THE TREATY OF TEOTIHUACAN
It is called HUEHUETLAPALOHTLI among the lineage of tradition of the Xicanos of Aztlan, speaking of the Ancient Red Road that leads to the place in Mexico called TEOTIHUACAN. Yet this place is not just a location but very much more. According to the Tradition, it's a place of perspective where the Universe of the Four Directions is reflected: it is a place where worlds are made. It was here at the foot of the monumental temples of stone at Teotihuacan that the originations of the Indigenous Peoples of the continent gathered in Summit as Indigenous Nations, Pueblos and Organizations to strengthen each other, to dialogue regarding our common issues, to plan for the future, and to give testimony and spiritual offering to the entire world as survivors of over 508 years of continuous colonization.
To arrive at the Summit of Teotihuacan, many valleys had to be entered and traversed, many bridges had to be built. The event had been convened by the Council of Indigenous Organizations and Nations of the Continent (CONIC), yet it was evident throughout the entire four days at TEOTIHUACAN that the continental movement of the Indigenous Pueblos and Nations was not merely an organization but an unfolding process: the path of Tradition and Liberation.
As contemporary incarnations of the principles that guide this process, the Sacred Staffs of the Peace and Dignity Journeys represent the memory and dreams of the many and diverse Indigenous Nations and Pueblos of an entire continent, the territory of the Pueblos and Nations of the Eagle and the Condor. The Sacred Staffs and the runners who carried them for six months across the entirety of the continent to arrive at Teotihuacan for the CONIC Summit witnessed and recorded in Memory for the future generations the landscape of our territories as they now exist. Their shared stories are the XINACHTLI (seed) of future legends, but also serve as a realistic, collective, grassroots point of reference: Over five hundred years of colonization of the continent has taken a tremendous toll on our families, communities, Pueblos, Nations and territories. Sadly, we have seen that our people have even learned only too well how the trauma of colonization perpetuates itself: by dehumanizing our relationships to the point of loss of dignity and internal spiritual peace. This dehumanization begins with the colonizer - the colonizer is actually the first victim, for how else could a human being participate in the pogrom of genocide waged against our Peoples and Territories unless part of that individual's humanity had been amputated to fit into the regime of colonial domination that continues to typify the politics of the government states in the hemisphere.
The trauma of colonization requires the effective intervention of the Indigenous Peoples in order to move towards healing and justice. For this intervention to be strategic and powerful, the only option is to act with strength, the strength that comes when we work not in competition but in complement with each other, the strength that comes from our spiritual values and traditional teachings. The first challenge along this path is the battle for Hope.
At TEOTIHUACAN the battle was joined, there were casualties; but in the end a new beginning emerged. Thanks in great part to the strong participation of our indigenous youth who maintained positive attitudes and worked hard to help in whatever way was needed - in spite of it all we survived and participated together in witnessing the glimmer of a new dawn for the Original Nations of the Continent. At TEOTIHUACAN a traditional TREATY OF ALLIANCE between the Lakota Nakota Dakota Alliance of Turtle Island and the Mexica Calpultin of Aztlanahuac was sealed before the Summit of CONIC.
The TREATY OF TEOTIHUACAN is a mutual commitment among the Indigenous Nations, Pueblos and organizations at the continental level, empowered by the Jurisprudence of Indigenous International Law in four aspects:
Cultural Understanding, and
POCHTECAYOTL - Economic and Commercial Agreements of Exchange
A strategic planning meeting for the Pochtecayotl is scheduled for January 2001 in Izkalotlan, Aztlan. Regional gatherings of the youth participants at Teotihuacan are also being organized.
At the Summit of Teotihuacan, the obsidian stone point of the arrowhead appeared in our hands, the direction of flight for the Arrow of Destiny was given by the Elders, and with the strength of our Youth the Bow of Nations was drawn. The battle for Hope was won, but along the way we came to realize the extent of the challenges ahead, both internal and external to our families, communities, Nations, Pueblos, and indigenous organizations. This is good. We must know where we are at in order to get to where we must be. We must be honest within ourselves and with each other, to better construct a collective strategy for communication and organization that will strengthen the process of REGENERATION of our Indigenous Peoples, and in the process prepare the way for the regeneration of humanity and TONANTZIN, our Mother Earth, as well.
The Themes of the Five Working Groups of the CONIC Summit at Teotihuacan were as follows:
1) National and International Legislation
A) United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and UN Working Group
on Indigenous Populations.
B) United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
C) Declaration of the Organization of American States of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
D) Convention on Biological Diversity Article 8(j).
E) Intellectual Property Rights
F) Indigenous Fund of the Americas
G) San Andres Accords - Chiapas, Mexico.
2) Autonomy- Lands and Territories - Sovereignty
A) Sovereignty and Self Determination
3) Unification and Structure of the Indigenous Movement of the Continent
A) Effective Mechanisms of Coordination and Communication
B) Evaluation of CONIC and creation of a continental structure of coordination.
4) Identity, Spirituality, and Indigenous Resistance
A) Our Youth - Guides of the Future
B) Our Elders and our Women - Sources and transmitters of our spirituality.
5) Regional Conflicts
A) Chiapas, Mexico
F) Black Hills and Big Mountain, North America
The five Working Groups collectively elaborated, after two days of dialogue and discussion, written documents of position which were delivered to the closing plenary session of the CONIC Summit on Saturday October 28, 2000. These documents will be made available as we translate them, and can be accessed at the CONIC page of the TONATIERRA website:
Many thanks once again- Tlazocamati- to all of you who made the prayer possible, you who accompanied the Journey to TEOTIHUACAN and back.