Indigenous Voices for a Ban on Deep Sea Mining


We, the undersigned Indigenous voices and those who support us, are joining together to protect our ocean.

For millennia our people have lived in a relationship with the natural world that is defined by respect, gratitude, responsibility, and love. Our genealogies, woven across space and time, connect us physically and spiritually to animals and plants from the highest mountains to the deepest ocean.

Cultures across the Pacific consider the ocean to be sacred space for creation, a provider, an ancestor, and a link to places and people across the horizon. We would no more harm the ocean than we would a member of our family. And as with our family, we depend on each other for survival.

Western culture’s relationship with natural ecosystems of land, and sea and sky have proven to be deeply harmful for the only place we know as home, planet Earth. The ocean’s health, people, and natural ecosystems are already reeling from pollution, overfishing, acidification and extreme weather events. These problems need serious attention.

With a ban on Deep Sea Mining, however, we see the chance to stop the needless damage before it starts. There is ample evidence that Deep Sea Mining will cause irreversible harm to our ocean. The arguments in favor of Deep Sea Mining, produced only by those that stand to profit from it, have been shown to be false. There is no reason to disturb the tranquil and life-supporting depths of our oceans, causing harm that will last forever, for the short-term economic gain of a very few.

We refuse to allow any further harm to our sacred ocean.    
We refuse to further damage the intricate web of life that we are part of and depend on for our survival.    
We refuse to allow governments and corporations to sell out the future of our children and life on our planet.

We call on the governments of the world and on the International Seabed Authority to enact a ban on Deep Sea Mining effective immediately. Our ocean and our lives depend on it.



Indigenous Signatories

Dan Hikuroa, Waipapa Taumata Rau, Aotearoa

Jack Thatcher, Pwo Navigator, Aotearoa

Mike Smith, Ngapuhi Iwi/tribe, Ngati Kahu, Aotearoa

Mereana Berger, He Māori ahau - ko ngati paoa, ko ngati hako, ngati porous o hauraki, ko te aupouri oku iwi, Aotearoa

Jack Gray, Māori, Aotearoa

Liam Koka'ua, Ngāti Makea Ārera, Aotearoa

Teanau Tuiono, Māori, Green Party MP, Aotearoa New Zealand

Theresa Ardler, Gweagal, Gadigal, Bidjigal, Wangal, Cammerayal & Gandangarra Clans of Eora Nation, Australia

Deidre Bear, Gumbaynggirr, Australia

Frank Brown, Hereditary Chief of the Heiltsuk Nation, Canada

Miles Richardson, citizen of the Haida Nation, Canada

Kelsey White, Confederacy of mainland Mi'kmaq, Canada

Bev Sellars, Secwepemc Nation, Canada

Blaine Grinder, Tsilhqot'in, Canada

Robert Simon, Secwepemc People, Canada

Skil Jaada, Haida Gwaii, Canada

Meg Langlais, Red River Métis, Canada

Geraldine Blake, Dinjii' Zhuh' Gwichya' Gwich'in, Canada

Salisha Old Bull, Bitterroot Salish, Canada

Saul Brown, Heiltsuk Nation and Nut-chah-nulth Nation, Canada

Debborah Donnelly, Métis, Canada

Lisa White-Kuuyang, Haida Nation, Canada

Arnnaralaakuluk Joy Joanasie, Nunavut Inuit, Canada

Jacqueline Evans, Cook Islands

Alanna Matamaru Smith, Ngati Raina, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Teina Rongo, Kōrero o te 'Ōrau, Cook Islands

Justine Marie Flanagan, Korero O Te Orau, Cook Islands

Florence Syme-Buchanan, Mana Tiaki Ngatangiia, Cook Islands

Edna, Te Ipukarea, Cook Islands

Mrs T M Wichman, Te Koutu Nui, Cook Islands

Jackalyn Rongo, Kōrero o te ‘Ōrau, Cook Islands

Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Head of the Kubuna Confederacy, Fiji

Frances Namoumou, Kauwai Network, Fiji

Fr Iosefo Rass SVD, Melanesians, Fiji/Australia

Moetai Brotherson, President of French Polynesia

Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu, Minister of Culture, Environment & Marine Resources, French Polynesia

Hinano Murphy, President, Te Pu Atiti'a, French Polynesia

Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society, Hawai'i

Sol Kaho'ohalahala, Maui Nui Makai Network, Hawai'i

Darienne Dey, Kanaka maoli, Hawai’i

Kaleolani DeSa, Kanaka Maoli, Hawai'i

Mario Gómez, Beta Diversidad, Mexico

Eric Cassagne, Kanak, New Caledonia

Anthony Akpan, President, Pan African Vision for the Environment, Ibibio in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Maderngebuked Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., Former President & Traditional Chief, Palau

Ann Singeo, Ebiil Society, Palau

Diwigdi Valiente, Guna Yala Comarca, Panama

Jonathan Mesulam, Solwara Warriors, Papua New Guinea

John Momori, Tunubuah Clan of Namatanai, Papua New Guinea

Modakula Kunuyobu, Sakapu Indigenous Group / tribe, Papua New Guinea

Sebastián Yancovic Pakarati, Koro Nui o te Vaikava, Rapa Nui

Schannel van Dijken, Samoan, Samoa

Henry Kaniki, Sirubai Voko Tribe Association of Vella la Vella Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands

Violet Sage Walker, Chairwoman of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council, USA

Buffy Turner, Aniyunwiya, USA

Fawn C Murphy, Resighini Rancheria Tribe of Yurok People, USA

Beth Martin, Mohawk, USA

Heather A Evoy, Tlingit and Tsimshian, USA

Alexii Sigona, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, USA

Shannyn Sayula, Samoan, USA

Robert Caldwell, PhD, Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb, USA

Mishuana Goeman, Tonawanda Band of Seneca, USA

Joe Silem Enlet, Wiito and Soor Clans of Chuuk State (Federated States of Micronesia), USA

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation



Allied/Supporter Signatories

Dr. Sandor Mulsow, Tenure Marine Geology, Universidad Austral de Chile and Former Director Office of Environmental Management and Mineral Resources, International Seabed Authority

Prof. Dan Laffoley, Member, WCPA Chair's Advisory Group, IUCN, UK

HM Queen Noor of Jordan, Ocean Elder

Gigi Brisson, Founder & CEO, Ocean Elders, USA

Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder, Mission Blue, Ocean Elder, USA

Jackson Browne, Musician, Ocean Elder, USA

Gerry Lopez, Surfer, Ocean Elder, USA

Capt. Don Walsh, Ocean Elder, USA

David Shaw, Managing Partner, Black Point Group LP, USA

Richard Bailey, Chairman, Pacific Beachcomber, French Polynesia

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72 Indigenous groups
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