Lebaiye Nde’ hi’ke Nnee Isdzan Shimaa Shinii’ — Lipan Apache Women (LAW) Defense/Strength is an official IPO of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 7th Session, April 21- May 2, 2008.
Official representatives for the IPO are Michael Paul Hill (San Carlos Apache/Chiricahua Nnee’) and Michelle Cook (Dine’).
This year’s UNPFII will be focused on the following:
Climate Change, Bio-cultural diversity, and livelihoods, and the stewardship role of indigenous peoples.
The IPO representatives for LAW-Defense/Strength will present a statement explaining the local struggle for independence, sovereignty, self-determination of traditional Apache and indigenous communities of the Lower Rio Grande communities whose people and territories are dissected by the U.S.-Mexico border.
The statement analyzes the intersectional relationship between climate change and bio-diversity and colonization, feudal social and economic systems, chemical manufacturing and industrialization, war contracting, an East Berlin-type concrete-steel wall, militarization & international soldiering, Blackwater, Jim Crow Deep South Texas where Lipan Apache women/indigenous women are central figures in the indigenous rights debates.
Lipan Apache Women Defense/Strength Co-founder, Margo Tamez, connects the current struggles and conflicts with the United States Department of Homeland Security and the violence of the Mexican state against her people on both sides of the border to the mysogynist culture of settler nations and their ongoing wars against women-centered land-based societies.
Lipan Apache Women–Defense/Strength is a resurgent indigenous popular social, economic and political movement to restore balance among all people and systems. We emphasize the importance of First Nations of Mother Earth and the need to restore the foundational indigenous laws which uphold relationships between matrilineal indigenous land-based cultures and our stewardship role to protect the ecosystems of the Lower Rio Grande valley, the most bio-diverse region of the U.S. southern border with its neighbor, Mexico.
The Apache territories and natural resources are currently being threatened by industrial corporate-run states. Lipan Apache Women Defense/Strength seeks to partner with our community members to protect and restore the complex web of riparian, aquatic, mammalian and reptilian life-systems which support the Lipan Apache traditional medicinal and food plant livelihoods. These are intrinsically webbed with the traditional ways of life of the First Nations of Nde’, Nnee’, and T’nde banded peoples who’ve stewarded the region since time immemorial.