15th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at United Nations headquarters in New York on May 9-20

The Temple of Understanding recently participated in the 15th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at United Nations headquarters in New York on May 9-20, 2016, where hundreds of leaders and activists, along with UN agencies and civil society groups worked on the theme "Indigenous Peoples: Conflict, Peace and Resolution." We join the American Indian Law Alliance in recommending a water study.

The intervention was given by Betty Lyons of the Onondaga Nation, President of the American Indian Law Alliance, and gave the following recommendations:

13. We recommend that a study on sacred waters be conducted by Permanent Forum Members Dalee Sambo Dorough and Grand Chief Ed John on the effects of extractive industries' impacts on freshwater in North and South America (Turtle Island) including groundwater and sacred waters. This study could explore the ways in which the contamination regarding sacred waters results in a loss of culture for Indigenous Peoples, as well as the catastrophic effects on the health, reproductive health, emotional, physical and spiritual well being of our women, communities, Nations and our youth. This study could give special attention to the affects on women and children.

14. We recommend all member states take action to implement and enforce the UNDRIP and assist in the cleanup of all sacred waters. All of humanity will stand to gain from it and could be used as a model of best practice within the UN fora and the world stage.

15. We affirm that member states and extractive industries, operating or seeking to operate in Indigenous territories, have the full free, prior and informed consent of the particular Indigenous Nation and other provisions as provided for under UNDRIP Articles 8, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32, and 37.
We urge you to sign the petition asking Governor Cuomo to remove the toxic black goo from Onondaga Lake.
The official webpage for the session has links to videos of the open meetings, media reports and more.
We supported our Parliament of the World's Religions colleagues at their side event on Indigenous participation at the Parliament. Kusumita Pedersen's report is online

 All are welcome to unite in prayer on the eve of the United Nations
High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS

 for an

 Interfaith Prayer
 Service on ending


 Tuesday, June 7th
 United Nations Church Center, 5:30 PM 

777 United Nations Plaza, New York City

We'll pray together for a strong Political Declaration on AIDS and to 
strengthen the engagement of faith communities in the 
comprehensive response to HIV

 After the service, please join us for the book launch of " Behold I 
make all things new," published by Church of Sweden. A reception 
will be held at 8:30 pm to celebrate iftar , the daily breaking of the 
fast during the holy month of Ramadan, with our Muslim colleagues.
Temple of Understanding
777 UN Plaza, 3E
New York, NY 10017