Hundreds of sacred places across the Americas are under threat. In this time of environmental crisis we are all called to protect our shared lands and waters, traditional lifeways, and our collective future.
We must act now to keep our sacred places from being destroyed by looting, destructive extractive industry, wars, climate change, and governmental neglect that occurs without our free, prior, and informed consent. Once they are gone, there is no way to reverse this loss.
Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples have been here since time immemorial. We must stand together to protect sacred places, medicines, burials, cultural items, and ceremonial ways, and to ensure Indigenous voices and representation lead in these important matters pertaining to our rights, freedoms, and ways of life. We believe that all life is sacred and must be protected. We reclaim the Indigenous names of our sacred places that were reimagined and reidentified without our consent. And we stand, not only for the protection of Indigenous Peoples living today, but for the Ancestors that went before us and for our future generations.
The protection of Indigenous sacred places, Ancestors, cultural items, medicines, and cultural ways of life are paramount, and Native Nations’, traditional societies’, ceremonial grounds’, and Indigenous spiritual leaders’ authority on these matters must be given full weight and center around Indigenous free, prior, and informed consenti. These are matters that pertain to: our self-determination; our families, past, present, and future; and our ability to practice our ways of life. They represent a sacred duty and traditional law, which are indigenous to these lands.