The Spiritual Foundations of the Indigenous Rights Movement as an Earth Rights-Based Indigenous Jurisprudence: A Textual Analysis
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This dissertation works through an Indigenous research paradigm and a combination of relevant Indigenous and Western methodologies to open a dialogue about the following: (1) the extent to which the spiritual foundations of the Indigenous Rights Movement may be understood as regenerating or transforming into an international earth rights-based Indigenous jurisprudence and an alternative paradigm to Western development; (2) the extent to which such transformations resulted Indigenous delegates efforts to raise the International community's collective spiritual consciousness; and, (3) the extent that these transformations and/or shifts of consciousness may be understood as the measure of the power of Indigenous storying in the form of declarations (and interventions). To accomplish these goals, chapter Two outlines the research paradigms and methodologies used in this dissertation. Because this part of my dissertation was the most difficult to write, I chose to incorporate my research paradigm and methodology(ies) into my dissertation in such a way that they become nearly as important as the subject matter of the dissertation narrative itself. Perhaps by reading about the way in which I constructed my research paradigm and chose my methodologies, other scholars of Indigenous descent may be able to learn from my successes and failures. Chapter Three opens up for discussion the striking unity in the diversity emerging from Indigenous understandings about spirituality worldwide. It also presents the idea that spirituality is not only the basis of Indigenous peoples' relationships with the Natural world, but also that it is the foundation from which Indigenous peoples' responsibilities and land-based rights emerge. Chapter Four explores how and why Indigenous peoples re-emerged into international fora of Indigenous diplomacy in the 20 th century. Furthermore, by looking at the Indigenous diplomacy of the first 75 years of the 20 th century, together with the regeneration of Indigenous Rights Movements throughout the Western Hemisphere, this chapter points to land and Indigenous peoples relationships with land as being the heart and soul of the organizing of local, national, regional and international Indigenous Rights Movements in years leading up to the 1977 NGO Conference. Chapter Five explores the emergence of the International Indigenous Rights Movement into the international community by studying the narrative history of the early international fora Indigenous peoples addressed the international community from. It also contextualizes the Indigenous-authored declarations resulting from these fora, the theory that these declarations represent the shared stories of two or more different peoples and that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is a measure of the power of Indigenous storytelling all within a greater discussion of the spiritual foundations of the International Indigenous Rights Movement as being the spiritual relationship between Indigenous peoples and the Natural world. The first four chapters and the final four chapters are bridged by a mini-chapter titled "Spiritual Consciousness." The purpose of this narrative bridge to enhance the readers' relationship with the idea that it is critically important to raise the international community's collective spiritual consciousness in time to reverse the effects of the global climate crisis. Chapter 6 looks at the role of Indigenous "climate speakers" as storytellers and educators, bridging Indigenous and non-Indigenous consciousnesses and affecting a shift in the international community's collective consciousness through storytelling. Chapter 7 proposes that the climate change and environmental declarations being presented to the international community by Indigenous peoples attending international fora from 1992 to 2010 are the stories through which the International community's collective spiritual consciousness is being raised. This narrative interpretation includes the history of the international community's dialogue about environmental imbalance, development and climate change and the interface of this dialogue with Indigenous peoples' dialogue about the rights of Mother Earth and their collective land-based rights and responsibilities. Chapter 8 identifies the Andean Indigenous principle "living well/good living" as a key component of Indigenous declarations and storytelling in international for. Furthermore, it seeks to answer two questions. First, what is there about this "living well/good living" that it has been adopted by local and nation-state governments and inserted into their constituting documents and bodies of law? Second, what is there about "living well/good living" that it has the power to raise spiritual consciousnesses of peoples, nation-states and, perhaps, even the international community? To answer these questions, this chapter proposes that "living well/good living" principle is a manifestation of the spiritual foundation of the International Indigenous rights movement and, as such, it is at once a new cosmogonic paradigm and the corpus of an emerging international Indigenous earth-rights based jurisprudence.