Category Archives: Uncategorized

7th World Water Forum – Korea, April 2015.


Report submitted to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO by the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Austin Nunez, Mona Polacca, Darlene Sanderson, and Tom Goldtooth

Conclusions and recommendations from participants and conveners

From sessions on Indigenous peoples and waterrelated issues during

7th World Water Forum, Korea, April 2015

Summary of Citizen’s Forum, B41, Water Climate Change and Peace

and concluding Session on Water Culture, Justice and Equity 4.4CON

and Thematic Session: 4.4.2.

  1. Recognition by all governments of Indigenous peoples interests on water and customary uses of water by ensuring that Indigenous rights are enshrined in national and subnational legislation and policy through the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that was adopted in 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly.

  1. Establish in the Daegu Implementation Road Map a process for recognition of the rights of water, as enshrined within the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother EarthNature

  2. Develop curricula for multiplestakeholder education on the understanding of Indigenous peoples worldview on the culture of water and the sacredness of water that includes: Indigenousbased perspectives of water democracy and governance of water; the rights of Indigenous peoples; the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent.

  1. Acknowledge the need for education, workshops and dialogues with diverse stakeholders, including but not limited to government, water policy makers, civil society, women, youth and the business sector, with Indigenous peoples on the need for humanity to reevaluate its relationship to the sacredness of water, nature and Mother Earth

  1. Embrace Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in water management, water security, and all crosscutting links of water to food security and food sovereignty, climate change, water scarcity, water governance, sanitation, energy, disaster preparedness and recovery, and its link to green growth and transitions to living economies and incorporate this in the Daegu Implementation Road Map.

  2. Develop cultural, social and spiritual indicators of water’s health, wellbeing and the inherent rights of water; and develop and implement research mechanisms to assess nationstates relationship to Indigenous peoples and the recognition and application of indigenousbased worldviews of water management.

  3. Strengthen in consultation with Indigenous traditional knowledge keepers and spiritual leaders, the criteria and classification within UNESCO and countries, to protect sites and areas that have cultural, spiritual, and historical significance to water and the heritage of water. Strengthen mechanisms for establishing rivers as World Heritage sites.

  1. Establish mechanisms including financial support to enable increased participation of Indigenous peoples in future World Water Forum meetings. Inter alia through collaboration with and funding of the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace as a catalyst for community and institutional capacity building, education and paradigm shift in humanity’s relationship with achieving global waterrelated goals that recognize the territorial integrity of Mother Earth.

  1. Respect traditional and Indigenous knowledge and experience; find ways to combine Indigenous and modern science for better solutions.

  1. Address through the World Water Forum and World Water Council, the nuclear leaking in the Pacific and incorporate activity on this in the Daegu Implementation Road Map.


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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

And the anthology keeps flowing…

Yes, words can cure ill-fallen water, and likewise serve as an offering to healthy water. With this conviction, in the past two months, activist and writers, friends from far and wide this blue globe on which we live, have gifted us with beautiful droplets from their own harvest: Chamoru, Pinay and Maori friends from the Pacific; Cree, Tsalagi, Cherokee, Yoeme, Anishinaabe, Lakota and Gitxan friends from North America; K’iche’, Kaqchikel, and Q’anjob’al friends from Guatemala; Maya and Nahuatl friends from Mexico; Wayuu and Kuna friends from the Caribbean; and Kichua, Yanakuna and Mapuche-Huilliche friends from the Andes and the farthest lands of the Deep South.

Thank you all!

"Turtles Becoming History/ Tortugas volviéndose historia"

Of course, the wonderful response to our call would not have materialized without the generousness of each and every author, as well as without the especial aid of Allison Hedge Coke, Alejandra García Quintanilla, Miguel Rocha Vivas and Emilio del Valle Escalante, in attaining these invaluable contacts.

Thank you each and every one of you!

We also take the opportunity to confirm that along with the collaboration of Lee Claremont (, we now also have the participation of artist Kuna Oswaldo DeLeón Kantule (whose image Turtles Becoming History illustrates this post, and Colombian artist Daniel Molina Sierra (, whose work continues to inspire this dialogue between the eagle, the tiger and the condor.

There are many details still coming together and there is still much work ahead of us; thus begin the editing, translation, layout, publishing and interchange processes.

Please continue to share our project with your contacts; be that channel whereby the message will continue to flow!

We will keep you updated through this medium.

Darlene Sanderson

Juan Guillermo Sánchez M.

Felipe Quetzalcoatl Quintanilla


Y la antología indígena sigue fluyendo…

Sí, definitivamente las palabras sí pueden curar el agua enferma y ser ofrenda para el agua sana. Y por eso en los últimos dos meses, amigos activistas y escritores a lo largo y ancho de este globo azul en el que vivimos nos han regalado una gota de su propia cosecha: amigos Chamoru, Pinay y Maori del Pacífico; amigos Cree, Tsalagi, Cherokee, Yoeme, Anishinaabe, Lakota y Gitxan de Norteamérica; amigos K’iche’, Kaqchikel, Q’anjob’al de Guatemala; amigos Maya y Nahuatl de México; amigos Wayuu y Kuna del Caribe; y amigos Kichua, Yanakuna y Mapuche-Huilliche de los Andes y las tierras últimas del Sur Profundo.

¡Gracias a cada uno de ellos!

Claro, este fabuloso resultado no hubiera sido posible sin la generosa respuesta de cada uno de ellos, a quien pudimos contactar gracias a la ayuda especial de Allison Hedge Coke, Alejandra García Quintanilla, Miguel Rocha Vivas y Emilio del Valle Escalante.

¡Muchas gracias a cada uno de ellos también!

También queremos contarles que además de la colaboración de Lee Claremont (, ahora contamos con la participación del artista Kuna Oswaldo DeLeón Kantule (de quien incluimos en este post una de sus obras: Tortugas volviéndose historia. y del artista colombiano Daniel Molina Sierra (,  cuyas obras nos han dado la inspiración para continuar este diálogo entre el águila, el tigre y el cóndor.

Hay muchos detalles todavía en construcción. Ahora seguimos con el proceso de edición, traducción, diagramación, impresión e intercambio final.

¡Necesitamos que nos ayuden a compartir el proyecto con sus contactos para que el mensaje siga su curso!

Estaremos informándolos por este medio.

Darlene Sanderson

Juan Guillermo Sánchez M.

Felipe Quetzalcoatl Quintanilla

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Tz’aqol – Heaven’s Heart – Corazón del Cielo

(Lea la versión español abajo)

In Antigua Guatemala, the poet and activist Kaqchikel Calixta Gabriel Xiquín presented “The Water Element from the Mayan People Perspective” in the Latin-American Tribunal of Water and Hydric Justice in the Indigenous Territories (September, 2008). Calixta has shared with us the following text for the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace. We hope that you will enjoy it!

By Calixta Gabriel Xiquín

According Mayan People, everything has order in space and time. Water is one of the four elements. It is critical in the creation of life in all its manifestations. Water, Air, Earth, Fire and Sun are vivid elements: they are alive, they feel, see and hear.

In the Mayan Worldview, the Water element is like the “Mother Earth’s blood”. Both (Mother Earth and Water) are part of the Creator Couple: Tzaq’ol – B’itol (Heaven’s heart – Earth’s heart). They maintain an intimate relationship and fertilize life in nature.

In this sense, according the traditional Mayan knowledge, as other Indigenous peoples from our continent, Abya-Yala (Mature Earth, from Kuna-Tule language) and the world, we consider that:

“Water is a basic element of life. Thus, it is sacred as life is sacred. Everybody is equal in relation with Water. Life and Water belong to every single person because we are all water.”


En septiembre del año 2008 en Antigua Guatemala, la poeta y activista Kaqchikel Calixta Gabriel Xiquín presentó el documento “Elemento Agua desde la Cosmovisión del Pueblo Maya de Guatemala” en el marco del Tribunal Latinoamericano del Agua, Justicia Hídrica en las Tierras y los Territorios de los Pueblos Indígenas. Calixta ha querido compartir con nosotros este documento, del cual presentamos un fragmento en exclusiva para el Foro Indígena Mundial sobre el Agua y la Paz:

Por: Calixta Gabriel Xiquín

Para el pueblo maya, todo tiene orden en el espacio y en el tiempo. El agua es uno de los cuatro elementos indispensables para el surgimiento de la vida en todas sus manifestaciones. Agua, aire, tierra, fuego y el Sol: todos estos elementos tienen vida, todos sienten, todos miran y todos oyen.

El elemento agua en la cosmovisión maya es considerado como “la sangre de la Madre Tierra”. Ambos elementos (La Madre Tierra y el Agua) forman parte de la pareja Creadora: Tzaq’ol – B’itol (Corazón del cielo y corazón de la tierra) los cuales mantienen relaciones íntimas y fecundan la vida sobre la naturaleza.

Para el pueblo Maya como para otros pueblos Indígenas en el continente de Abya Yala * y del mundo, consideran que:

“El agua constituye un elemento básico de la vida, y por lo tanto es tan sagrado como la vida misma. Todos somos iguales con relación a ella. La vida es de todos. El agua es de todos. Todos somos agua” 

* Nombre alterno para nombrar América. Significa “Tierra en plena madurez” según las tradiciones Kuna-Tule

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Noche de lluvia, San Salvador

A breathtaking poem by Aracelis Girmay (b. 1977) to be posted this week…

(Taken from a New York’s Metro Card. Poetry in Motion ® MTA

Kingdom Animalia © 2011 by the author)


Rain who nails the earth,

whose infinite legs

nail the earth, whose silver faces

touch my faces, I marry you. & open

all the windows of my house to hear

your million feral versions

of si si



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