Cultural Survival covers Indigenous Issues worldwide. As part of this work, our team joined the international negotiations of the 12th session of the Intersessional Working Group on Article 8(j) relating traditional knowledge, innovation and practices of Indigenous Peoples under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on November 12-16, 2023, in Geneva, Switzerland. We spoke to many Indigenous leaders to communicate their priorities to our wider Indigenous audience.
Demetrius Johnson (Diné) is a #LandBack Organizer at Rapid City, South Dakota-based nonprofit NDN Collective. Originally from Tółaní, Ganado, Arizona, Johnson began community organizing shortly after being elected President of Kiva Club around the disastrous Gold King Mine spill that affected his people in 2015. He is also a long-standing lead organizer for The Red Nation, a coalition of Native and non-Native activists, educators, students, and community organizers based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, advocating Native liberation.
The Lakota LockUp Project advocates for American Indians affected by the justice system, to support innovative approaches for cultural and historical trauma survival, rebuilding lives, economic justice, traditional family services, substance and alcohol abuse treatment, and equal access to education, thus strengthening communities.
Produced by Shaldon Ferris(Khoisan)
Voices Robert Angelo and Theresa Tracke(Lakota)
Music: "LIBRES Y VIVAS by MARE ADVETENCIA, used with permission.
"Burn your village to the ground", by The Halluci Nation, used with permission.
A proposed lithium mine at Peehee Mu’huh (Thacker Pass), Nevada, has attracted much attention. But those with the deepest ties to the land - descendants of those murdered at the Thacker Pass Massacre - have not been heard. In this podcast, we hear from Gary McKinney (Western Shoshone/ Northern Paiute) about the stuggles to protect sacred lands in the age of a lithium boom due to the transition to the "green" economy.
Leya Hale lives in St. Paul. She was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. She is Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and Navajo. She is a storyteller, a documentary filmmaker, and a producer with Twin Cities PBS (TPT), where she’s been working for the past eight years. Her film, "Bring Her Home," addresses the epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in the United States.
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.
The Universal Periodic Review was established to create a consistent commitment of each UN member state to meet its human rights duties through interactive dialogue. Joshua Cooper tells us about the review of the United States.
Produced by : Agnes Portalewska/Shaldon Ferris
Interviewee: Joshua Cooper
Music: "Burn your village to the ground", by A Tribe Called Red - used with permission.
"Whispers" by Ziibiwan, used with permission
The Wampanoag Peoples have lived in the region of what is now southeastern Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. The year 2020 represents 400 years since colonizers voyaged on the Mayflower and founded Plymouth Colony as settlers on Native land. This anniversary is a time of reckoning with that history of violence, dispossession, removal. The story of Plymouth Colony cannot be told without the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples who were here as that ship arrived and who still remain.
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
Migrant families from Central America and elsewhere have had to endure being separated. Foster homes and shelters has become the temporary home to many of the kids, some of them being toddlers. Bureaucratic errors could leave the government officials unaware that a child’s parent is in the U.S. What happens when the parents cannot speak English or Spanish?
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.
In many Indigenous communities, dual justice systems operate in tandem: the European system, a colonial imposition characterized by hierarchical, punitive, written codicies, and the Indigenous system, which is often based in tradition and holistic in nature.
Human Rights Lawyer Michelle Cook (Dine') elaborates on the interactions between these two systems, and explains how communities can use the language of human rights to challenge the colonial legal system imposition in order to gain a seat at the table as independent nations with internationally recognized justice systems.
Indigenous solidarity has coalesced into a powerful movement thanks to the activism and perseverance of Indigenous leaders from communities around the world. Indigenous leaders that are defending land, language, culture, and the environment face acute persecution, both from governments directly and from extrajudicial actors.
Indigenous Rights Radio Producer Shaldon Ferris interviews Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, about the Dakota Access Pipeline. Vicky describes the central tensions underlying the current conflict, and details the opportunities for recourse available to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe through both local and international governing bodies.
Interview with Vicky Tauli-Corpuz
Production by Shaldon Ferris
Ben Sherman, of the Lakota Nation, discusses his work with the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance and his hopes to reach and engage more people through his organization, as well as the challenges facing the organization as it spreads to other parts of the world.
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.
John Scott highlights the importance of using processes established by Indigenous communities when gaining free, prior and informed consent for activities which will take place on their lands. He also talks about the importance of including traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples at the UN Permanent Forum.
Dalee Sambo discusses the exchange between the Brazilian government's representative and representatives of Brazil’s Indigenous tribes at the UNPFII 2015. Violations of Land Rights continue in Brazil, including the criminalization of Indigenous Peoples who are trying to defend their rights to land.
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz talks about her visit to Paraguay in her capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. She discusses the process and the preparation of these visits, highlighting the need for autonomy and security for the people she talks with.
It is an opportunity to meet with Indigenous communities, civil society organisations, government ministers and the private sector and encourage dialogue across society.
Antonio Gonzales, director of the American Indian Movement AIM West, explains why the use of Indigneous Peoples as mascots is culturally offensive and can no longer be tolerated in the 21st century. We caught up with Antonio Gonzales at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples Issues, New York.
Antonio Gonzales explains how without proper enforcement governments, cooperations, and extractive industries willingly ignore frameworks like FPIC which are designed to protect the rights of indigneous peoples.
Antonio Gonzales has spent many years working with international forums for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. He has witnessed achievements but draws attention to the fact that indigenous communities across the world are struggling to bring their governments to the table for discussion. He is currently advocating for an International Convention.