed Mackenzie
Gas Project in order to achieve a sustainable, balanced and healthy
environment for ourselves and the future generations of Denendeh.


-- 
Macdonald Stainsby
http://independentmedia.ca/survivingcanada
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/rad-green
In the contradiction lies the hope
    --Bertholt Brecht.







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