At a recent appearance at the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka, Alaska, visiting artist resident Coral Chernoff (Alutiiq) brought with her a bear intestine that was recently harvested from Kodiak. She stood in the museum gallery and, holding onto the sides of the intestine, began gently blowing. With each breath the intestine became longer and wider. Once blown, Chernoff
demonstrated the waterproof quality of the material by pouring a glass of water into the organ. There were no leaks; when wet, the texture of the intestine was silky and incredibly soft.
The youngest mechanism for Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations is the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP). Established in 2007 by the Human Rights Council, the Expert Mechanism provides the Council with thematic advice in the form of studies and research on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Chief Wilton Littlechild (Cree, from Alberta, Canada) served two terms as the North American representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and is currently serving a term as chairperson for EMRIP.
Cultural Survival’s 2013 Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award recipient, Dayamani Barla, continues to lead a brave march for justice to protect her ancestral homelands and shows
what the world can learn from an Adivasi model of sustainable development.
Our series spotlighting the work of our Board members continues with newly elected board member Lesley Kabotie (Crow).
Indigenous media professionals and amateurs from all across the Americas met at the Second Continental Summit on Indigenous Communication in Santa María Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca, Mexico from October 7–13, 2013. Participants representing various forms of Indigenous media, including newspapers, radio, and television, convened to contribute to the strategic strengthening of communication processes of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala (the Americas), within a framework of exchange, dialogue, reflection, and proposals.
More than 200 women from around the world gathered in Lima, Peru in October for the World Conference of Indigenous Women. They demanded greater prominence of Indigenous women at every level of decision making and called upon governments to dedicate funding to attend to the specific needs of Indigenous women. The delegates also used the platform as a preparatory meeting for the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples, which will convene at the United Nations in September 2014 in New York.
Indigenous women delegates at the World Conference of Indigenous Women exchanged experiences of “megaprojects” on Indigenous land and developed strategies to confront continued incursions on their territories. Forestry and agricultural initiatives have displaced forest peoples in Rwanda and Cameroon, while mining projects across the Pacific, the Arctic, and the Americas are affecting numerous Indigenous communities.
"Food sovereignty is knowing the species we have on our lands, knowing what kind of seeds to plant in each territory.” These are the words of Clemencia Herrera from the Colombian Amazon, a participant in the working group on food sovereignty at the recently concluded World Conference on Indigenous Women.
Extreme weather and climate change affect everyone around the world, but Indigenous Peoples are particularly vulnerable. Meenakshi Munda, member Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network, came to the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples from the state of Jharkhand in Central India, which is home to 32 Indigenous groups and where climate change has already dramatically affected her community. “The rains are falling too late,” she says. “This year our state was declared drought-afflicted for the third year in a row.
Indigenous youth face many issues when they decide to move to cities. Often they choose to move to urban areas seeking access to education or jobs, but many times it might not even be a choice. Dali Angel (Zapotec) from Mexico explains: “It’s not just the immigration issue that we are facing, or that young people want to move to cities.