1. Basic Info:
Date proposed: August 31, 2015
Name of the sponsor(s): Sean Friend, Andrea Mérida, Bill Bartlett
2. Title:Acknowledgement of Indigenous Nations
3. Text of the actual proposal:
WHEREAS, the platform of the Green Party of the United States states that the Green Party supports the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands, their ways of life, and all other rights of free peoples. We support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007, and call for its provisions to be actively supported by our own government and by governments worldwide;
AND WHEREAS, the establishment of the United States of America was at the expense of the indigenous nations who lived here and owned this land;
AND WHEREAS, the building of the city of Denver by white settlers was illegal according to the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, and the Hinono’eiteen (the Southern Arapaho nation) were never reimbursed for this theft in spite of their hospitality and good faith efforts to keep peace with illegal European immigrants;
AND WHEREAS, the descendants of the native peoples who lived in the place we now call Colorado continue to suffer extreme forms of economic, social, and physical violence directly related to that history;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that every meeting of the Green Party of Colorado or any event sponsored by said Party shall begin with an acknowledgement that our meeting is taking place on stolen land. In addition, every good faith effort will be made to name the original owners of the land on which the meeting takes place, and, when possible, a representative of that nation shall be invited to speak.
4. Background: At present, the Green Party of Colorado has no formal mechanism in place for acknowledging the history of our state in regards to the genocide of the indigenous nations who lived in what is now Colorado.
5. Justification/Goals: An invocation/reminder is an immediate way to recall our responsibilities to the First Nations, which align with our 10 Key Values; most notably:
Grassroots Democracy (Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another);
Social Justice and Equal Opportunity (We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law);
Respect for Diversity (We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines); and
Personal and Global Responsibility (We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet). In this way, we hope to cause any individuals attending a Green Party of Colorado meeting or event to pause and acknowledge past and current violence against indigenous nations.
6. Pros and Cons: This addition to our events and meetings would allow us to formalize our commitment to justice for indigenous nations, which would align with the Ten Key Values. A potential drawback would be that acknowledgement of this history may be uncomfortable for some.
7. Alternatives to the proposal: Take no action or find another way of formally acknowledging this history.
8. References: The Ten Key Values of the Green Party, the 2012 Green Party Platform II.A.3: Indigenous Peoples