The participants developed an environmental agenda to take to the United Nations Earth Summit Rio +20, considering gender and indigenous issues, on 9 key areas in to promote equity in environmental policies and actions. These 9 areas include: Cultural Restoration, Self-determination, Sustainable Development, Education, Gender-based Violence, Food Sovereignty, Health, Sustainable Economy, and Healthy Environment. The action agenda is attached. The action agenda was published at the National Council of Women of Canada Blog for the 56th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women. These policy recommendations will be presented by Mary Scott, the chairperson of the UN-Women chapter in Winnipeg at the UN 55th session of CSW: Panel for 2012 – The empowerment of rural women. We hope they will be endorsed at this time.
Messages on the pathway to Earth Summit Rio +20
We acknowledge that colonization has been and continues to be a disruptive force in Manitoba with the devastating impacts on the health, culture, and freedom of First Nations peoples including women, children, elders, and men. We request:
Collaborating and uniting to rebuild the life of indigenous peoples with due respect to their traditional ways of living, history, social organization, spiritual values, nodes of production, laws and institutions.
Fostering respect to indigenous people’s culture, values, stories, traditions, language, and identity.
Promoting cultural programs to transfer language and knowledge in First Nations and the entire Canadian society.
Allocating funding and institutional support to organize an official indigenous history month.
We recognize the self-governance of Pimicikamak peoples with its own governance structure based on traditional Cree democracy and the Pimicikmak unwritten constitution and other customary laws which have been updated to meet modern needs. The laws of Pimicikamak peoples are made by the people, in contrast with Canadian laws, which are made by the Crown.
We acknowledge the violations of indigenous peoples’ rights over land and other natural resources such as water, air, forests, and rangeland.
Ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples to their own system of governance, lands, territories and holistic natural resource management.
Ensuring economic, social, cultural, legal, and organizational empowerment and sustainable development for poverty-free Manitoba, in particular acknowledging high rates of poverty among First Nations peoples.
We acknowledge Canada and Manitoba’s Eurocentric curriculum with the lack of education from First Nations, Metis and Inuit perspectives.
Taking measures to promote curriculum with emphasis on history of colonisation, marginalization, and exclusion and high resilience of indigenous peoples to the oppression and injustices.
Participating in the indigenous history month should be a focus of all Canadian Education system.
Raising awareness about Aboriginal girls and women’s contribution to peacebuilding and community development.
We acknowledge gendered and racialised violence against First Nations and other women in Canada.
Implementing National Task Force leading to federal legislation that prevents and ends violence against missing and murdered Aboriginal and other women/girls in Canada.
Ending structural inequities that devalue women’s work, traditional roles and mothering.
We acknowledge the high food insecurity rates that result from limited access to healthy food, grinding poverty, lack of infrastructure, and corporate nature of food supply
to First Nations communities living in Manitoba.
Supporting grassroots mechanisms to define community-based food and agriculture systems through reintroducing healthy traditional food practices.
Enabling food security and sovereignty to meet basic needs to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods.
We acknowledge First Nations health disparities linked with higher rates of obesity, diabetes and diseases due to environmental pollution, lack and/or absence of running water, and lack of adequate healthy housing.
Addressing barriers related to the delivery of health care services such as quality, accessibility, effectiveness and efficiency.
Providing access to services and resources for people with disabilities considering the vulnerability of First Nation, Inuit and Metis peoples.
Providing the infrastructure and local capacity for safe drinking water, food sovereignty, healthy housing, and a safe environment in First Nations communities.
We acknowledge that the corporate global economy reinforces inequalities and disempowers marginalized indigenous women, children, elders, and men.
Facilitating paradigm shift from corporate to community-based economies where decision-making power, management and control of resources is carried out by people in local communities.
Providing job employment opportunities and community economic development for women and men in the many First Nation communities that have 80% + unemployment.
Changing the restrictive policies that create third party management of First Nations communities and lack of control over community and territorial resources.
We acknowledge the devastating impact of Manitoba Hydro, artificial flooding and other development projects on First Nations communities.
Ensuring transparency and consent of First Nations in designing and monitoring the development projects on the territories of First Nations peoples.
Preventing flooding of First Nations communities, as these communities have more than economic interests in their land, unlike farmers and other settlers, but have long historical and spiritual connections and relations.