In Reverend Josephenie H.H.C.T. De-Robertson words:
“The Miskitu Nation are the original people on the Moskitia/Mosquito (Miskitu) territory in Central America. Their history dates back to the Mayan civilizations.”
I am Rev. Josephenie Robertson, matriarch of the Miskitu Nation, born in Silver City, Mosquitia- known as Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua today. I am here to tell you the beautiful history and culture of the Miskitu people and the plight we face currently. Growing up in the political sphere, my mother was on the royal court and my grandfather curated the first Miskitu library – it is in my blood to carry on the Miskitu legacy. I witnessed the library burned down by order of Nicaragua’s president Somoza and the following sanctioned executions of Sandinista opposition which included my brothers and uncles. This lit a fire in me and I declared independence of the nation in 1957. In 1960, I was given the option to be exiled permanently or face death. With 72 hours to leave my beloved remaining family and friends in Mosquitia, I left with the belief I would be of better service to my people alive.
Ever since, I have been pursuing the full sovereignty and international right to self determination for the Miskitu People. My home was filled with education, culture, democracy, and a symbiotic relationship with nature – a stark contrast to the oppression and neglect by ruling governments in Nicaragua and Honduras that last to this day. Today, lands are seized for their abundant natural resources and sold to the highest foreign bidder or abused to the point of ruin. This not only affects the immediate coastal nation but as we are now seeing with aggressive climate change, the world at large. Today, I come to you as a mother, grandmother and human being to beg of you, to not ignore or exterminate the native people but work with us! Through our centuries of wisdom, we have found plants that contain life saving medicines and the blueprint to what society is today. We just ask for RESPECT and autonomy. We are a global nation that can offer so much instead of persecution for simply standing our ground.
The first people are fighting to keep what makes this world beautiful, why do we have to drive everything into extinction? When that’s gone we won’t be able to drink or eat money, jewels or cars and we can’t enjoy material things without first our health. This conviction stands to this day and has grown into using funds to send humanitarian efforts, advocating with press briefings and contact with her people, practicing homeopathic remedies, and storytelling with her art.