Modern states are not benign institutions. Indeed, they were formed for the express purpose of concentrating political power. Over the last few centuries, this form of social organization has proven adept at coercion, domination, and warfare. In fact, this consolidation of power to plunder and pillage — sometimes worldwide — is precisely why indigenous nations, all along, have opposed both the form and the process of the modern state as inherently evil. Evil in the sense that power corrupts, and thus must be dispersed widely in order to prevent community harm.
With the advent of widespread economic and environmental crises brought on by policies and practices of modern states and transnational corporations working in tandem, the effectiveness (let alone morality) of the modern state is now called into question.
At the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Nations this week, indigenous delegates discussed methods for implementing the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, at all levels of governance and society. Part of that strategy includes building a record of grievances — something long neglected by modern states, corporations, and mass media — in order to make this human rights agenda part of everyday discussions worldwide. In this way, people of conscience — indigenous or otherwise — can take a stand in solidarity with aboriginal peoples, and help them to finally disperse the power they warned us about long ago.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here