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  • Resolutions of the Continental

    Indigenous Coordinating Commission on

    500 Years of Indian Resistance

    Kuna Yalla, Panama, December 1991

    Representatives of indigenous organizations from South, Central and North America met in Kuna Yala, the Kuna Nation, in the country of Panama, from the 19-21 of December, 1991, and solemnly declare the following:

    There is an urgent need to unify the indigenous peoples (Original Nations) of the continent. We want to reestablish and utilize the historical links that were disrupted by the invading colonizers. In this way, together, we are planning the reconstruction of our communities.

    On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the European invasion, we reaffirm our historical commitment to unity and to the development of a plan to mobilize for 500 Years of Indian Resistance and Struggle against colonialism.

    We are declaring to the world that, despite more than five centuries of genocide, more than 40 million indigenous peoples from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego continue to live and plan for our future.

    We maintain a firm position against all forms of colonialism, neocolonialism, and internal and external racism. We reject all kinds of manipulation and ideological or political imposition, because we, as peoples, have our own ideology. We support alliances with other popular sectors in order to change the conditions of injustice in which oppressed peoples of the world find themselves today.

    Hence, we have decided the following:

    1. To form a commission charged with organizing, through a meeting of indigenous peoples, the establishment of a continental coordinating body of indigenous organizations and peoples. This continental coordinating body will consist of representatives of all indigenous peoples, Original Nations, of Abya-Yala (Land of Life - the American continent in the Kuna language).

    2. To carry out a coordinated plan of action for 500 Years of Indian Resistance and Struggle against colonialism.

    3. To organize workshops and continental gatherings in order to make known the Indian position regarding the 500 years, with the goal of attaining a definitive unity at the continental level.

    We reject the celebrations of the so-called "Quincentennial of the Discovery of America," "Encounter of Two Worlds," and the "Quincentennial of Evangelization." We are promoting actions at the regional, national and continental levels which respond to the fundamental interests of our peoples and honor our ancestors who gave their lives defending the dignity of our peoples. In the same spirit, we will continue to confront oppressive forces, such as military invasion and repression, and exploitation of our territories by transnational corporations.

    We vigorously condemn the recent massacre of our Paez brothers and sisters in Colombia which occurred on December 17, 1991. This is just one more example of the genocide that has been waged against indigenous peoples for the past five hundred years.

    We reaffirm our commitment to a continental indigenous alliance, and to reciprocal support in our struggles for rights and self-determination, traditional ways of life, religion, culture, and the protection of our Mother Earth with all her resources.

    Finally, we call on all nations, organizations, and Indian communities of the continent, even the most isolated ones, to unite in this great effort for action and continental coordination, on the path towards the liberation of our peoples.

    Signed by:

    Roberto Gonzales (National Indigenous Organization of Colombia - ONIC)
    Luis Maldonado (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador - CONAIE)
    Aucan Huikcaman (Council of all Lands, Chile)
    Lola Veliz (Coordinating Body of Indigenous Women of Bolivia)
    Ricardo Cojas Mejia (Council of Mayan Organizations of Guatemala - COMG)
    Margarita Ruiz (independent Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of Mexico - FIPI
    Robert Cruz & Andrea Carmen (international Indian Treaty Council - IITC, USA)
    Laurie A. Weahkee (Tonantzin Land Institute, USA)
    Nilo Cayuqueo & Guillermo Delgado (South and Mesa American Indian Information Center - SAIIC, USA)
    Andrea Carmen (Arctic 1992 and Beyond / Sovereignty Network of Alaska, USA)
    Indigenous Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon - AIDESEP
    The Indian Voice of Costa Rica - SEJEKTO
    Marcial Arias & Atencio Lopez (Association of Kunas United for Nabguana - KUNA, Panama)

    The Continental Indian Commission formed at the Panama meeting is composed of the following representative organizations:

    Coordinating the Southern Cone:

    Council of all Lands (Mapuche)

    Coordinating Body of Indigenous Women of Bolivia 

    Coordinating the Andean Region:

    Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador

    National Indigenous Organization of Colombia 

    Coordinating the Central American Region:

    Association of Kunas United for Nabguana

    Council of Mayan Organizations of Guatemala 

    Coordinating Mexico:

    Independent Alliance of Indigenous People of Mexico 

    Coordinating North America:

    Tonantzin Land Institute 

    International Indian Treaty Council

    South and Meso American Indian Information Center

    The Association of Kunas United for Nabguano (KUNA) has been selected as the communications center of the continental Indian Commission formed at the Panama meeting. For further information, please contact KUNA at:

    Via Espana, Edificio Brasilia, Piso 1,
    Oficina 9-A
    Apdo. Postal 536
    Panama I
    Tel: (507) 638-879
    Fax: (507) 693-514

    Source: 500 Years of Resistance; 1992 International Directory and Resource Guide.  Oakland: South and Meso-American Indian Information Center (SAIIC), p. 12-13

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