Indigenous people have a special place in the environmental movement. As defenders of their land and protectors of some of the world’s last pristine ecosystems, they are readily identified with the places like the Amazon that so much of this movement fights to protect. Moreover, in the Americas in particular, where indigenous people have been fighting for 500 years against colonization and imperialist encroachment on their land, indigenous people represent the strength and perseverance which we all will need to face the challenges that are coming. It’s for this reason that the Earth Charter explicitly calls for affirming, “the right of indigenous peoples to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and resources and to their related practice of sustainable livelihoods.”
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