Tag Archives: tom goldtooth

Statement from IEN on the Outcomes of the Bali WTO Meeting for Indigenous Peoples

Statement by Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network On the Outcome of the World Trade Organization 9th Ministerial Conference that ended Saturday, December 07, 2013

Turtle Island, December 09, 2013 - Even though the WTO and its 159 member countries resurrected itself in its first multilateral trade pact in the WTO’s history, I feel it was a desperate fight by rich developed countries such as the United States to revive an economic and trading system that is all about capitalism.

The WTO is all about free trade for the corporations that are destroying our Mother Earth.

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) historically participated in WTO conferences, mostly in outside strategies rather than inside strategies. IEN took part in the “Battle in Seattle” at the 3rd Ministerial conference in Seattle, Washington in December 1999 and in Cancun, in the 5th Ministerial conference in September 2003.

At the Seattle WTO 14 years ago, IEN and Indigenous groups came together, (to name a few), such as the Seventh Generation Fund, Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism, Eyak Alaska Preservation Council, Interior Alliance of First Nations in Canada and internationally, Tebtebba of the Philippines and Movimiento de la Juventad Kuna of Panama to analyze and articulate our position on the WTO. The Indigenous Peoples’ Seattle Declaration was the outcome document of 1999. The Indigenous Statement from the WTO 5th Ministerial Conference in Cancún, Mexico, in September 2003 was not any different in its listing of all the negative effects of the WTO neoliberal trade agreements on Indigenous peoples.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, REDD, WTO

Behind the backs of the People of California, Gov. Brown advances a policy harmful to Indigenous Peoples and Mother Earth

San Francisco, Oct. 17 - Governor Jerry Brown of California was slated to receive the Blue Green Alliance’s Right Stuff award for environmentalism in San Francisco this evening but did not show up perhaps because he knew it was going to be protested. Outside of the awards ceremony at the Parc 55 Hotel, people protested including Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network who read the following statement.


(Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network)

Behind the backs of the People of California,

Gov. Brown advances a policy harmful to Indigenous Peoples and Mother Earth

north-cop-tom-goldtooth0912Despite being awarded, as I speak, for his supposed environmentalism, Governor Brown is moving ahead with a policy that grabs land, clear-cuts forests, destroys biodiversity, abuses Mother Earth, pimps Father Sky and threatens the cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples.

This policy privatizes the air we breathe. Commodifies the clouds. Buy and sells the atmosphere. Corrupts the Sacred.

This policy is called carbon trading and REDD. REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. But REDD really means Reaping profits from Evictions, land grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity. REDD does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source. And REDD may result in the biggest land grab of the last 500 years.

The State of California is ALREADY using national forests and tree plantations as supposed sponges for its pollution instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source. The infamous oil giant Shell is using forests in Michigan to offset its refinery in Martinez, California.[i] California is at the vanguard of REDD in the world and posed to do REDD internationally.

REDD is bad for the climate, bad for the environment, bad for Californians, bad for human rights and bad for the economy.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Because the land is ours – The rights of Mother Earth vs. carbon trading

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell. September 25, 2013. Source: Sustainablog

Part 29 of the Harvesting Justice series.

The hip-hop group Kunarevolution celebrate the Kuna Yala nation’s recent rejection of carbon trading. Photo: Beverly Bell.

The hip-hop group Kunarevolution celebrate the Kuna Yala nation’s recent rejection of carbon trading. Photo: Beverly Bell.

Inatoy Sidsagi and his cousin Esteban Herrera, from the indigenous Kuna Yala (also known as Guna Yala) nation in Panama, make up the indigenous rap group Kunarevolution. They rap about Mother Earth and the Kuna’s inalienable right to protect her lands and waters.

The Kuna Yala people recently prevailed over a threat to their lands, in the form of carbon tradingREDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a global program promoted by the U.N., industrialized nations, and international financial institutions like the World Bank. REDD allows countries and corporations to buy “clean-air” credits from countries with undeveloped forests. In exchange, governments, indigenous nations, and other groups agree to preserve areas of their forests, with the rationale that the trees’ absorption of carbon, the element that causes global warming, will counteract damage done by industrial polluters. (Editor’s note: we published a post promoting REDD projects last year)

In October 2011, the US-based Wildlife Works Carbon presented a REDD proposal to the Kuna Yala. The fifty-one communities spent a year and a half in consultation. In June 2013, the Kuna Yala general congress voted to reject the corporate proposal. They declared, further, their complete withdrawal “from all discussions at the national and international level on the REDD issue” and a prohibition on “organizing events, conferences, workshops and other activities on the issue.”

We interviewed the hip-hop artist Inatoy Sidsagi from a liberated territory of the Lenca indigenous people of Honduras, in a building plastered with stickers reading, “REDD: No capitalism in our forests.” Inatoy told us, “The rejection of REDD is for the patrimony. Having accepted it would have complicated life for future generations. Why? Because the land is ours. We are bound and obliged to leave it for perpetual use. REDD would have been a betrayal for the long-term, with many consequences – cultural ones, but even more, our possibility to be a people, to be a nation. It would have been the end of us as a people.”
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Filed under Carbon Trading, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, UNFCCC

Statement on Doha Outcomes by Tom Goldtooth of Indigenous Environmental Network

Note: Indigenous Environmental Network is a close partner of Global Justice Ecology Project and one of the leading Indigenous groups organizing against both REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and the Tar Sands gigaproject in Alberta, Canada.

December 07, 2012

Doha, Qatar - Hurricane Sandy; Typhoon Bopha; the continued melting of the ice in the Arctic directly impacting the livelihood of its Arctic Indigenous peoples and; to drought conditions throughout the world. Mother Earth is speaking. Nature is speaking, but the governmental parties here at COP 18 are not listening.

Indigenous Peoples here in Doha are speaking for the rights of Mother Earth and the collective rights of indigenous peoples who continue to be vulnerable to the accelerating downward spiral of climate change. The indigenous voice has remained firm calling upon the governmental parties to reach agreement on commitments for a stringent global emission reduction regime that would stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions beyond 2013. A weak agreement here in Doha is a death warrant for Indigenous peoples throughout the world.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Doha/COP-18, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, UNFCCC

KPFK Sojourner Truth Earth Watch: Tom B.K. Goldtooth on the re-election of President Obama

Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network, discusses the re-election of President Obama, climate change and the work ahead.  Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Watch interviews every Thursday.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Politics

Statement from Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network on the Re-election of United States President Barack Obama

Released 1:00 a.m., November 07, 2012

Bemidji, MN - The Indigenous Environmental Network extends its hand shake to President re-elect Barack Obama. IEN and indigenous communities on the frontlines of environmental and economic injustice will continue to work with President Obama and his administration for the next four years.

Tom Goldtooth. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

We will be vigilant towards building coalitions and alliances to give Obama a mandate from the grassroots people for systems change, not climate change. There has been too much silence from Obama during his re-election campaign on the critical issues of global warming and climate change.

In the words of Tonya Gonnella-Frichner, Onondaga, founder and director of the American Indian Law Alliance in New York City, “Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island have had to live with indigenous silence for over 500 years. The human family can no longer live a game of chance in climate silence or climate ignorance not after the destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy.”

It is time to create political will from the people of America, from all walks of life, to fight for a just transition away from a fossil fuel economy to an economy that respects Life and Mother Earth. This transition will be based upon implementation of: an indigenous agricultural economy comprised of traditional and healthy food systems; sustainable housing and buildings; sustainable jobs; access to clean water and sanitation; a goal for zero waste management; reform of toxic and chemical regulatory laws; and clean energy, energy efficiency; and natural resource management systems based upon indigenous science and traditional knowledge. 

IEN will build upon the strength of our Native youth, Native Nations, our women and grassroots defenders of indigenous rights and Mother Earth, to mobilize indigenous action to push the Obama administration to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration sets the minimum standards for real protection for the well-being, dignity and rights of American Indians, Alaska Natives, First Nations of Canada and all Indigenous peoples of the world. The full adoption by the United States of this declarationwould ensure our full and effective participation including the principles of free, prior and informed consent in all governmental decisions that affect our communities, Native Nations and environment.

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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Natural Disasters

Poster: REDD + Indigenous Peoples = Genocide

Note: The photos in the upper right and lower left of this poster were taken in the indigenous village Amador Hernandez on the border of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve by Global Justice Ecology Project Board Chair Orin Langelle during an investigative trip to Chiapas, Mexico with GJEP’s then-Communications Director Jeff Conant.  The trip was organized in March 2011 to identify and expose the impacts on the indigenous communities in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico that would be caused by the California-Chiapas-Acre (Brazil) REDD agreement, which was announced at the Cancun climate talks in December 2010.  The series of events this week in California against REDD (also see previous blog post)  feature Orin’s photography as well as GJEP’s film “A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests.”  For more, go to no-redd.com


Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Commons, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Politics, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Climate Justice Declaration from World Social Forum 2011

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Prominent Indigenous Environmental Leader Tom Goldtooth Blocked from U.N. Climate Talks

Cross-posted from Democracy Now!

One of the most prominent North American indigenous activists attending the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Cancún was blocked from entering the summit on Wednesday, one day after he publicly criticized the U.N. process. Tom Goldtooth, the executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, who had received credentials from the United Nations, was denied entry and then removed from the summit grounds.

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Interview with Tom Goldtooth from Indigenous Environmental Network

Photo: Brita Brookes

Cross posted from EarthCycles.Net

To view the video click here!

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Filed under Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, USSF