Declaration: International Day of Indigenous Peoples


Mark Rivas, Miskito Youth Leader. Statement on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. Photograph courtesy of Mesolider.




We, the Indigenous Peoples of Mesoamerica (Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala and Mexico) in the framework of the celebration of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples and the Sihkru Tara event as the highest expression of the Miskito People’s culture, join our voices, thoughts and energies, vindicating the knowledge, resistance and struggles that our ancestors have fought since time immemorial, with our cosmovision we have been building our way to the good way of living; we speak to all civil, religious, political and military authorities, both national and international:

We condemn and reject the persecution and criminalization against the indigenous leaders of the world for defending their territories, forests and sacred sites; the constant threat to indigenous communities by the invaders of our lands; the violation of the right to and free, prior and informed consent and consultation, and the lack of recognition of the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples by the States.

We reaffirm the defense of our territories in the face of megaprojects, mining, hydroelectric projects, monoculture, extensive cattle raising, invasion of non-indigenous to our lands, and the plunder of our ancestral goods.

We ask the authorities of the States and other entities, both national and international, to respect the application of the right to free, prior and informed consent in all processes related to indigenous territories, communal lands and their natural resources, respecting national and international laws and the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in these processes, as well as direct financing to indigenous territories for the protection and conservation of forests as an effective mitigation mechanism against the advance of climate change.

We call for the unification of our struggles and prepare ourselves as peoples and communities for the defense of the rights of our Mother Earth that for our peoples is the space where we create and recreate our identity, our culture, our languages, our worldview and spirituality; without which we would cease to exist.

May this event of the Sihkru Tara serve as space and memory for our peoples on our commitment to our sons and daughters and our Mother Earth; that our voices be spread throughout all spaces, and tell the world that Indigenous Peoples exist and we are all one.


Bilwi, Nicaraguan Moskitia
August 09, 2017