Saturday, August 09, 2008

UNDOING COLUMBUS FROM THE CENTRE: Italian Day of Remembrance for the Genocide of Indigenous Peoples

for the institution of the
Remembrance Day of the Genocide of Indigenous Peoples

In the age of “forced” globalization, in which we are lead to think of as inevitable the progressive and inexorable homogenization of cultures and people, it is fundamental to give voice to all the native nations which even today, despite centuries of physical and cultural genocide, keep on existing and affirming a different way to relate to Mother Earth.

The 11 October Committee, formed by Italian groups and associations fighting for a long time for the self-determination right of the indigenous people all over the world, was constituted in Genoa on April the 13th 2008 with the purpose of spreading the knowledge of a different history from that written by the winners and to promote support initiatives to all the claims that nowadays native people laboriously undertake.

Therefore we think it is necessary to start from the awareness that a gold paved road, “discovered” by the colonizers, corresponds to another, one of tears and blood, suffered by the colonized. The metaphor can appear strong but it’s a fact, given that we are remembering a genocide perpetrated upon millions of people and thousands of nations and cultures. Today there’s no point in focusing attention and analysis on what has happened in the past, and furthermore indigenous people don't want it; however to ignore history doesn't produce pacification but grudges.

The possibility to build a future founded upon a true relationship of respect and mutual meeting has to start from the recognition of what has happened, and still keeps happening today to native people all over the world, from Botswana to Tibet, from America to Oceania.

To such aims the 11 October Committee proposes to realize, on October the 11th and 12th 2008, two days of meetings and cultural events focused on native peoples resistance, meant as proud maintenance of their own dignity and cultural identity.

The intention of the Committee is to propose the continuation of this initiative in the next years, giving voice to native peoples with the intent of beginning an exchange of thoughts, traditions and values amongst the cultures.

In this first gathering, several exponents of the American native culture (writers, artists, dancers) will be the protagonists of the events and will bear witness to how much their own culture is still alive today and to how it is important to “positively” realize autonomous spaces of sovereignty and self-determination as foreseen by the ILO 169 Convention and from the Declaration of the Indigenous People Rights recently approved by the United Nations.

For these reasons, the 11 October Committee is actively promoting a campaign insisting that the Italian government adhere to and ratify the ILO 169 Convention, which is the unique binding international juridical tool upon which native and tribal peoples can rely on in order to obtain the recognition of their rights.

Finally the event will represent the occasion to launch a campaign to ask the Italian Parliament to establish a “Remembrance Day of the Genocide of Native Peoples” on October the 11th.

The choice of this date seeks to remember, in a symbolic way, the last day of freedom of the American Indigenous People, with the hope that the broken circle can be recomposed for future generations.

Adherents to the 11 October Committee:

Associazione ECOcentrici (Roma)
Associazione A SUD (Roma)
Coordinamento Ligure Donne Latino Americane (Genova)
Coordinamento per la Difesa di M. Graham (Modena)
Associazione Gaia Terra (Roma)
Associazione Huka Hey (Pordenone)
Associazione Hunkapi (Genova)
Associazione Il Cerchio (Italian indigenous people supporter network)
Associazione Kiwani-Il Risveglio (Firenze)
Associazione Soconas Incomindios (Torino)
Associazione Wambli Glesca (Ravenna)
Gruppo Heyata (Vicenza)
Associazione Sesto Sole (Bergamo)
Associazione ECO Mapuche (Como)

Supported by:


Alessandro Profeti said...

Thanks for your cooperation,
Alessandro Profeti, Italy
Owner of "Nativi"
Italian Blog on Support Native American People

Maximilian C. Forte said...

It was my sincere pleasure. Thanks for the work you are doing.