Indigenous Swedes adopt the Unity SymbolWe have been sending the Indigenous Unity Flag around the world since we began in December of 2012 to selected indigenous tribes and indigenous rights advocates. In 2016, we sent over one hundred hand held flags to the marches and demonstrators who stood firm at Standing Rock. This year is the fifth anniversary of the flag and we have had reports and sightings of our symbol and flag in numerous countries where we have never sent one before.
The photo shown below is one that we received in August and has caused a bit of a news event for us. We decided that a blog was necessary to showcase indigenous activists and activism around the world who support the ideals of International Indigenous Unity. The blog is a good way to extend our message and make the next five years as productive as the years it took to make our flag a reality on a international scale.
Pierre Åhren, Sara H Lahtinen and America Guerrero A Piren standing for Indigenous Unity on
Riksbron bridge in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo by Ada Sálomon
Do you know these people are Indigenous Tribal Peoples?The Sami (Sápmi) people live in the northernmost part of Scandinavia where the sun does not set in the summer and never rises in the winter. As is common with indigenous people around the world the Sami are denied many of their basic human and civil rights in the name of progress, capitalism and commerce; but in this case their rights are being dishonored by a country with one of the best human rights records in the world. Their lands are subject today to mining and resource extraction that is ruining their way of life.
Every Thursday Pierre Åhren comes to the Riksbron bridge in Stockholm to protest using the symbol that represents solidarity, sovereignty and unity with all indigenous peoples around the world. They adopted the symbol in 2013 and Pierre Åhren has carried the symbol on a sign he fashioned on the top of his unity walking staff ever since.
The pursuit for shaping a modern world, constant economic growth and an intense focused capitalist colonial developed society has affected the indigenous peoples around the world, their way of life and cultural sustainability. Deforestation, resource extraction and ocean acidification which are all anthropogenic in origin due to human behavior and activity pose a great risk for life on Earth. Right now the indigenous people around the world are uniting to create social change.
History has unfolded differently on all continents throughout many millenniums. One thing is certain, we are all indigenous to Earth and a push to create clean energy, new innovations while protecting indigenous peoples, places and things is what matters for shaping the 21st century. We may not be able to stop climate change but we can do our best to recognize socioeconomic destruction, understand the issues that can drive us into extinction and how to arrive at a place working together to slow down the progression of climate change as well as enhance and honor the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We must all remember the importance of the gift of fire (innovation) and how this gift can be our demised if not appropriately maintained.
Pierre Åhren says “We continue in our peaceful demonstration focused to protect land, water and living cultural heritage. This time of year, Riksbron bridge is a place where the winds are comfortable on their way out against the Baltic Sea.”
For as long as Pierre Åhren continues he will receive the moral support and attention he deserves from Globcal International and myself as the author and artist who developed the International Indigenous Unity Flag as an honorary ambassador who bears it with the heart of a nation.