APACHES CALL ON POPE FRANCIS TO RECOGNIZE THE HISTORY OF GENOCIDE AND DISPOSSESSION; DEMAND HISTORICAL
CLARIFICATION & TRUTH COMMISSION
from: the Apache Ndé Nneé Working Group, the Apache Nation
and the Coalition for Apache Ndé Nneé Justice
16 February 2016
Only a Truth Commission will end the abuse:
Pope Francis and the Catholic Church continue theft and the rape
of the Apache Ndé Nneé after UN findings
The Apache Ndé Nneé Working Group calls on the Pope to disrupt his colonialist and paternalistic behavior in Mexico in the Indigenous territories therein, and to hold himself accountable for his ‘tour’ in the unceded Ndé Nneé territory. This continuation of disrespect towards the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples is an enactment of blatant Eurocentric practice in the ‘Americas’ which is, at the core, the general spirit of non-recognition that in fact underlies the on-going genocidal process in the ‘Americas’ itself. By not respecting the protocols of Indigenous Peoples in unceded territories, the Pope is continuing to model ‘business as usual’ - in other words, the continuation of the Doctrine of Discovery that has subjugated and dehumanized Indigenous Peoples’ sovereignty as beneath that of Europeans. This ongoing violation has placed Indigenous Peoples in a position of inferiority through the normalizing of the ‘victim’ identity of Indigenous Peoples under the States’ rubrics of ‘minorities’ and ‘ethnic groups’ – a situation that is regressive and unacceptable. Such behavior propagates the legal narrative of conquest, in turn maintaining the aggressive and destructive status quo of rape, pillage, and subjugation in Indigenous unceded territories today.
The Holy See’s continuing pattern of erasure and paternalism through the Pope’s avoidance of this crucial rupture between Indigenous Peoples and Eurocentric ideology-turned-policy works to mesmerize the masses into performing Church and power-dynamic-based rituals that re-colonize Indigenous Peoples into obedience and complicity in this masquerade.
The Holy See’s ongoing assimilationist policies are represented by the Pope’s travels through Indigenous lands, as he ‘tours’ without respect to the Ndé Nneé protocols of formal, proper recognition to non-federal and federal Apache Peoples alike. The Working Group demands that the Holy See be held accountable for its role in committing genocide against Indigenous Peoples, and that it must repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery and the effects and legacy of the Papal Bull Inter Caetera.
This continuing cover-up through the Church’s denial and its ongoing refusal to meet face-to-face in diplomatic meetings with Ndé Nneé Peoples are deliberate avoidance tactics used to obscure the underlying capitalist and profit-centered interests of the Holy See, which is in fact a large property owner in the ‘Americas’. The tactics are being used to obscure the complex ways in which the current-day Church works to manage Indigenous Peoples’ discontent and growing rejection of Church Doctrine. “Pope Francis is out of touch with actual realities and the diverse ways Indigenous Peoples, and especially the Apache Ndé Nneé Peoples, are engaging in processes of decolonization and interrogation of the ways in which the Holy See. The Church has threatened the status of Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination through advancing the asymmetrical economic and political power relationship underlying the Holy See’s and Euro-settlers’ theft of Indigenous Peoples’ inherent sovereign right to self-rule.”
The Pope’s visit is perpetuating centuries of violations against Apache Ndé women, families, land, sacred traditions and self-determination through the illegal invasion of the Holy See and its and legal-political European kingdoms and settler-State allies via the Inter Caetera and its legacy.
In November 2015 the Apache Ndé Nneé Working Group submitted to the UN CERD (Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination) that the Holy See’s Inter Caetera and the resulting Doctrine of Discovery and theft and murder of Apache Ndé Nneé lands, families, resources, sacredness and life itself was, and continues to be in its legacy, racist and genocidal. The UN CERD Committee has in response supported that the Holy See must meet with Indigenous Peoples about these matters raised, including to address “the current legacy and effects of the Doctrine of Discovery endorsed in the Inter Caetera from 1493 and its related papal bulls, as well as other issues.
Entering the territory of the Apache Ndé, and at this very time following UN CERD findings, is a calculated step by Pope Francis and the Catholic Church to undermine the Apache Ndé Nneé as equals in the world society; in essence, little has changed. This violation of our spirits reeks of ongoing genocide against the Apache Ndé People.
“That the Pope continues to violate Apache Ndé Nneé self-determination and sacredness by entering our lands and peoples without seeking Apache Ndé Nneé consent, or offering to meet about the issues as per recent UN CERD findings, is the ultimate show of disrespect to the Apache Ndé as a People and Nation.”
Yet, the Pope’s presence, at the same time, means nothing to us; his patronizing, paternalistic actions are, simply put, merely psychological war games of the Church; “Where is Pope Francis on the extreme human rights violations in Ndé Nneé peoples in the shadow of the gulag Border Wall? The abuse of Ndé Nneé peoples’ rights to FPIC with regard to Rio Tinto and Oak Flats?”
“We will not tolerate the Catholic Church’s continued rape of our rights to self-determination, decision-making, sacredness of our women and own being and lands.”
We hold fast to the formation of a Truth Commission regarding the Holy See’s legacy of rape and historical violations of our people as the only way to actual reparations.
For further questions or information contact:
Michael Paul Hill, project leader and originator of the Apache Ndé Nneé Working Group and shadow report, firstname.lastname@example.org / phone: +1 520-261-7074
India Reed Bowers, legal counsel and project co-coordinator for the Apache Ndé Nneé Working Group and shadow report, email@example.com / phone: +46 (0) 70-283-4808
Apache Ndé Nneé Working Group Shadow Report:
CERD Concluding Observations:
Video recordings of the CERD Holy See review sessions, including Apache Ndé Nneé Working Group oral interventions:
Transcripts of CERD - Holy See State review session:
Text from the CERD Committee's Concluding Observations directly regarding the Holy See and Indigenous Peoples, as a result of the contributions of the Apache Ndé Nneé Working Group, is as follows:
16. While welcoming the statement made by Pope Francis in the Plurinational State of Bolivia in July 2015, in which he apologized for the actions of the Catholic Church in the context of colonialism against indigenous peoples in the ‘Americas’, the Committee notes the concerns expressed by indigenous peoples regarding the current legacy and effects of the Doctrine of Discovery endorsed in the Inter Caetera from 1493 and its related papal bulls, as well as other issues (arts. 2, 5 and 6).
17. The Committee recommends that the State party engage in meaningful dialogue with indigenous peoples with the aim of effectively addressing their concerns. In this regard, the Committee takes note of the information provided by the State party delegation concerning a high-level dialogue that is scheduled to take place in Rome to address the concerns expressed by indigenous peoples, and recommends that the State party ensure that its interlocutors in this dialogue include appropriate representatives designated by indigenous peoples. The Committee requests the State party to provide information in its next periodic report on the outcome of the meeting and concrete follow-up measures taken."