The Nayzul Declaration (full text)

Oslo, Norway

Indigenous leaders,

Acknowledging significant milestones in our collective history, including the 25th anniversary of Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for her work “for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples” and the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration) by the UN General Assembly, which is now a consensus instrument for the human rights of Indigenous peoples.

Welcoming the opportunity to convene at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum Oslo for a two-day peace congress under the good offices of the Norwegian Nobel Institute with a focus on Indigenous-State and Indigenous-Industry conflicts over development of lands and resources in territories of Indigenous peoples.

Recognizing that the adoption of the Declaration provides significant commitments by the United Nations and Member States to address Indigenous human rights violations and, in this regard, the Declaration is an instrument for peace making, redress and reconciliation.

Recalling indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and rights to lands, territories and resources, including legal recognition and protection of such lands, as recognized in Article 3 and Article 26 of the Declaration.

Recalling Paragraph 5 of the final report of the 16th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2017), recognizing that Article 3 and Article 26 are among the most important provisions of the Declaration and also the most challenging to implement.

Recalling also paragraphs 49-64 of the final report of the UNPFII 15th Session (2016) on the theme “Indigenous Peoples: Conflict, Peace and Resolution” recognizing the many current conflict situations and human rights violations which Indigenous peoples face.

Acknowledging that we live in a time where there is a lack of language for spirituality and challenges that are faced in engaging in conversations that reach across faith lines and other dividing lines.

Calling for recognition, by the United Nations and its Member States, of World Peace and Prayer Day on June 21.

Concerned about the situations referenced in Paragraphs 19-38 of the final report of the 16th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2017) – which reflect specific historic and ongoing situation-specific and institutional challenges.

Concerned about the significant numbers of human rights defenders murdered in the defense of land, environment and indigenous peoples.

Convinced that inclusive dialogue could be used to advance progress around these challenges with the hope of making specific, measurable impact; in particular the understanding and implementation of the standards, norms and principles in the Declaration.

Emphasizing that historic and contemporary dividing lines can also be common connecting lines, providing hope and peace for the future of Indigenous peoples through processes of recognition, empowerment, revitalization and reconciliation.

Commit to:

1. Continuing to engage in constructive and focused multi-stakeholder dialogue and education on Indigenous peoples and Indigenous rights, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

2. Engaging Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations, UN agencies, programmes and funds, UN Member States, including Indigenous-specific mechanisms such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the UN Expert Mechanism on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

3. Building a dialogue based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the reports from UNPFII, EMRIP, SRRIP and various UN Treaty Bodies such as CERD, UN Secretariat on Climate Change and specifically the final reports of the 15th and 16th sessions of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2016 and 2017 respectively).

4. Developing approaches to structure a mechanism for shared ideas exchange and decision making with Indigenous peoples, faith groups, State representatives, industry groups and other relevant bodies and mechanisms to advance and implement the standards, norms, principles and rights in the Declaration for the purposes of protecting Indigenous lands, territories and resources for future generations and for developing a responsible and environmentally sustainable and emerging green economy.

5. Co-creating inclusive strategies with relevant stakeholders to address the steady rise in extractive resources industries, including the ever growing demand for minerals that make a rapid clean energy transition possible. We recognize it is in the direct interest of Indigenous peoples that all nations shift to energy technologies that do not create dangerous climate disruption. We must work together to ensure all mineral extractive processes genuinely provide for free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous stakeholders.

Nayzul (meaning “in our spirit”) Declaration Signatories:

Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1992

Grand Chief Edward John
Hereditary Chief of Tl’azt’en Nation

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred Bundle and Spiritual Leader of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota People

Aili Keskitalo
President of the Sami Parliament


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