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Native Elders' 15 Green Mandates for RIO+20, June 20-22

June 21, 2012

In January, Olympians and Tahoe skiers honored their Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes whose snowdance saved their 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics. (Photo: Carolyn O'Connor / Sierra Sun)

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - RIO+20's Earth Summit June 20-22 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set mankind on a more sustainable path, especially as we shift to a milder climate to slow down the melting of the glaciers to protect islands and coastal cities where most people live.

Fortunately, this April, the consensus of UN's "Harmony with Nature" World Interactive Dialogue was: Science united with Ancient Wisdom is key to regenerating Mother Earth. A perfect example was January's "Snowdance Phenomena" that swept the Western U.S. suffering from the driest winter in 130 years. It could have been catastrophic for ski areas but for Native American Elders magnanimously leading communities in snowdances that give gratitude to Mother Earth. (AP, Wall Street Journal)

The UN Sustainability Division saw this unprecedented collaboration as a model for RIO+20 and urged our Native American Olympic Team Foundation (NAOTF) to spread the snowdance phenomena story to communities around the world since it wakes people up and inspires them to live in more harmony with Nature, as it did for me in 1995. It turned into an eye-opening exchange of renewable energy breakthroughs and tribal ceremonies, some going back 10,000 years.

Realizing we are the canaries in the mine of climate change, ski area leaders, Elders, mystics and Olympians from South America, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, China, Australia and New Zealand shared their secrets to abundant snow in hopes of together prevent the expected increasing droughts and fires to together help maximize the longevity of snowsports.

Also fortunately, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and their Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira have urged activists to come up with fresh new models for RIO+20 to tackle the planet's economic, environmental and ethical crises. Our "Elders' 15 Green Mandates" also addresses what Minister Teixeira said "must offer social inclusion, creation of decent jobs, sustainable use of natural resources and technological innovation," plus a "new vision for environmental assets."

Elders Priorities
Priority One of the 15 Elders Mandates is agreeing to shift from a Nuclear world to a Renewable Energy World with streamlined timetables to survive and thrive as a species. The second priority is shifting the $1 trillion in tax subsidies from fossil fuels to massive renewable energy projects to provide billions of green jobs worldwide.

It would start with off-the-grid wind and solar facilities next to all nuclear plants. This could have prevented Fukushima's meltdown, which continues to hurt all humans and Nature, and could protect all 438 others globally to streamline a safe transition to renewables since a mere 13% of our electricity is from nuclear.

The shifted oil subsidies could also help get billions of 300 mpg electric cars (invented by the youth) on the road, along with bike share programs in every city and town following 200 successful cities, to restore our blue skies. Plus funds for green schools with organic orchards and gardens for nutritious lunches to greatly reduce the half billion children who go to bed hungry, or malnourished or diabetic worldwide.

Also since austerity hasn't worked, agree on a mandate to adopt Iceland's model of putting People First, (instead of corporations and banks), by forgiving mortgages, which resulted in their booming economy. Also agreeing to preserve all countries' water rights like Latin American women are leading worldwide.

Another critical priority, identified by youth groups, is reforesting the planet. "The Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation" founder, 10-year-old Felix Finkbeiner recently told the UN Assembly that we are the majority and we've done the math and tree planting is the KEY to "Climate Justice" and our future. He got commitments by over a hundred determined youth to inspire their countries to plant a million trees.

Approx 17 Billion Trees Cut or Burned in Forest Fires
Yet approximately 17 billion trees each year are either cut for profit or destroyed from droughts and wildfires, while only about 4-5 billion seedlings are planted each year.

Many seedlings die without an ongoing nurturing relationship with them, which jobs for the marginalized indigenous would solve. Plus it takes trees a decade to be able to moisturize eco systems, prevent famines or convert our alarmingly high CO2 levels into oxygen.

Therefore, the Elders urge delegates to agree on a committee to mandate requiring countries to unilaterally reduce the number of trees cut, require paper recycling (savings up to a billion trees in US), buy planted Christmas trees, and vastly increase shifting to non-wood pulp that can be grown in months through offering tax incentives to buy machines.

Another major number of trees can be saved in the same way tribes have been protecting or saving their villages from droughts and fires for eons - through raindances and snowdances. These ceremonies cannot be bought, but by simply providing expense monies, a great many more Elders worldwide could lead these cross-cultural ceremonies.

Added to hiring teams of Indigenous firefighters who are respected in the US for working with the winds and rains, they could together protect billions more trees (plus homes) lost each year to fires. Through the snowmelt from the snowdances alone, these ceremonies have already been protecting over a billion trees annually around the world from becoming tinderboxes.

To restore our dying oceans, funds could also foster more cross-cultural oceandances, also encouraged by the UN, like our magnificent Aztecas regularly lead in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, like on the Solstices, as do the Hawaiians and Tahitians. Their giving love and appreciation for Mother Earth raises the vibration of the water to purify it, why the whales love Puerto Vallarta.

Trees Are Star Attractions in Mexico
Planting and preserving trees also bolsters tourism. 13 yr old Malia Obama and her 12 school friends chose on their spring break to visit the 1,000+ year old tree of "El Tule" at an archeological Olmec dig in Oaxaca, Mexico.

She and her friends developed a reverence for plants while creating their renowned Children's Organic Garden at the White House. Malea also visited Puerto Vallarta attracted to its romantic beauty, further enhanced by our young Mayor Salvador Gonzales Resendiz, who recently planting a forest of elegant palms on his famous Malecón boardwalk.

American-born Bob Price, founder of Vallarta Botanical Gardens, also planted with the Garden Club thousands of Bougainvilleas. Brilliantly tied to trees they are starting to cascade down along the boulevards like pink clouds leading to next year's Bougainvillea Festival.

God's first command in the Garden of Eden was, "Plant Fruit Trees." Bob also listened and is donating six organic fruit trees to all 230 schools to start orchards after learning about two studies in December, including the "Biggest Loser," that proved that "a diet of raw organic fruits and veggies can end diabetes in one month." (Zero Carb stevia-sweetened drinks also help.)

The British-American schools here are already composting as required by law in the EU, and are ready to receive the trees to help turn around Mexican children being No.1 in diabetes, along with a school in Versalles. But other angels are needed to help provide a team of gardeners to ensure these trees survive and thrive at all other schools, and right now in rainy season is the perfect time.

Hail Vallartenses for being models of how tree and flower campaigns can help any city stimulate tourism, reduce hunger, diabetes and crime, plus increase friendliness and rejuvenate Mother Earth!

Because Mother Earth is sensitive to our thoughts and actions, She prefers we work in positive ways, say the Elders. Therefore we suggest giving an economic boost to the greenest countries, corporations, products, and heroes, through the UN hosting an annual televised "Earth Caretakers Awards." For example, "The Ukraine is a model for RIO+20 in nuclear non-proliferation," says UN Secretary General Ki-moon.

Restoring Our Natural Capital
Bolivian President Evo Morales (Amayra tribe) heroically initiated in 2009 the UN's International Mother Earth Day, with unanimous support of the General Assembly, because he believes we do not own Earth, we are part of Her. Yet many corporations still view Madre Tierra as their cash cow. Pragmatically, without a massive emergency intervention plan like ours to restore our life support systems, there will soon be no 'Natural Capital,' the real basis of the world's economies, so GAME OVER.

Yet with RIGHT ACTION, RIGHT NOW at RIO+20, we can maximize extending life as we know it and soon drink out of our streams again, like Kitzbuhl, Austria. As team players respecting a 'time out' to regenerate Mother Earth by living according to Nature's Laws, which worked for eons, our Civilization can go on and everyone profits.

Said Onondaga-Iroquois Chief Oren Lyons at the UN: "We need the courage to change our values for the regeneration of our families and the life that surrounds us. We can raise ourselves. We must join hands with the rest of creation and speak of common sense, responsibility, brotherhood, and peace. We must understand that the law is the seed, and only as true partners can we survive." Since then Popes John-Paul II and Benedict have warned farmers about the dangers of Genetically Modified Seeds (GMOs), why we also urge a mandate to stop these "suicide seeds" from contaminating our natural ones.

Those RIO+20 leaders who listen to the will of the majority of Earth Citizens and put People and Mother Earth First, shall light the way into this prophesied radiant breathtaking new era. While we were initially putting this "Snowdance Phenomena" story and research together for a TV documentary, ski area owners, like Ellen Purcell of Portillo Chile, encouraged us to make this precious time-saving research available. It ends with powerful Native American Prayers to help bring in the New Dawn for Mother Earth at Rio+20 on this Sacred Solstice. And out of it emerged these "15 Elders Mandates."

Suzy Chaffee is a former Olympic skier who helped invent dancing down mountains, turned activist, journalist, filmmaker, and has worked with seven U.S. Presidents. She is now co-chairman of a non-profit partnership of the Elders of the Americas and Olympians, called the Native American Olympic Team Foundation, helping heal Mother Earth for all our children through joyful sports and education. For more information, contact Suzy at SuzyNativeVoices(at) or visit or