Political Empowerment of the People A'uwe Xavante for Prior Consultation
Established in 1996 to defend the rights of Xavante Peoples, the Association is working to develop and implement its FPIC policy to ensure Xavante rights are recognized and respected in government-initiated projects. Currently, there are four major roadways that cross Xavante Warã lands and that are targeted for paving. The Association is fighting against these projects, demanding that government uphold its responsibility to conduct the appropriate environmental and social impact studies. The KOEF grant will help the Association continue to mobilize and demand government consultation, conducting of impact assessments, and access to information.
Cherangany Multipurpose Development Programme (CHEMUDEP) (Kenya)
Cherangany Indigenous Peoples Community Engagement & Negotiation Project
The Cherangany community has an established protocol for how outsiders should communicate with them to obtain their FPIC and is using the protocol to address shortfalls in the 2005 Forest Act, and the 2010 Kenya Constitution, and to work with the Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA) on its current conservation project plans. These plans include the resources that extend from the land that belongs to the Cherangany People who have been totally ignored in the KWTA’s planning process. The Cherangany community have endured ongoing violence and forced evictions, and CHEMUDEP is leading the assertion of land and territorial rights for their people.
Coordinadora Indígena del Poder Popular de Honduras (CInPH) (Honduras)
Formulation and Management of Ante-Draft Law of Consultation Previa Libre e Informada in Honduras
CInPH will carry out four participatory consultations with community leaders in the departments of La Paz and Intibucá, regarding the proposed law “FPIC in Honduras.” They will develop a document that gathers the requests of Lenca community leaders regarding the implementation of FPIC, with the goal of sharing, reviewing and consolidating demands with other Indigenous organizations in other parts of the country. They will present the final findings to State institutions and congressional representatives. Throughout the project, CInPH will utilize Indigenous community radio stations in Honduras to broadcast advances in the developments of this legislation.
Federación Binacional del Pueblo Zápara del Ecuador y Perú (FEBPZEP) (Ecuador)
Eligibility of the Zápara Nationality of Ecuador Rights Regarding the Exploitation Projects of Blocks 79 and 83
FEBPZEP is a cross border initiative of the Zápara people to improve the living conditions of their communities while ensuring the survival of their language and culture. In the face of recent oil concessions granted by the government of Ecuador, which cover 49 percent of the Zápara territory, FEBPZEP’s project seeks to strengthen the capacity of local organizations and determine strategies for land protection. FEBPZEP will organize assemblies across other Indigenous nations affected by the concessions and will host informational workshops with community members about how to document human rights violations or environmental impacts when they are witnessed. The project also includes consultancy on communications strategies and strategic litigation before human rights bodies.
Federación Indígena Tawahka de Honduras (Honduras)
Build a Regulation or Rules of Application of FPIC for Internal Use by the Tawahka People
With funds from the KOEF grant, the Tawahka people of Honduras will develop a protocol for obtaining FPIC from their community. The drafting will take place with the help of an Indigenous legal expert on the topic. The federation will hold an assembly of all Tawakha communities to review and approve the protocol. The document will then be officially delivered to state institutions to inform pending legislation on implementing FPIC.
Fundacion de Santa Maria para la Promocion Indigena y Agroforestal (México)
Gulinaba Chi’a (“Ask well as it is”)
This project will produce a series of weekly dramatized radio programs and short informational spots for broadcast via community radio station Radio Bë Xhidza, to approximately 21,000 Zapotec listeners in the Sierra Juárez region of Oaxaca, México. The programs will be produced in the Xhidsa language and will discuss issues of FPIC, land rights, and Indigenous rights. Gulinaba Chi’a refers to the investigation by the Traditional Authorities about what the issue is, who it comes from, why it is so, etc., and on that basis, decisions are made.
International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) (USA)
Indigenous Peoples’ Gathering to Honor, Protect, and Defend the Salmon
A KOEF grant enabled IITC to convene in Southcentral Alaska to develop its strategy for responding to the State of Alaska’s environmental laws and policies, which exclude the Alaska Native Tribes in the Matanuska Valley region of Alaska. The project serves the Chickaloon Native Village, an Ahtna Athabascan/Dene’ Alaska Native Tribe, whose ancestral territory spans hundreds of miles in the Upper Cook Inlet of southcentral Alaska. With Alaska Statehood, tracts of traditional Chickaloon lands were dispersed to the State of Alaska and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, including surface and subsurface title. The State of Alaska does not recognize the existence of Chickaloon Native Village and refuses to consult, or exercise even a minimal duty of care. IITC convened the Indigenous communities of southcentral Alaska to share information about how the lack of FPIC has impacted the Salmon Peoples. The participants proposed 27 strategies to protect and defend the salmon and the ecosystems that sustain them, and to uphold the inherent and treaty rights. An outcome declaration emphasized the central importance and responsibilities of Indigenous-led initiatives, including transmitting practical traditional knowledge and ideas to new generations to protect and defend the salmon as a source of nutrition, food sovereignty, cultural and spiritual survival, now and in the future.
Organización de Mujeres Indígenas Unidas por la Biodiversidad de Panamá - OMIUBP (Panamá)
Strengthening the governance of Kuna and Embera Indigenous Peoples through FPICin Panamá
An Indigenous women’s organization in Panama focusing on biodiversity, OMIUBP will carry out two workshops with Kuna and Embera authorities and Indigenous women on the 2016 law passed in Panama titled the Law of Consultation and FPIC without consultation or consent of Indigenous communities. Workshops will guide the traditional leaders in learning about the content of the law, enable sharing their opinions, and analyzing implications for implementation. The workshops will also examine the international framework for FPIC and discuss cases where Indigenous Peoples have succeeded in implementing FPIC internationally.
Red Nacional de Mujeres Indígenas: Tejiendo Derechos por la Madre Tierra y Territorio- RENAMITT (México)
Indigenous Women’s Inclusion in Decisions Regarding Use of Lands and Territories
RENAMITT is a network of Indigenous women from across México who work to defend Mother Earth and Indigenous lands. RENAMITT’s project will include two workshops to develop an FPIC consultation policy in México, to document how consultation is currently taking place in the country, specifically regarding the consultation with Indigenous women, and a comparative analysis will be made on how consultations have been successful in other areas. With their findings, RENAMITT will produce a series of radio programs in three Indigenous languages (Wixarika, Odami, Nahuatl) covering FPIC, for broadcast via community radio in areas where consultations are currently being implemented: Jalisco, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Morelos.
Sunuwar Sewa Samaj (Nepal)
Empowering Koits-Sunuwar Indigenous Communities on the Right to FPIC
The Koits-Sunuwar Indigenous communities are strengthening their negotiating capacity with private enterprises investing in five different hydropower generation in Likhu and Khimti River. Using its KOEF grants, Sunuwar communities will participate in a study on the impact of the five Hydropower Projects on Sunuwar communities living in and around the sites in three districts, namely Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap and Dolakha.
Maya Leaders Alliance with Julian Cho Society and Toledo Alcaldes Association (Belize)
Yuaminkil Li Komolbe’jil (“Embodying Leadership”)
The Julian Cho Society works to safeguard, promote, and enhance the rights of the Indigenous Maya of southern Belize; protect natural resources and promote sustainable development; and advocate for the well-being of the Maya communities through culturally appropriate social and economic development. The Maya Leaders Alliance is comprised of Maya organizations and individuals who have previously served in traditional representative capacities for 39 Maya villages. The Toledo Alcaldes Association is the main representative body and central authority of the Maya people in Southern Belize. They are the custodians of Maya customary law. This collaborative employs capacity building on the Inferior Courts Act, Maya customary law, gender-based violence, role of the judiciary in good governance, and Maya women in democratic processes through its Strengthening the Local Governance of the 39 Maya Villages Project. The KOEF grant will support the Maya Leaders Alliance Yuamink Li Kamolbe’jil Project to engage 78 traditional leaders in building Indigenous leadership, Indigenous systems of governance and what is means to “yuamink li kamolbe’jil,” embody leadership.
Ka Kuxtal Much Meyaj A.C. (México)
Atlas of Sacred Sites of Hopelchén
Ka Kuxtal Much Meyaj was founded in 2011 by representatives of nine Mayan communities in Campeche, México, to build the educational, organizational, and agricultural conditions which support Indigenous autonomy. The project will document and map sacred sites, both archaeological and natural, that are of symbolic, religious, or cultural importance to the Maya people and are currently under threat from the soy industry in the community of Hopelchén. The project will use GPS technology to map the sites and record oral testimonies from elders demonstrating the value of these sites as cultural heritage.
Red Regional de Mujeres Siuamej Tayolchikauanij (México)
Women Defenders Network: An Approach of Equity in the Defense of the Territory (Mujeres Defensoras En Red: Un Enfoque De Equidad En La Defensa Del Territorio)
Siuamej Tayolchikauanij is a network of Indigenous and campesino women that defends their lands and recuperates traditional food production methods. Through a series of workshops, Siuamej Tayolchikauanij will share the successful story of the Cuetzalan del Progreso community, whose strong self-governance structure and demands for consultation have successfully pushed back against transnational mining, hydroelectric, and other unwanted projects on their lands. The women’s network will also focus on gender equity within self-governance structures, an area that has been lacking, and highlight the positive role that Indigenous women play in defending their lands.
** One project in Asia has asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.
Cultural Survival’s Keepers of the Earth Fund provides small grants designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ community advocacy and development projects. Since 2007, the Fund has provided nearly $2.6 million in grants and technical assistance to over 364 Indigenous-led projects in 64 countries around the world. Cultural Survival is proud to announce the following 12 grant partners in nine countries as part of our 2017 giving cycle, totaling $58,895.
Fundación Orutkua (Colombia)
Protecting U’wa natural resources and environment in eastern Colombia
The U’wa in the Boyaca, North Santander, and Santander departments are fighting to protect their ancestral homelands from megaprojects exploiting the region’s natural resources and causing environmental destruction. In 2014, the communities started an Indigenous guard group to protect the land’s resources, community members, and to maintain their sovereignty. With the project funds they aim to train 100 members of the guard in human rights, Indigenous rights, Indigenous values, conflict resolution, and first aid, and fulfill their duty to protect Mother Earth and their people’s right to self-government.
Cooperativa de Tintoreros del Caracol Purpura (Mexico)
Launching an awareness campaign to sustainably harvest and protect the Tixinda snail
In Oaxaca, Mixtec traditional textile artisans from Pinotepa de Don Luis have come together to protect the endangered Tixinda snail from extinction as a result of ecosystem threats and overconsumption. The group is made up of 18 men who still know how to practice the sustainable method of milking the snail’s sacred purple dye. The Mexican government has not enforced protections of the snail and poaching has been rapant, threatening this traditional cultural practice’s existence. The educational campaign “Aqui No Se Come Cocktel de Caracol” (Here We Do Not Eat Snail Cocktail) will launch education campaigns in schools, hotels, and restaurants about the endangered Tixinda snail and how to protect it.
Cabildo Mayor Indígena de Chigorodó (CMICH) (Colombia)
Supporting the Embera and Chami Peoples’ cultural revitalization and traditional knowledge
CMICH will launch “The Guardians of Wisdom Project: Identity Strengthening for Women, Children and Youth of the Embera Peoples” to document and strengthen traditional knowledge by bringing elder women together with youth to share wisdom through traditional songs that resist the colonial destruction of their culture. The project will produce a multimedia series that will be used as a pedagogic tool in Indigenous classrooms.
Asociación Colectivo Vida Digna (Guatemala)
Protecting Mayan ceremonial sites in Quetzaltenango to fortify Mayan spirituality and worldview among Indigenous youth
Mayan spirituality has faced strong adversity in Guatemala. Asociación Colectivo Vida Digna works with a network of Maya spiritual guides to support contemporary Mayan spiritual practice and works to centralize Mayan spirituality in the lives of Indigenous youth who have been deported from the United States back to Quetzaltenango. They will use funds to access, document, and protect sacred ceremonial sites throughout Quetzaltenango and create a photographic guidebook and map of 60 sites for spiritual guides and to protect the sites from unwanted development.
Raizal Youth Organization (Colombia)
Developing education modules for Raizal Youth of the San Andres Islands to reconnect with land
The Raizal Youth Organization was founded in 2014 by young members of the Raizal community in the San Andres Islands, who have been disenfranchised from their lands due to a growing tourism industry on their island. Many of the youth face issues such as high unemployment and a lack of access to quality education. The group will gather the community to collectively develop a pedagogy based on traditional knowledge to revitalize the connection of Raizal youth to their lands and waters. Their work will strengthen local stewardship of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve declared a UNESCO site off the shores of the San Andres Islands.
Grupo de Artesanas de la Nacionalidad Kichwa “Sumak Kausay” (Ecuador)
Improving economic security of Kichwa women by supporting the sustainable use of sacred seeds
Kichwa women artisans of the Sumak Kausay collective use sacred seeds of a local plant to create and sell handmade items based on their people’s traditional techniques. This work connects the community to their culture, which is threatened by globalization. Their project will create a community garden where they can grow and harvest their own seeds, rather than purchase them from intermediaries which threaten the plants by harvesting unsustainably and charge high prices. They will use the sustainably harvested seeds to produce a better product at a lower cost, improving sales and the economic stability of the women and their families.
Ahetaha Water Conservation Association Inc. (AWCA) (Solomon Islands)
Preserving terrestrial and marine lands and natural resources of the Ahetaha Peoples
In 2017, the Ahetaha peoples formed the AWCA to protect their ancestral homelands. Since government support is scarce, the Ahetaha have created sustainable practices for their local flora, fauna and water resources using traditional practices and methods that have sustained the ecosystems for generations. Currently, they are conserving the local dugong and sea turtle populations, as well as managing seagrass. The sealife is often hunted for feasts or killed by accident by fisherman, and the Ahetaha are looking to save these creatures from extinction.
San Youth Network (Botswana)
Empowering, educating, and advocating for the San Youth of southern Africa
The San Peoples of Botswana have long faced issues such as marginalization and poverty. Government pressure on the San risks the loss of their culture as they are forced to assimilate into the mainstream Tswana lifestyle. The San Youth Network is working to reconnect young San people with their culture and to encourage the practices of San arts. Their newest project is a workshop that teaches youth cultural activities such as tracking, healing dances, and San games and songs.
Red Willow Womyn’s Family Society (Canada)
Supporting Cowichan women through child apprehension process
Since 2009, Red Willow Womyn’s Family Society has supported the Cowichan First Nations of British Columbia through its crisis of children removed from families by the federal government due to high rates of poverty, homelessness, addiction, suicide, and domestic violence. Many of these problems are echoes from the residential school systems that hurt these communities. Red Willow Womyn’s Family Society works to build the capacity of parents to avoid child apprehension, ensure child wellness, and to aid parents as they navigate the difficult legal processes around child apprehension. "Breaking the Code of Silence Project" focuses on engaging with Indigenous families and their experiences with child apprehension as well as educating the broader community.
Comunidad Mapuche Malalhue-Chanko (Chile)
Promoting the Mapuche community and the protection of their homelands
The Mapuche people face poor access to education in their homelands, forcing many families to migrate to larger cities. Since 2015, the Comunidad Mapuche Malalhue-Chanko has been creating sustainable livelihoods that are culturally appropriate and can generate a living wage. They have also worked to protect the natural resources of the Mapuche homelands by fighting problems such as deforestation. The organization is also currently working on sustainable forest management projects and on educating the youth on sustainability.
Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC) (USA)
Protecting Tribal lands and waterways for future generations
SEITC is a network of sovereign Tribal Nations in southeast Alaska united in the struggle against the mining industry, which is damaging the environment of their homelands and polluting rivers that are vital to the communities. The organization is seeking to unite across the Canadian border with First Nations and Indigenous communities to establish transboundary watershed governance that will incorporate international water laws and conventions. These watersheds yield economic benefits for the communities and their safeguarding is of the utmost importance for the communities’ health and economies.
Tse Wedi Elth/Unist’ot’en Camp (British Columbia, Canada)
Reclaiming Indigenous sovereignty and protecting homelands from resource extraction
Created by Wet’suwet’en chiefs, the Unist’ot’en Camp sits in the “energy corridor” for pipelines in Canada and is under threat from oil spills and devastating destruction of the environment. The Wet’suwet’en are demanding that the Canadian government respect their Free, Prior and Informed Consent protocols, and are taking their land claims to the Canadian court system. Despite Unist’ot’en laws and protections from oil companies, the community is still pressured by these companies and has faced intimidation from the government. They are implementing the "Living Out Our Protocols Project" to gather and strategize the best way to protect their lands and build solidarity between communities by promoting traditional skills and educating the youth.