The 18th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on the rights of Indigenous Peoples was held from April 22nd to May 3rd 2019. The theme for this year was Traditional Knowledge: Generation, Transmission and Protection.
We got a chance to speak via Skype to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli Corpuz, on the meaning behind this particular theme and why it was chosen.
Lights in the Forest by Yarina.
Used with permission.
Indigenous women represent one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in the world. For centuries, Indigenous Women have been subjected to relentless discrimination and different types of violence based on gender, indigeneity, and class. They are deprived from even basic human rights such as access to health services, education and employment. This Indigenous Rights Radio program depicts Indigenous Women and access to quality health services.
Producer : Dev Kumar Sunuwar and Bia'ni Madsa' Juárez López
In March we commemorate two very important international days, Zero Discrimination Day on March 1st, as well International Women's day on March 8th.
How are Indigenous Peoples discriminated against, and furthermore, how are Indigenous Women discriminated against?
In this program we pay homage to Xoroxloo Duxee, an Indigenous Woman from Botswana who died from starvation and dehydration because access to a water well in the desert had been restricted.
Producer: Shaldon Ferris (KhoiSan, South Africa)
Interviewee: //Uruseb, researcher on Indigenous Peoples.
Maasai are semi-nomadic pastoralists who migrate within semi-arid lowlands and more humid uplands to obtain water and pasture. The large majority of them obtain their livelihood through husbandry of cattle, goat and sheep. Their food culture is very unique as they rely on meat, milk and blood from cattle for protein and energy needs. But lately with the gradual loss of elder members of the Maasai community who carry most of this people’s indigenous knowledge, Maasai indigenous communities are losing their customary practices.
Indigenous peoples' day is about honoring indigenous resistance, and celebrating the contributions of indigenous peoples all over the world. In this newsletter we celebrate the activism of Antie Pua Case from Hawaii, and other activists around the world who fight to preserve our mountains, our rivers, our valleys, our Earth. The program ends with a song by Taino artist Brothery Mikey, who produced a song called "Like the Mauna", inspired by the Indigenous People of Hawaii's efforts to protect the sacred Mauna.
Bartolina Sisa was killed in Bolivia in 1782. International Indigenous Women's Day is held each year on 5th September. Although women fight for their rights and the rights of their people, not enough recognition is given to the efforts of women.
Indigenous Peoples from around the world represent a disproportionate number of refugees and internally displaced persons due to a number of reasons, including conflict. They are one of the main targets of violence, displacing them from their ancestral land and territories. Vulnerability to displacement as an intersectional issue is often overlooked, a situation that has further increased the vulnerability of these populations. This radio program recounts the experience of Nwe Oo, an Indigenous Rakhine refugee who is currently taking shelter in California, United States.
Indigenous communities are particularly vulnerable to the crime of human trafficking due to the systematic denial of health and wellness resources to which they are subjected. In this program, we focus on the Navajo Nation's response to increased rates of trafficking linked to mining/oil development, and the legal response the Navajo government has implemented to alleviate the harm caused by trafficking, which disproportionately affects Indigenous women and girls.
Peter Buffett is a Co-President of the NoVo Foundation, which works to foster a transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership. As part of this work, NoVo supports work in Indigenous communities across North America, including community-led programs that center Indigenous girls and women. Suzanne Benally (Navajo and Santa Clara Tewa) is a leader in U.S. Indigenous rights advocacy, and serves as the Executive Director of Cultural Survival.
November 25th, 2017 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Indigenous women face disproportionate rates of violence and discrimination due to their intersecting identities (woman and Indigenous) which have both been historically marginalized in society. Nepali activists explain their work to end violence against women in their country, and lay out next steps for continuing the work of women's liberation around the world.
What can Western science learn from Indigenous knowledge? We speak with Dr. Daniel Wildcat (Yuchi) and Tui Shortland (Maori) about the value of Indigenous longitudinal place-based knowledge that Indigenous People have gathered over millennia. We unpack what positive collaboration between Western science and Indigenous science can look like and why it is important.
"Atahualpa" and "Lights in the forest" by Yarina. Used with permission.
Can traditional knowledge from Indigenous communities provide us with answers to fighting climate change? We speak with Andrea Carmen (Yaqui), Executive Director of International Indian Treaty Council. She speaks about how Indigenous women are very strong voices in the work for the protection of the environment, through their role as food producers, knowledge holders, and the first teachers of children.
In Mbororo communities in Chad, Indigenous women are the most affected by climate change because they are the ones collecting food, water, and traditional medicines for their families. Changes to their environment have cause increased hardship on the Mbororo who are pastoralist cattle headers, as they are forced to move more frequently to cope with increasing drought conditions.
What is the role of Indigenous Peoples in the current climate crisis? What responsibility do Indigenous Peoples feel towards Mother Earth today? Listen to three Indigenous women leaders give their perspectives on their feeling of the interconnection between all living things and our planet in the face of climate change, and what they feel should be done with that knowledge.
March 8th is International Women's Day-- a time to celebrate the many accomplishments of women, as well as to discuss strategies to further their empowerment and to achieve gender equality. Shaldon Ferris (Khoisan) interviews Avexnim Cojti (Maya K’iche’) about the role of women in her community, and what needs to change in order for Indigenous women to finally occupy an equal position in society.
November 25th is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Cultural Survival remembers Sarah Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman who, under Dutch colonization of her homeland, was taken captive and coerced to participate in public shows and medical examinations which relied on a falsified science of racial difference. We honor her life as a testament to the urgent necessity of having an international day when the world renews its commitment to end violence against women, especially Indigenous women and women of color.
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz (Igorot Kankanaey, Philippines), a long-time activist and UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, shares her experience with successes of small, local groups reaching out to the international community to collaborate in better defending their rights. She explains how her experience as a nurse led to community engagement, which quickly turned into a passion for advocating for the needs of community members as an activist.
This program is dedicated to Joan Carling, an activist from the Kankanaey people of the Philippines. She has served as an Expert Member on the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during 2014 and 2016, and as the Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Pact. In this interview, she explains the benefits of the participation of Indigenous Peoples in local and global decision-making, which would bring a diversity of perspective and solutions to pressing issues.
Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard (Anishinaabe, Canada) explains how the concerns that have been labeled as “women’s issues” are in fact central to the progress of Indigenous rights. Often, concerns such as domestic abuse, schooling, and healthcare are often sidelined in favor of focusing on issues that are seen as more universal. Dr. Lavell-Harvard places them at the center of her activism efforts, showing that there is no need to compromise or postpone the rights of Indigenous women in Indigenous movements globally.
Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough (Innuit, Alaska, USA) discusses her early engagement in the politics of Indigenous Peoples land rights, and shares her insight into why the defense of land merits extra international legal attention. She urges leaders to have optimism, and take “the long view” approach to making progress in the protection of Indigenous rights.
UN Special Rapporteur Vicky Tauli Corpuz discusses the international trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is being negotiated by Canada,The United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. She confirms that Indigenous Peoples must be consulted before these deals are negotiated.
UN Special Rapporteur Vicky Tauli Corpuz discusses the international trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is being negotiated by Canada,The United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. She discusses why governments are pushing for it, and its implications for Indigenous Peoples.
Dayamani Barla, Indigenous tribal journalist and activist from Jharkland, India, discusses how Indigenous Peoples have been displaced from their traditional farming lands in the name of dams, mining and other development projects.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar and Jagat Dong from Nepal, for Cultural Survival after attending the Indigenous Terra Madre conference held in November, 2015 in Meghalaya, North East India.
Nancy Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota) from South Dakota shares her work in domestic violence and sexual assault and gives advice on how to make a change. She speaks about historical trauma and its effects on Native American peoples today. Nancy works with women who are victims of domestic violence and human trafficking and hopes to lessen the economic and mental health disparities in Indigenous women. We caught up with Nancy at the UNPFII 2015.
Interview at the United Nations Permament Forum on Indigenous Peoples, May 2015 in New York. Listen to a members of the Indigenous Peoples Global Network speak about how they want to be included as Indigenous Peoples with Disabilities in the broader movement.
Jinumu, an Indigenous woman from Taiwan, uses the World Conference of Indigenous Women as an opportunity to learn more about the rights of women since indigenous rights and women’s rights are not topics that are often discussed in her home country.
When Indigenous women like Raffaella Bulyaar of the Maasai people are able to attend global conferences, they are able to bring useful information back to their people in order to further discuss and learn ways to grow as a community and defend their human rights.
Andrea Landry, Anishinabek from the traditional territory of the Ashinaabe people, voices the importance of straying away from relying on the federal government to save indigenous communities and instead suggests working as a community toward changes within that community for more productive results. Landry believes confronting and talking about important issues as a community can lead to positive change.
Join Cultural Survival as we interview Dayamani Barla, winner of the 2013 Ellen Lutz award for Indigenous Leadership, as we catch up with her at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, May 2013.