António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a statement on the conclusion of COP26, said the conference outcome reflected the state of political will in the world today and provided building blocks for progress. “We are in the fight of our lives, and this fight must be won,” he said. “Never give up. Never retreat. Keep pushing forward.”
“The outcome of COP26 is a compromise. It reflects the interests, the contradictions, and the state of political will in the world today. It is an important step, but it is not enough,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the conclusion of the conference. Indigenous Peoples from all over the world attended COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. This year, Indigenous Peoples represented the second-largest civil society delegation in attendance at COP26, second only to oil and gas lobbyists.
The International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) was established in 2008, as the Caucus for Indigenous Peoples participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes. The IIPFCC represents the Indigenous Caucus members who are present/attending the official UNFCCC COPs and intersessional meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA/SBI) bodies in between COPs. Its mandate is to come into agreement specifically on what Indigenous Peoples will be negotiating for in specific UNFCCC processes.
Climate change can affect our health, ability to grow food, housing, safety, and work. Some of us are already more vulnerable to climate impacts, such as people living in small island nations and other developing countries. Conditions like sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion have advanced to the point where whole communities have had to relocate, and protracted droughts are putting people at risk of famine. In the future, the number of “climate refugees” is expected to rise.
For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conferences of the Parties (COP). In that time, climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority. Cultural Survival's Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications Daisee Francour (Oneida) spoke to youth activist Victor Lopez-Carmen (Crow Creek Sioux and Yaqui) at COP 26.
Cultural Survival's Avexnim Cojti attended the COP26 summit, and spoke to Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough (Iñupiat), International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, who has served as an expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for 2016 and 2017 and as a member of the International Law Association Committee on Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Daunnette Moniz-Reyome, a proud member of the UmoⁿhoⁿTribe in Nebraska, is turning 19 this year. She began modeling at age 13, appearing in multiple spreads and videos by Teen Vogue, which opened up the world of media attention to her. Despite her passion for the modeling and entertainment industries, Moniz-Reyome struggled to find Native American models to look up to. So, she decided to become that model for other Native American youth.
Produced by Shaldon Ferris (Khoisan)
Interviewee: Daunnette Moniz-Reyome (Umoⁿhoⁿ)
Image: Daunnette on set
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.
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.
For Indigenous Peoples, food security is necessary for health, and also to maintain a relationship with the earth and its resources.
What is also valuable for Indigenous Peoples is to consume culturally appropriate food. In this radio program, we speak to Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough and Carolina Behe, as we find out more about food sovereignty and food security amongst Inuit and Peoples in the Arctic.
Producer: Shaldon Ferris (KhoiSan)
Interviewees: Carolina Behe and Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough(Iñupiat)
Image: Berry picking. Photo by Chris Arend.
"Within each body is an archaeological site that holds the details and wisdom of our extraordinary life story, composed of generational, spiritual, and personal experiences. Historical amnesia locks these stories in the body, manifesting as pain, disease, addictions, emotional patterns, and repetitive circumstances. Somatically excavating your personal legend unearths memories of the past that can be reconciled and healed in order to create a new myth-for your body and for your Earth."
The above quote describes a book, My Body, My earth, by Dr. Ruby Gibson.
In this program, Indigenous Rights Radio producer Shaldon Ferris (Khoisan, South Africa) speaks to Janene Yazzie (Navajo, USA), Sustainable Development Coordinator at International Indian Treaty Council, about the impacts of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.
Produced by Shaldon Ferris
Interviewee: Janene Yazzie
"Burn Your Village to the Ground" by A Tribe Called Red. 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
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.
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.
The reduction in size of the Bears Ears National Monument by the Trump Administration runs contrary to the principles established in Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We spoke to Braidan Weeks, the Communications Coordinator for Utah Diné Bikéyah, about the importance of Bears Ears, the unlawfulness of the actions taken by the Trump administration, and the advocacy currently underway to defend the monument led by the Tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.
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.
It was the Wampanoag People, the people of the first light, that encountered the Pilgrims when they arrived to Turtle Island (North America) from Europe in 1620. Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States, mythologizing the violent events that followed European arrival into a story of friendship and mutual sharing. But the reality is that the Wampanoags’ generosity was met with genocide, and this truth has been systematically suppressed in the US education system, government, and popular culture.
A close relationship with local environments and ecosystems is more critical than ever in the face of a rapidly changing climate. This program features two perspectives from Indigenous communities that are practicing resiliency to global warming by adapting their traditional knowledge and science to put a changing climate into the context of their communities' history and lifeways.
Elizabeth Azzuz (Yurok), Cultural Fire Management Council
Jannie Staffansson (Saami), Arctic and Environment Unit of the Saami Council
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.
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.
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
We're here in New York City at the People's Climate March, marching alongside Indigenous communities from all over the world who have joined together to demand action towards solutions for climate change. Here are some words from Winona LaDuke, a long time leader of the Native environmental movement in the United States.
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.
Participants discuss what food sovereignty means for Indigenous Peoples. Speakers include Native American activist, and author Dr. Winona Laduke, and Dr. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Global Coordinator of the ICCA Consortium, and David Strelneck, Senior Advisor at Ashoka Foundation.
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.
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.