First of all, we’d like to salute, thank and recognize the countries of the world that approved and voted for this Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, just as fifty, sixty years ago, the United Nations for the first time recognized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And it’s only now, over 500 years later, that indigenous people’s rights are being recognized. Happily, there were only a few countries that didn’t support this declaration.
And so, I want to say to the indigenous peoples, but also to the other peoples who live in the cities, that this is a very important thing that the struggle for indigenous people’s rights has not been in vain. And it was very important to get organized to mobilize. It took over twenty years, but, working together, people were able to do this, to approve this declaration and establish that we are people that have rights just like anyone else on earth.
In some cases, it will be to recognize the rights of minorities in some countries, this declaration. In my country, it’s to make sure that the majority is respected, and it will be respect for their institutions, for their structures. And this is an important contribution to unity within our country, but not because we have a declaration behind us recognized by the United Nations. It’s important that, even though this declaration exists, that doesn’t mean that we, as the majority, are going to be vengeful or use this as the majority.
I want you all to know, through the means of communication like yourself, I want the people of the United States and the people of the world to understand that the indigenous movement is not vengeful. We want to live together, respecting the difference and the diversity that we have. Some of the people in our country, when they saw that this declaration that came out that’s not just a declaration recognizing indigenous peoples, but also right to land, to self-determination, they think that we’re going to take a vengeful attitude, and I’m here to say never.