In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Alaska tribes meet with Bolivian president

Posted by smeddum on April 21, 2009

 


By Staff reports      

IndianCountrytoday

ANCHORAGE – Alaska Tribes will be holding a private tribal leader reception with the president of Bolivia, the honorable Evo Morales Ayma in Anchorage, Alaska.

Morales would like to use this opportunity to meet with indigenous leaders in the U.S. and develop a lasting relationship between indigenous people in Bolivia and the United States. The president will be in Alaska to attend the Indigenous Peoples Summit on Climate Change where he will deliver an address during the morning hours of April 23. Immediately following, the Bolivian government, in coordination with the Alaska InterTribal Council, the National Congress of American Indians, and the National Tribal Environmental Council, will hold a private reception with the president.

President Morales seeks to learn more about the current issues facing American Indians and believes the best way to do so is to meet with tribal leaders.

This is a historic opportunity for several reasons. President Morales is Bolivia’s first nationally elected indigenous leader and has been president of Bolivia since 2005. During his tenure, Morales has been actively engaged in indigenous issues at the international level, with participation in the United Nations and advocacy for the ratification of the Declaration of Indigenous Rights and the recognition of Mother Earth Day as an official holiday.

Most recently, a new constitution was passed in Bolivia by wide margins that protect ancestral lands, medicine and the culture of Bolivia’s indigenous peoples. It also recognizes all 36 indigenous languages as official languages and guarantees indigenous communities the right to maintain their cultural identity, religious beliefs, practices and customs, and their own vision of the cosmos or universe.

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