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Proud to Be Indigenous Week starts Sunday, May 11th. Are you part of it yet?!

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Taseko Mines Ltd. applied to the Federal Government for a second judicial review on March 26, 2014 after their proposal for the New Prosperity gold and copper mine in Tsilhqot’in territory was yet again rejected. In late February, The proposed billion-dollar open pit mine, 125 kilometres south of Williams Lake, was rejected by the Ministry of Environment due to ‘adverse environmental effects’. This included negative impacts on water quality, fish, habitats in Fish Lake, land and resource use, and the cultural heritage of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation—problems that were described by the Federal Government as “scathing” and “damning.”

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On March 26, 2014, the Quechua Federation of the Upper Pastaza River Basin (FEDIQUEP) declared a permanent strike until the Peruvian government shows signs of progress toward meeting the Federation’s conditions regarding compensation for oil contamination in its territory. Meetings among the communities, the oil company, Pluspetrol, and the government are slated for the end of April.

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On April 7, 2014, in a magistrate courtroom in Nanyuki, Kenya, Samburu community members and their supporters battling for their land rights in Laikipia went head to head with African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), President Moi, and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) as they attempted to restore the criminal case against the Samburu tribe. Those in attendance were a number of Samburu elders, Lempaa Suyianka for Katiba Institute, Ngigi for Prof Yash, and Carol Mburugu for Kituo Cha Sharia.

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Representatives of Maya communities poured into the courtroom of Justice Michele Arana on the morning of April 3, 2014 where the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) was awaiting a decision in its latest legal challenge. The judgment was brief and enlightened, with Justice Arana ruling in SATIIM’s favor and declaring that the decision to grant permission for road construction and commercial oil drilling in five buffer communities in the south was irrational, unreasonable, and unlawful.

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Underground Railway Theater’s production of Sila will be showing at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge starting April 24, 2014. Playwright Chantal Bilodeau and director Megan Sandberg-Zakian merge Inuit myth with contemporary Arctic policy to use stories of personal significance to show the impact of global warming and climate change.

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“Freedom of speech,” said Eduardo Laroj, a station volunteer and DJ for Fiesta en mi pueblo, a program that broadcasts marimba orchestras. Laroj’s statement started the discussion on station objectives at a meeting in Sumpango, Guatemala on Saturday, March 8, 2014

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Ak’Kutan Radio, the only Indigenous community radio station in the Toledo District of Belize, has just undergone renovations that are enabling them to reach more communities than ever before. They recently purchased a new radio antenna that is about 100 feet tall, and strategically placed it at the top of a large hill. Radio volunteer Sarah Priscie commented, “We have to climb 107 steps everyday to get up to the radio.” The strategic placing of the radio at the top of this hill has allowed the radio to reach many new communities that they were not able to reach before.

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Two members of our Free, Prior and Informed Initiative (FPIC) team in Guatemala travelled to Panama and Costa Rica for three weeks this month to spread the word about the program to Indigenous communities in the two countries.

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Katiba Institute, established to promote the understanding and implementation of Kenya’s new constitution, has reported that there has been an increase in human rights violations in the Samburu communities of Laikipia, Kenya. 

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