We, the representatives of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, the participants of the international conference “Arctic Oil: Exploring the Impacts on Indigenous Communities”, held August 14-16, 2012, in Usinsk, Komi Republic, Russia, address to all Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic, governments of Arctic nations and international organizations.
Joint statement OF INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY FOR ARCTIC PROTECTION
We the Peoples of the North have for too long experienced the oppression of our Peoples and the barbaric destruction of our land. It is time that we join forces and demands that the oil companies and the Arctic States change their path and start to listen to the voices of the Indigenous Peoples residing in these lands.
The Peoples of the North will no longer be bought with dimes and cents to stand silently by while the oil companies destroy our native land. Our culture and history cannot be bought off and replaced with pipelines and drill rigs. Our way of living defines who we are and we will stand up and fight for our nature and environment. Too many have been reduced to depend on the generosity of the oil companies. Our rights and ability to sustain ourselves must not be trampled by others’ endless hunger for profits. Our lands and culture must be preserved for the generations to come.
If divided, we will not be able to withstand the pressure from oil producing companies to open up our homes for destruction. Today we gather our forces and refuse to continue to stand silently by, witnessing the destruction of our land.
We stand together in our call for:
- A ban on all offshore oil drilling in the Arctic shelf. We cannot accept the ecological risks and destructive impacts of a spill on our lands and in our seas. The irresponsible practices of oil companies everywhere have provided us with more than enough evidence that oil spills in the Arctic seas will be inevitable. At the same time there are no effective and tested methods to prevent or clean up oil spills in the freezing Arctic seas.
- A moratorium on onshore oil drilling in the Arctic. Oil companies have repeatedly shown that they have no respect for anything other than their profits. Until the oil companies and the national governments of the Arctic take the responsibility for the destructive impacts on the environment, the Indigenous lands must be closed for them.
- All extraction and industrialization on Indigenous land should only be carried out with the explicit consent of the Peoples of the land. Furthermore, Indigenous communities must benefit socially and economically from any industrial extraction. We will not let the Arctic become another industrial area, destroyed to produce profit for the industry.
We call for all Arctic Indigenous Peoples to join us and support this resolution.