|Michelle Cook, Dineh (Navajo) and Ofelia Rivas,|
O'odham, make plans for Cochabamba.
Photo Brenda Norrell Sept. 2015
By Brenda Norrell
Sept. 25, 2015
English and Dutch
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans, NAIS at:http://www.denaisgazet.be/nieuws/o-odham-en-dineh-vrouwen-zoeken-sponsors-om-de-chochabamba-klimaat-conferentie-2015-bij-te-wonen
TUCSON -- Tohono O'odham Ofelia Rivas and Dineh Michelle Cook hope to return to Cochabamba, Bolivia, in October and continue the work that they began five years ago when President Evo Morales hosted the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.
Bolivia is hosting the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and Defense of Life, October 10--12, 2015, and the women who facilitated the Indigenous Working Group at the 2010 Conference in Cochabamba hope to be there.
Ofelia Rivas, outspoken human rights defender living on the border in her homeland, on the Tohono O'odham Nation, is founder of O'odham Voice against the Wall. Ofelia co-chaired the Indigenous Working Group in Cochabama in 2010.
"Everyone had a voice," Ofelia said, remembering the gathering in Cochabamba.
Michelle Cook, Dineh (Navajo) flew into Cochabamba from New Zealand in 2010 and assisted Ofelia with the work of the Indigenous Working Group in Cochabamba. Since then, Michelle received her masters degree as a Fulbright scholar in New Zealand, in Maori and Pacific Development, and completed law school at the University of New Mexico. Michelle is currently in the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
The upcoming conference in Bolivia focuses on climate, in preparation for the United Nations COP 21 in Paris, and on the concept of living well.
The O'odham way of being, Him'dag, and the Dineh (Navajo) way of being, Hozho, are knowledge of living and being, which these women can share at the Climate and Living Well Conference in Bolivia in two weeks.
Ofelia Rivas has been held at gun point by the Border Patrol agents. While fighting the ongoing US militarization of her homelands, Ofelia exposed the unearthing of ancestors graves during the construction of the US border wall on the so-called Arizona border. She also led a successful fight against a toxic dump on O'odham ceremonial land in Sonora, Mexico.
Ofelia said, "The O’odham way of life is based on the land that has held the remains of our ancestors since the creation of this world. The O’odham did not migrate from anywhere according to our oral history. Our creation tellings record our history and teach the O’odham principles of life. The survival of O’odham today is based in our him’dag."
|Michelle Cook (on left)|
|Indigenous Working Group 2010|
Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk
The Indigenous Working Group in Cochabamba in 2010 concluded with a statement that begins, "Mother Earth is a living being in the universe that concentrates energy and life, while giving shelter and life to all without asking anything in return, she is the past, present and future; this is our relationship with Mother Earth. We have lived in coexistence with her for thousands of years, with our wisdom and cosmic spirituality linked to nature. However, the economic models promoted and forced by industrialized countries that promote exploitation and wealth accumulation have radically transformed our relationship with Mother Earth. We must assert that climate change is one of the consequences of this irrational logic of life that we must change." (See full statement below.)
The upcoming conference in Cochabamba will focus on climate, the threat of capitalism and the concept of living well:
The paths of Living Well as an alternative to capitalism. Living Well in harmony with Nature is in essence the only possible universal way of life. Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth to resist capitalism. Just like human beings are recognized in their rights, all beings must be respected in their rights under the Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth, as an instrument to resist capitalism.
Note: The estimated cost for each woman, Ofelia Rivas and Michelle Cook, for flights, lodging, food, taxi, etc. is $2,500, totaling $5,000. Please write Censored News, Brenda Norrell, firstname.lastname@example.org in order to contact the women directly as sponsors.
Ofelia Rivas, O'odham Solidarity Project, website, with PayPal: http://tiamatpublications.com/