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Both in law and in systems of administrative land practice, Kenyan women’s land rights are far from being equal to those of men. Kenya Land Alliance (KLA) was founded in 1999 as a membership nonprofit, non-partisan network and registered as an NGO in 2013. The Women’s Land Rights program is a subset of KLA dedicated to the realization of constitutional provisions on women’s land rights as a means of promoting gender equality in line with local, national, regional and global commitments.


At the end of each July in the cloud forested highlands of Cobán, capital of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala (‘the land of true peace’), more than 100 young women from the Maya world gather to celebrate their rich traditions and Indigenous cultures in one of the most unique events of its kind, the Rab’in Ajaw. Translated from Q’eqchi, Rab’in Ajaw means “Daughter of the King.” While the event is nominally referred to as a beauty pageant, it is focused on spiritual beauty, intelligence, leadership skills, and knowledge of cultural and historical traditions.


Shekoli swakwe·ku, Daisee ni yukyats. Ukweh·u·wé niʔí. Wakenyʌ́ htʌ niwakiʔtaló·tʌ. Hello, relatives, my name is Daisee Francour. I am a Haudenosaunee woman, a proud member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and turtle clan. My journey to help transform and “Indigenize” philanthropy was one that I did not plan or anticipate. But I do believe the Creator called on to me to work collaboratively with other Indigenous Peoples to transform colonial systems like capitalism, finance, and philanthropy.


For thousands of years, Indigenous (Khoe) pastoralists have occupied Southern Africa. Some of the Khoe clans of South Africa include the Goringhaiqua, Corachouqua, Chainouqua, Cochoqua, Chariguriqua, Hessequa, Damaqua, and the Attaqua, among many others. In 1904, the government reclassified most people of slave heritage, along with many Indigenous Peoples, under the umbrella term “Coloured.” Since the dawn of democracy in South Africa in 1994, many people are now tracing their roots in an effort to reconnect with their Indigenous heritage.


In 2017, Rukka Sombolinggi (Toraja) from central Sulawesi, Indonesia was elected the first woman secretary general of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of Indonesian Archipelago (AMAN). Before joining AMAN in 1999, Sombolinggi worked for JAPHAMA, a network of Indigenous Peoples’ defenders—one of the main groups that convened the first congress of Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia during which AMAN was established. Also a filmmaker, she produced Standing Strong On the Tsunami Ruins in 2005, a documentary about Indigenous communities affected by the tsunami in Aceh.


Pratima Gurung (Gurung) became disabled at the age of seven after she lost her hand in an automobile accident. She has spoken about how her parents valued education and made sure she received a quality education, a rare opportunity for most Indigenous women and women with disability in Nepal. Today, Gurung is leading the advocacy effort for women with disabilities and Indigenous women in Nepal and internationally.


For the past eight years, Suzanne Benally (Santa Clara Tewa and Navajo) has served as Cultural Survival’s first Indigenous executive director. She has played a vital role in the development and success of the organization, bringing critical insight and experience needed to understand and promote the self-determination and rights of Indigenous Peoples. Under her leadership, Cultural Survival has strengthened its advocacy of the rights of Indigenous Peoples while expanding and developing community-based programming in Indigenous and human rights work internationally.


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