Indigenous Peoples from Canada, the United States and Northern Mexico are asked to bring their concerns and issues to the Zapatistas’ North American Summit, Oct. 8 – 9, 2007.
Zapatistas extend a warm welcome to Indigenous Peoples, delegates and commissions. Non-Indian supporters are asked to serve as volunteer workers at the summit.
O’odham in Mexico Lt. Gov. Jose Garcia explained the reasons for the summit, which is hosted by the O’odham in Mexico.
“This meeting is an opportunity for Indian tribes to learn why the Zapatistas rose up, and learn what has happened since that time to bring about the unity of the people,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the Zapatista movement is well-known in southern Mexico, but Indigenous in the north are still learning about the movement.
Still, the racism and bigotry towards Indigenous Peoples knows no boundaries, he said.
“We need to learn to survive in this modern world, as society progresses. Indigenous are affected by these changes in many ways.
“This is why we’re asking non-Indigenous to have courtesy and allow Indigenous this time to come together and voice opinions and concerns.”
Maria Garcia, organizing food for the Zapatistas’ North American Summit, said hard-working kitchen helpers are needed for food preparation and cleaning duties. Helpers should arrive at the site on Sunday evening, Oct. 7, for assignments.
Also, large quantities of coffee, pinto beans, rice, cooking oil, heavy paper plates, heavy paper cups for coffee and napkins are needed. (Please contact Maria or Jose Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org or La Indita Restaurant in Tucson, to provide supplies before the conference.)
Lt. Gov. Garcia said all attendees must register, either by way of pre-registration or at the site. Media should bring press credentials for registration.
Indigenous organizations may also submit written statements of their concerns and issues to the summit.
The topics of discussion were established by the Intercontinental Indigenous Summit Commission (Comision Organizadora del Encuentro de Pueblos Indigenas de Americas.) The organizing commission includes the traditional authorities of Vicam Pueblo, National Indigenous Congress of Mexico and the Sixth Commission of the EZLN.
The primary topic will be the war of capitalist conquest and its effect on Indigenous Peoples. The second topic is the resistance of Indigenous Peoples to this war of conquest in defense of Mother Earth and Indigenous territories and cultures. The third topic will be a discussion of why Indigenous Peoples are struggling.
Indian tribes’ delegates, representatives or commissions are invited to bring the problems of their regions and discuss these topics at the regional and international summits.
Other attendees will be observers, without a voice or role in the decision-making process at the Indigenous summits.
The North American Continental Summit, Oct. 8 – 9, is one of four regional conferences. There are also Indigenous summits being held in Oaxaca, Oct. 4 –5, Atlapulco in central Mexico, Oct. 6 –7 and Michaocan, Oct. 6 – 7, 2007.
The Intercontinental Indigenous Summit/Encuentro de Pueblos Indígenas de América, Oct. 11 – 14, follows in Vicam Pueblo near Obregon. Attendees must register.
At the North American Summit in Rancho el Penasco, camping, with water on site, is available, beginning Sunday, Oct. 7 through the conclusion of the summit on Oct. 9. For those with cars, motels are within two miles. Rancho el Penasco eco-tourism and biodiversity ranch, is located south of Magdalena on the main highway to Hermosillo. It is less than a two-hour drive from the Nogales, Ariz., border.
O’odham in Mexico Lt. Gov. Jose Garcia