Important Mapuche meeting on health and medicine based on ancestral knowledge

Wvnen Xawvn, tayiñ Bawehtuwvn”, “Wvnen Xawvn, tayiñ Bawehtuwvn”.

At a crucial moment for the health of humanity when the response of the pharmaceutical market has been to place life and health as a commodity in the hands of the multinationals, the people of the Mapuche nation propose a biocultural system of care for all lives that allows us to defend our physical and spiritual balance in territories neglected by public health.

We share with you the document which contains the Positioning and the Claims that the different instances of lawenzugu debated during two intense days:

Positions and requests

Gathered in “Wvnen Xawvn, tayiñ Bawehtuwvn” at Kiñel Mapu Ragiñce Kimvn, City of Zapala on March 25, 26 and 27, 2022, We started our gvlamtuwvn with a Wixaxipan to ask pu Gen Mapu ka pu fvtakeceyem to guide and guide us accompany in this first meeting whose main objective is to share the processes, experiences and realities of the Mapuche Health System in the provinces of Neuquén and Río Negro: Health Team Ruka Lawen”, Lof Millalonko Ranquehue, Lof Maliqueo, Lof Wiritray, Lof Henchupan (Río Negro ) Pu llankan Health Team” of Lof Curruhuinca (Kiñel Mapu Wijice); “Bawehtuwvn Zugu” Health Team Lof Puel Pvjv; “Bawehtuwvn” Lof Newen Mapu. “Pu Xokince Bawehtucefe”: Lof Campo Maripe, Lof Fvta Xayen and Lof Xem Kimvn (Kiñel Mapu Xawvnko) Lof Kinxikew, Lof Paicil Antriao (Kiñel Mapu Lafkence).

Following an important debate for three days and with the fundamental contributions of Maci Victor Caniullan Coliñir who offered us his kimvn and his experience in his long trajectory both in Gulu Mapu and in Puel Mapu, we published this position which contains the main lines of work, agreements and urgent objectives related to the sustainability, development and projection of the Mapuce Bawehtuwvn – Mapuche health system.

This meeting gave us the opportunity to situate ourselves in the current context of Mapuche health and its relationship with the historical processes that have dispossessed, subjugated and weakened it, such as the genocides committed by the Argentine and Chilean states, the imposition of borders and medicine, education, religious, legal and political institutions that are alien to pre-existing peoples, especially the people of the Mapuche nation. In Puel Mapu, this was further aggravated by the total elimination of our highest medical-spiritual authorities pu Maci in what was the military campaign wrongly called the Conquest of the Desert. However, we have maintained, safeguarded and projected our knowledge and practices of our health model within each Lofce, in each territorial space where we were confined and from where we recovered and reorganized according to the mapuce kimvn / ancestral knowledge.

We have analyzed how the “pandemic” triggered by the circulation of covid 19 across the world subjects us again to a wigka disease like the coronavirus which unfolds simultaneously with the territorial advance of extractivism, just as it does. did during the periods of conquest and colonization. The continuity of these events occurs in the context of the loss of our autonomy and self-determination in relation to community territories, since we are currently facing a series of problems that hinder the integral development of the Mapuche health system due to the permanent threat of water sources, which we conceive in itself as baweh.

Medicinal plants and territories are also threatened by pollution, the water crisis, fires, the destruction and reduction of forests, deforestation and the planting of exotic species. All of this is aggravated by the delay in the implementation of the indigenous territorial survey. We say then that this situation has made social and cultural inequalities even more evident, but also as a People we reaffirm our own kimvn, from which we conceive health in an integral way. We take into account the natural environment in which we live, the relationship of human beings to space, air, water, etc. For the Mapuche people, health is linked to the balance-imbalance in the different aspects of people’s lives. The Mapuche health system considers and deals with the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical levels; this conception is directly linked to the conditions of the territorial environment in which we live, with our behavior and our way of life. In this sense, we believe that the cycles of disease cannot be considered as fortuitous and supernatural events or as the product of divine interventions. Rather, they arise from human actions and decisions that are detrimental to other lives and compromise well-being or kvme felen. And with regard to what concerns us most at this time, what are the restrictions on the free movement in the Argentine-Chilean customs of our highest medical authorities pu maci, zugumacife, their healing instruments, the medicines prepared or to prepare – which is further aggravated by border closures – we’ve solved in this xawvn:

  1. Demand that national and provincial governments advance on a protocol of free movement in the Argentine-Chilean customs of our Mapuche medical authorities, which accompany the organizational processes for the practice of Mapuche medicine in Puel Mapu through the health teams that we have worked independently and interculturally in different territories of the provinces of Río Negro and Neuquén.
  2. We are an organized people and we use the means of dialogue to solve the problems that affect us and therefore we propose the need to generate instances of agreements with the State authorities (Ministries of Health, Customs, Parks Nationals-Comanejo, etc.), through our representative authorities.
  3. We are committed to continuing to protect our territories, (mallines, menoko / wetlands and marshes with many medicinal herbs), medicinal plants, different types of land, stones and waters (rag / greda, xufken / land, pebe / mud , kura /stones, lewfv/rivers, xayenko/waterfalls, wvfko/springs) that exist there because they are vital for the Kvme Felen (well-being, well-being) of all and the biodiversity of our az mapu/territorial identities. If our territory is sick kom pu ce, the people are too.
  4. We proposed to move forward with an intra-community protocol to safeguard the entire Mapuche health system and thus avoid folklorization, syncretism and abuse of Bawehtuwvn. We also have the responsibility to protect the intellectual property rights of our knowledge and thus avoid the piracy of our natural medicine.
  5. We will also make progress in community territorial agreements for exchanges of different types of baweh that exist in each Kiñel Mapu / territorial identity. Particularly within the framework of the Comanejo between the Mapuche People and the Nahuel Huapi and Lanin National Parks.
  6. We propose to deepen our xawvn, to appeal to other experiences in progress to reinforce and unify the criteria by the self-training of kimvn mapuce and zugu bawehtuwvn.
  7. We demand that the territorial investigation, law 26160, be carried out, on the understanding that its accomplishment will also guarantee the projection of the Bawehtuwvn.
  8. We urgently demand, in the context of the pandemic and climate change, that the health teams who contribute concretely to the health of our People and their life projects in the community territories be respected and taken into account in the development public policies in favor of the projection of an ancestral health model that does not only benefit the Mapuche pu. Taking into account that an intercultural hospital is planned for the Territory of Pewenche, Neuquén.

In order to achieve all the objectives we have set ourselves, we have taken the protection of provincial and national constitutions and international treaties, including Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which establishes in article 25 “Governments shall ensure that adequate health services are made available to the peoples concerned or provide these peoples with the means to organize and provide such services under their own responsibility and control, so that they may enjoy the highest attainable state of physical and mental health”.

Similarly, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states in art. 24: “Indigenous peoples have the right to have their own traditional medicines and to maintain their own health practices, including the conservation of their medicinal plants, animals and vital minerals. Indigenous peoples also have the right of access, without discrimination of any kind, to all social and health services. States shall take the necessary measures to ensure progressively the full exercise of this right”.

And bearing in mind that the territory of the Mapuche people is today divided by the borders of the states of Chile and Argentina, the UN declaration states in art. 36: “Indigenous peoples, especially those separated by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities of a spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social nature, with their own members, as well as with other peoples. , across borders. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.“.

Other conventions such as the 8J on Biological Diversity, the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean or the Escazu Agreement, also support our principles of respect and consideration of Ixofij Mogen in our relationship with Waj Mapu.

For the free transit of our Mapuche medical system, for the exercise and screening of our Feyentun and Mapuche kimvn, for the protection of the ixofij mogen in Waj Mapu. Marici Wew! Mapuche

Confederation of Neuquen

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