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Q’opoj Tz’olojyá

Translated as “Young lady of Solola” or “Beauty of Solola” is a tradition that has been preserved for over 40 years in the department of Solola, Guatemala. It is not a beauty contest rather a competitive recognition of the strongest and well-rounded Indigenous women of Solola. The cultural event Q’opoj Tz’olojya’ takes place every July in the city of Solola where between 15-20 young Indigenous women compete to prove they are the most knowledgeable about their language, dancing, and traditions, as well as events and issues effecting their communities.

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UMass Boston’s Institute for New England Native American Studies (INENAS) and Suffolk University Law School’s Indigenous Peoples Rights Clinic are pleased to announce a year-long, statewide project, Massachusetts Native Peoples and the Social Contract: A Reassessment for Our Times. Supported by a grant from Mass Humanities, the two organizations will host four roundtable discussions and listening sessions in areas of the state with substantial Native American populations.

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Rigoberto Juárez, detained in March, 2015 for his activism in opposition to a proposed dam of a sacred river in Santa Cruz Barillas, Guatemala by the Spanish corporation, Hidro Santa Cruz, remains unjustly imprisoned in Guatemala City.

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As part of an ongoing initiative to include Indigenous youth voices in petitions put forward by Indigenous organizations and groups, the first national Indigenous youth political discussion was held in Guatemala City on July 17, 2015. Youth representatives of all three linguistic groups in Guatemala: Mayan, Xinca and Garifuna, were present during the meeting. Previous regional meetings were held earlier during the year throughout Guatemala where a political agenda was developed from the various work-groups.

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In June 2015, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, a part of the Ojibwe Nation located in the conservative Upper Peninsula of Michigan, became the third tribe in Michigan and the twelfth in the US to legalize and codify same-sex marriage.

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The Amazon River Basin is a place like no other on Earth. In recent years, this indescribably important region has been under siege by human development driven by both governments and corporations. One new and particularly dangerous development is a proposed South American Transcontinental Railroad that would be built from Peru to Brazil

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As reported by Richard Arghiris, Ngöbe activists of the M22 resistance movement protesting the Barro Blanco dam were physically removed from their protest camp this month by Panamanian police. In the Vigui community nearby, police actually flooded a protest camp and have been preventing activists from assembling in protest of the dam. Police are also employing “loud sirens and harsh spotlights trained on [protest] camps” in Tolé in the Chiriquí province to harass protesters throughout the night.

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On July 10 Asociacion Sobriviviencia Cultural brought to a close several fruitful days of radio-to-radio exchange in Alta Verapaz. This project was carried out with the generous support of the Swift Foundation and with volunteers from Radio Planeta in San Marcos, Guatemala. An experienced team of the radio program staff and volunteers collaborated to visit Radio Kamalb’e located in the rural community of Chantaca, Radio Nimlajacoc from the community of Nimlajacoc and Radio Tzuu Talq’a in the community of Chisec.

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On July 9, 2015, during an encounter in Bolivia with Indigenous groups, activists, and Evo Morales--Bolivia’s first Indigenous president, Pope Francis apologized to the Indigenous Peoples of America for the Catholic Church’s role in the brutalities of colonization.

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The Tolupanes of Yoro in central Honduras have become major actors in the massive protests and demonstrations that have been filling the streets of Honduran cities for weeks. Revelations that Honduran government functionaries and members of the ruling National Party had drained an estimated 300 million dollars from the national social security and health budget to help finance election campaigns may have seemed like the "last straw."

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GENEVA (7 July 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, today urged the Government of Belize to ensure respect for the rights of the country’s Maya people to non-discrimination and traditional property.

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Cultural Survival (CS) is a global leader in advancing the world’s Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their lands, languages, and cultures. We seek a Director of Development who will provide vision and leadership for the organization’s fundraising operation.

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