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 a the progrom 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 Dakota Nakota 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, empowered by the
Jurisprudence of Indigenous International Law in four aspects:
Cultural Understanding, and
Economic and Commercial Agreements of Exchange -POCHTECAYOTL - across
A strategic plannning 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.
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
MotherEarth, as well.
The Themes of the Five Working Groups of the CONIC Summit at Teotihuacan
were as follows:
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,
- National and International Legislation
- United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and UN Working
on Indigenous Populations.
- United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Declaration of the Organization of American States of the Rights of
- Convention on Biological Diversity Article 8(j).
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Indigenous Fund of the Americas
- San Andres Accords - Chiapas, Mexico.
- Autonomy- Lands and Territories - Sovereignty
- Sovereignty and Self Determination
- Unification and Structure of the Indigenous Movement of the
- Effective Mechanisms of Coordination and Communication
- Evaluation of CONIC and creation of a continental structure of
- Identity, Spirituality, and Indigenous Resistance
- Our Youth - Guides of the Future
- Our Elders and our Women - Sources and transmitters of our
- Regional Conflicts
- Chiapas, Mexico
- Black Hills and Big Mountain, North America
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- who accompanied the Journey to TEOTIHUACAN and back.
Here follows the Declaration of Teotihuacan:
DECLARATION OF TEOTIHUACAN
Consejo de Organizaciones y Naciones Ind�genas del Continente
Council of Indigenous Organizations and Nations of the Continent
FIRST INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS SUMMIT
Octubre 25-28, 2000
PRIMERA CUMBRE INTERNACIONAL INDIGENA
The Continental Indigenous Summit, meeting at the foot of the ceremonial
center of Teotihuacan Mexico, upon completion of the second millennium of the
Gregorian Calendar and 508 years of European invasion - the delegates
representing the diverse Original Peoples of the Continent,
DECLARE AND REAFFIRM BEFORE THE WORLD THE FOLLOWING:
The Indigenous Peoples of the Continent Abya Yala, Itzachilatlan (Americas)
hereby reaffirm our principles of community spirituality and the inalienable
right to Self Determination as Original Peoples of the Continent.
In this present era of economic globalization driven by the great capital interests of transnational corporations and the so called industrialized nations, which threatens our very existence daily, the Indigenous Peoples of the states where we live in the continent, have organized and gathered strength in coordination and solidarity to protect the sacred rights of our
Nations and Pueblos for the future generations.
Although there have been some advances in the material arena regarding the
rights of Indigenous Peoples at the level of International Accords, the
so-called Latin American States and the states of the Anglo-America bloc
of North America continue to negate our fundamental rights and liberties;
In spite of the fact that Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, now some eleven years since adoption, recognizes various rights of Indigenous Peoples, the majority of the government states have not ratified the Convention, and those who have at the same time continue to implement strategies to weaken Convention 169 in terms of content and spirit;
After 16 years of constant struggle and effort by indigenous representatives
at the international level, ratification of the Declaration regarding
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations has continued to be
blocked by the colonizing government states of the United Nations;
Although the Organization of American States (OAS) has elaborated a project regarding the American Declaration Regarding the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, the content of the Declaration does not include recognition of
the rights and fundamental liberties of the Indigenous Peoples. This is a
direct consequence of the fact that the proposed declaration is an instrument
elaborated from the point of view of the government states, without full
participation of the Indigenous Peoples themselves;
Although the International Convention Regarding Biodiversity recognizes certain Indigenous Rights in Article 8, in practice the international corporate interests with the consent of the government states, have intensified the policy of theft and expropriation of natural resources and the Biodiversity that is found within the Indigenous Territories, causing ecological destruction and erosion of the collective rights of our Nations and Pueblos;
Whereas the idea of a Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples at the United
Nations depended on the support of legitimate representation of the Indigenous Peoples, nevertheless in the process the mandate for the Permanent Forum has excluded the concept of Indigenous Peoples. The result is in complete denial of the aspirations of the Indigenous Peoples;
Whereas the financial policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), the World Bank, and the InterAmerican Bank for Development have
been complicit with the government states in establishing economic policy
that accommodates the excessive consumerism of the countries in the Northern
Hemisphere: This has increased the levels of dependence, oppression and
poverty of the Indigenous Peoples and other popular sectors of society;
Whereas in spite of the installation of so-called democracies in the continent, the colonizing government states continue to perpetuate the violation of our Human Rights, the denial of the right to a life with Dignity, the denial of liberty itself, and the right to define our own destiny as different Nations and Pueblos as is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
Whereas the Peace Accords in Guatemala and those of San Andres in Chiapas,
Mexico have only been promises of justice for the Indigenous Pueblos,
while the repression against indigenous leaders continues in Honduras, Chile,
Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Guatemala: The Plan for Columbia supported
by the United States, will bring even more repression, militarization and
suffering for the Indigenous Peoples and non-indigenous as well in Columbia;
FOR ALL THESE REASONS:
The Indigenous Delegates united at this Continental Indigenous Summit
THEREFORE WE DEMAND:
We Indigenous Peoples shall continue to be guided by the ancestral
spiritual values of our cultures, by our languages and history, and for
this reason we shall continue to be the Indigenous Peoples of the continent
with rights undiminished and inalienable to the Peoples of the World.
As Indigenous Peoples we have developed our cultures in specific
territories, where we have established spiritual relationships and
linguistic ties that construct our ancestral millennial identity. Our territories
and the web of biodiversity contained therein form the foundation of our
inalienable and undiminished inheritance of rights and obligations.
Nevertheless, we have been dispossessed from our territories in the
process of the formation of Nation States.
As Indigenous Peoples we reaffirm the Principle and Right to Self
Determination, considering that this constitutes the basic foundation
for all of the other rights which we may process.
We direct the Government States of the World to support and adopt
the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations,
within the span of the UN Decade of Indigenous Peoples of the World, being that
this is a commitment made by the government states to the International
We call upon the governments that conform the Organization of American
States (OAS) to reactivate the dialogue regarding the Project for the
American Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, and that
the UN Working Group convene a special session regarding the same.
Simultaneously, the Indigenous Committee should be empowered to serve as linkage with the interested parties by guaranteeing the most ample participation possible
of the Indigenous Peoples in the process.
We direct the government states who have not signed the Convention
169 of the International Labor Organization to ratify the convention as a
signal of their political will to recognize and protect the rights of the
We demand that the Government States recognize the Indigenous
Peoples and our Rights, within their political constitutions, guaranteeing
participation and protection for lands and territories, and assuring the right to
determine our own destiny.
The assembled delegates at the Continental Indigenous Summit - Teotihuacan
hereby declare our commitment to continue to work towards strenghtening
our unity and coordination across the continent, expressing continuity of
effort by agreeing to convene in SUMMIT once again in Ecuador in the year 2001,
said SUMMIT to be hosted by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of
This Continental Indigenous Summit - Teotihuacan 2000 makes a call to All Our
Relations to strengthen our continental organizational processes of communication, so that we may together construct a better future for the generations to come.
FOR THE SELF DETERMINATION OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
AND THE RESTITUTION OF OUR TERRITORIES!
Signed by Indigenous Delegations representing 36 Indigenous
from throughout the Continent.
Council of Indigenous Organizations and Nations of the Continent
Center for Communications and Coordination - North
Phoenix, AZ 85074
Tel: (602) 254-5230 Fax (602) 252-6094
Contact: Tupac Enrique Acosta
A Z T L A N