For 51 years, Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous Peoples' rights and cultures worldwide. We envision a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples' inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression and rooted in self-determination and self-governance.
Through the Capacity Building Program, Cultural Survival provides opportunities through youth fellowships, training, gatherings and community exchanges, international forum participation, networking, one-on-one mentoring to Indigenous individuals and organizations, and residency opportunities. Our goal is to increase and strengthen Indigenous communities' leadership, technical, organizational, advocacy, and sustainability capacities to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, self-determination, and ways of living, and to elevate their cultures and languages. Through our communications work, we strive to build awareness and reclaim the narrative while shifting paradigms, consciousness, and agency. Working with Indigenous Peoples and building a robust global network for over five decades, we recognize firsthand the importance of amplifying Indigenous voices and visions through Indigenous media and communications. Cultural Survival’s communications connect Peoples, movements, organizations, and others through storytelling across landscapes, waterways, and issues both locally and globally. We are excited to announce our Writer’s Residency Program thanks to the financial support of the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Our Writer’s Residency Program is a meaningful opportunity for Indigenous writers to continue their creative work, share their expertise, and gain exposure for their writing on topics important to them and their communities. We are pleased to announce our inaugural Writers in Residence, who will be working with us in 2023 and 2024.
Haana Edenshaw (Haida)
Haana Edenshaw is a member of the Tsiits Gitanee clan of the Haida Nation. She grew up on Haida Gwaii, learning from her Elders and her land. She is a second-year student at Deep Springs College in California. She has been an environmental justice and Indigenous rights activist for much of her life and has been working on issues of cultural revitalization and language learning. She is one of 15 Canadian youth suing the Canadian government for its contributions to climate change. In the lawsuit, Haana and her co-plaintiffs argue that their rights to life, liberty, security of person, equality, and public trust rights are being violated by the Canadian federal government due to its continued support of fossil fuels. The lawsuit is part of a global movement of youth, supported by the nonprofit law firm Our Children’s Trust, holding governments accountable for their role in the climate crisis.
Haana has organized climate strikes, spoken alongside Greta Thunberg at the 2019 Rally for Climate Justice in Vancouver, and delivered a speech in the Masset dialect of the Haida language at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Haana is also a board member of the Vancouver-based organization Justice For Girls, which promotes social, economic, and environmental justice and an end to violence, poverty, and racism in the lives of teenage girls who live in poverty. She is also a recipient of the 2020 Brower Youth Awards.
Hartman Deetz (Mashpee Wampanoag)
Hartman Deetz has been active in environmental and cultural stewardship for over 20 years. This stewardship is based on his spiritual foundation in his Native traditions that value the Earth as a living being. Hartman is also returning to his work with the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Program as a student and teacher. Hartman is a traditional artist as well as a singer and dancer, having shown his art in galleries and performed for audiences from coast to coast across the US. He is also the owner of Ockway Bay Wampum and creator of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples wampum belt. He is currently engaged with advocacy work for the Charles River Watershed Association, advocating for the health and restoration of the Charles River and other campaigns around Native rights to access waterways. Hartman is the Creative Director of We Are the Land at the Royal Theater in Plymouth, UK, which is a stage production reflecting on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower and the impacts of colonization on Wampanoag Peoples to be performed in Plymouth, England.