Our Response to COVID-19

Xobon Banewe

Photo: Celia Panduro (Shipibo) of Masisea, Pucallpa, Peru, holds a sign that says "Stay at home" in her native language. Photo by Cecilio Soria of the Shipibo Konibo Xetebo Indigenous governance council, whose radio station was supported by a grant from Cultural Survival in 2018.

As the world faces what feels like unprecedented times, Indigenous Peoples across the globe are reflecting on the experiences of their ancestors in fighting past pandemics. They are turning to traditional knowledge, practices and values to remain strong and healthy in this crisis. When rooted in the strength of Indigenous lands, cultures, languages, knowledge, ancestors, and communities, Indigenous Peoples will be resilient– but even in their resilience, they still face disproportionate challenges and inequities in navigating this pandemic.

Centuries of colonization has impacted Indigenous access to lands, territories, and natural resources and has disrupted access to food and medicine, leaving many Indigenous communities with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, malnutrition, obesity, and heart disease. The lands where they harvest our food and medicine have been contaminated and degraded.

International solidarity is vital for the survival of Indigenous Peoples and all our relations. There is a special need to support ground-breaking initiatives managed by Indigenous governments, local community organizations, women, and youth, who know what is needed on the local level and are on the ground to carry it out.

Right now at Cultural Survival we are working on the following:

  • Arranging emergency funding via Keepers of the Earth Fund to make direct grants to our Indigenous partners to respond to the crisis in their local communities using Indigenous solutions
  • Producing, distributing and translating Public Service Announcements for preventative measures against COVID-19 into 100+ Indigenous languages to be broadcast through 1,000+ Indigenous radio stations globally, we have over 80+ right now!
  • Launching an Emergency Response Toolkit for Indigenous community radio stations and translated into several Indigenous languages
  • Curating a global monitoring system for COVID-19 in Indigenous communities using google maps technology
  • Developing ongoing and life-saving content on COVID-19 programming in Indigenous languages

Join Cultural Survival in upholding Indigenous rights, health, well being and cultural continuity during this critical time. We rely on people like you to keep our institution and communities strong. Make a financial gift today! From all of us at Cultural Survival, we thank you for your support and commitment to upholding Indigenous rights and self-determination.

Urgent PSAs in Indigenous Languages

Covid-19 Articles