Declaration of Principles

Photo: Youth gathering in Kitu, Ecuador, 2009. Sofía Jarrín.

This Declaration of Principles addresses the need to express our commitments as Awasqa with Native community media and communicators, and their allies on Native issues, about our work and convictions. 

We recognize that imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, and its most extreme form, neoliberalism, have led to social and environmental ailments, the product of unsustainable extractive practices that see Mother Earth as an unlimited resource. Native people hold much of the wisdom needed to save our planet, and yet, they are the most impacted by the climate crisis, violence and persecution as defenders of the environment.

We defend the right won by Native people to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent to safeguard their territorial sovereignty from fossil fuel and mining extraction, and to defend and protect Mother Earth.

We believe in the importance of supporting Native community media projects to assert their right to communication and access to media production as a fundamental principle of democracy, self-determination, and to celebrate indigenous communities’ pluralism and cultural diversity.

We recognize that colonialism separated our communities through false dichotomies of north, south, and national borders by nation states conceived by power and elite groups under racist and patriarchal paradigms. 

We believe that the transnational interconnectedness of the struggles for Mother Earth is an act of decolonization and rebellion against old and new national and corporate empires, therefore, we will use colonial languages—Spanish, English, and Portuguese—to build bridges of understanding between struggles throughout Abya Yala. 

We are certain that exercising the right to strategic communications requires technical, training, and material resources to do so; we see an obligation for philanthropy to recognize this right and fully fund nonprofit and community media led by indigenous people.

We believe in sharing, that is the wealth we seek. Sharing is the cultural and spiritual legacy of indigenous peoples and a worldview where we are part of the whole, of the earth and all living beings within it, which make up our spiritual wealth. We follow the premise of the people of the Amazon who tell us, I store the fish and meat in the belly of my brother. That is how we want to build Awasqa, with the belief that we all prosper when material wealth is shared as a means to create community.

Therefore, we declare:

  1. Recognition and solidarity. Defend and make visible the production of indigenous community media, and their allies, of those who fight for indigenous sovereignty, land and territory; the environment, water, food sustainability, and life with dignity. 
  2. Respect for languages ​​and cultures. Carry out any translation or interpretation with the most care and respect for the original intention and cultural nuances of the writers. We do not publish automated translations; all go through a careful human review.
  3. Intellectual property. The principles of collaboration, inclusion, and respect for the intellectual property of community media production of Native peoples, and their allies, are uncompromising principles that we will follow under journalistic ethics and the moral commitment to ask for and grant credits in due form and as appropriate.
  4. Transparency. We will share financial resources available with transparency for workshops, training, technical equipment, and scholarships in support of the members of the Awasqa Network. 
  5. Youth. We commit ourselves to fundraise to support media youth collectives through a grant program to help them produce media coverage of their own communities and to create their own narratives.