Thought leaders and environmental activists from all over the world have come together at the 26th UNFCCC Conference of Parties, in Glasgow, Scotland, in an effort to unite in the battle against climate change, and to share ideas of how Western science and Indigenous Knowledge can come together for the common good of mankind. Indigenous Peoples from Ecuadorian Amazon, Chad, Alaska, Sweden, Indonesia and Australia, Russia, the USA, and many other places are making sure that Indigenous voices are heard at COP26.
Indigenous Peoples in Brazil have suffered greatly under the leadership of President Jair Bolsonaro. In the Amazon, fires, deforestation, and illegal mining are some of the issues that affect the Indigenous Peoples of that region.
Joênia Wapichana (Wapixana) is a woman of firsts. She was the first in her family to go to university, to study law, and in 1997, she became Brazil’s first Indigenous lawyer. In 2018, she became Brazil’s first Indigenous congresswoman. Cultural Survival's Avexnim Cojti spoke to Joenia at COP 26, in Glasgow, Scotland.
Joan Carling (Kankanaey), Co-convenor of the Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group for Sustainable Development (IPMG), is an Indigenous activist from the Cordillera in the Philippines with more than 20 years of experience in working on Indigenous issues from the grassroots to the international level. Her expertise includes areas like human rights, sustainable development, the environment, climate change, and also the implementation of Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
Joan Carling attended the 26th convening of the Conference of the Parties or COP 26 in Glasgow in November 2021.
Human trafficking is one of the most difficult issues to address in Nepal, affecting and exploiting thousands of women, adolescent girls, and children. Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately affected by human trafficking and represent almost 70 percent of the cases. Indigenous women and girls make up the majority of the people trafficked and exploited. Following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, economic opportunities have been severely impacted and the numbers of missing women and girls including children have risen sharply.
Deidre Jantjies is an Indigenous South African Film producer. Her animated web series called Stories van die wind (Stories of the wind), was recently screened at The Wairoa Maori Indigenous Film Festival in New Zealand. Deidre tells us about using animation to tell our own stories.
Produced by Shaldon Ferris (Khoisan)
Interviewee Deidre Jantjies (Outeniqua)
Image: Screenshot from 'Stories van die wind"
Music: "Anania2" by the Baba Project, used with permission.
"Burn your village to the ground", by a Tribe called Red, used with permission.
South Africa has been branded as “the Rainbow Nation” because of the diversity of its citizens. The country boasts a very liberal constitution and eleven official languages, which however do not include Indigenous languages. What is becoming more and more apparent lately is the exclusion of the Khoi and San languages especially from school curricula, radio, and television. IYX Radio is a new internet radio station that hopes to change the narrative.
Producer: Shaldon Ferris (Khoisan)
Interviewee: Sharri Cannel (San)
In South Africa on November 1, 2019, a benefit sharing agreement was reached after many years of intense negotiations. This industry wide agreement was the first of its kind, and was launched between the Khoikhoi and San people, and the rooibos industry.
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is a high-level advisory body to the Economic and Social Council. The Forum was established on 28 July 2000 by with the mandate to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health, and human rights.
Andrea Carmen (Yaqui) from the International Indian Treaty Council was there in the beginning, and in this radio program, she tells us all about the history of the forum, the present state of the forum, and the forum of tomorrow.
Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get us there, women need to be at every table where decisions are made. In this podcast, we speak to Jannie Staffansson (Saami), a renowned Indigenous climate change expert and aCultural Survival board member. Staffansson tells us about balancing traditional lifeways today.
Produced by Shaldon Ferris
Interviewee: Jannie Staffansson (Saami)
Tanka bars are probably the most recognizable Native American food products in the U.S.. In this radio program, Dawn Sherman, CEO of Native American Natural Foods, takes us through the Tanka's history, past challenges, as well as present day aspirations.
Producer: Shaldon Ferris (Khoisan)
Interviewee: Dawn Sherman (Lakota, Shawnee, Delaware)
Music : "Saami Drum" by Tyler, used with permission
"Burn your village to the ground" by A Tribe called Red, used with permission.
Because of colonisation, many Indigenous Peoples face issues of discovering who they are, in terms of identity. Sometimes, this is as a result of education or religion.
Sometimes we question our own indigeneity, and perhaps, in some cases, there are reasons for this.
Each of us has a different past, a different coming together of events, that has led to who we are, and where we come from.
Cultural Survivals Avexnim Cojti spoke to Cathy Fournier, from the University of Torronto, in Canada.
There are many issues that Cultural Survival has covered and fought for as an organization over the past 47 years, and these issues include but are not limited to land rights, Indigenous languages, traditional knowledge, self-determination, freedom of expression and so on. One thing that stands out for our Executive Director Galina Angarova, and is very close to her heart, is the topic of The Sacred Feminine.
Desde las radios comunitarias se producen y trasmiten los conocimientos ancestrales. En este programa podemos conocer sobre la Parteria que aún se sigue practicando en una de las comunidad Indígenas de Ecuador. !Escuche, descargué y comparta!
Capturado por Cultural Survival
Esta es una producción de Radio Cotacachi y distribuido por Cultural Survival. Este programa es gratuito para escuchar, descargar y compartir.
Leaders and activists from all over the planet converged in Madrid, Spain to attend COP25, The United Nations Climate Change Conference.
At the forefront of half a million protesters who marched through the Spanish Capital City, were indigenous voices who led the charge in what has become a monumental demonstration to highlight the global challenges that we’re all facing as a result of climate change.
Ta’kaiya Blaney (Tla A'min Nation) from Indigenous Climate Action was there, and we got a chance to speak to her.
Cultural Survival's Avexnim Cojti (Maya Ki'che) spoke to Janene Yazzie about the participation of Indigenous Peoples at the UN's Climate Action Summit.
Janene Yazzie (Navajo) is Development Program Coordinator for International Indian Treaty Council and the council’s representative as co-convenor of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group of the U.N. High-level Political Forum on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Production: Shaldon Ferris (San, South Africa)
Image: Janine Yazzie
Galina Angarova is a representative of the Buryat people, a Russian Indigenous group. Galina holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico. She served on the board of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples for seven years. Please join us in welcoming Galina. She will commence her role on October 1st, 2019.
Interviewee: Galina Angarova
Image: Galina Angarova
Music: Canmandalla by Yarina, used with permission.
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.