Cultural Survival Q
The Seventh Generation
Spotlight on Indigenous Youth
Vol. 37, Issue 2 â&#x20AC;˘ June 2013 US $7.50/CAN $9
J une 2013 V olum e 37 , Issue 2 Board of Directors President & board Chair
Vincent Nmehielle (Ikwerre)
Nicole Friederichs Clerk
Jean Jackson Karmen Ramírez Boscán (Wayúu) Duane Champagne (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) Laura Graham Steve Heim James Howe Edward John (Tl’azt’en) Cecilia Lenk Pia Maybury-Lewis Les Malezer (Gabi Gabi) P. Ranganath Nayak Stella Tamang (Tamang) Jeff Wallace Che Philip Wilson (Nga-ti Rangi) FOUNDERS David & Pia Maybury-Lewis Cultural Survival PO Box 381569 Cambridge, MA 02238 t 617.441.5400 f 617.441.5417 www.cs.org 2769 Iris Ave., Suite 101 Boulder, CO 80304 t 617.441.5400 f 617.441.5417 5ª calle 14-35, Zona 3 Apartamento 202 Edificio Las Tapias Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, 09001 Cultural Survival Quarterly
Copy Editor: Jenn Goodman Guest Contributing Editor: Cristina Verán Designer: NonprofitDesign.com Contributing Arts Editor: Phoebe Farris Production Manager: Agnes Portalewska Copyright 2013 by Cultural Survival, Inc. Cultural Survival Quarterly (ISSN 0740-3291) is published quarterly by Cultural Survival, Inc. at PO Box 381569, Cambridge, MA 02238. Periodical postage paid at Boston, MA 02205 and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Cultural Survival, PO Box 381569, Cambridge, MA 02238. Printed on recycled paper in the U.S.A. Please note that the views in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Cultural Survival.
View writers’ guidelines at our website (www.cs.org) or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Cultural Survival, Writer’s Guidelines, PO Box 381569, Cambridge, MA 02238. Cultural Survival recognizes that Indigenous Peoples have long been exploited by photographers and publications. This publication does not pay photographers for images and makes no money from publishing them. We also make a tremendous effort to identify every Indigenous individual in the images that appear here. From time to time, however, such identification is not possible. We apologize to the subjects of those photos and ii • www. cs. org to any reader offended by the omission.
On January 16, six James Bay Cree youth from Whapmagoostui First Nation in Canada left their community on the shore of the Hudson Bay and started a trek to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest the violation of Aboriginal Treaty rights. Read more about the Journey of Nishiyuu on page 8. Photo by Tonya Fawn.
F e at u r e s
12 OCEANIA RISING: Far From Home Cristina Verán Indigenous Micronesian students protest through performance in Hawai’i.
14 In Alliance as Native Youth Leaders, as Family
Febna Caven Native Youth Leadership Alliance invests time and resources in building the next generation of Native leaders.
16 Guardian of the Earth: A Portrait of the Environmentalist as a Young Man Erin McArdle At age 11, youth activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez inspires people of all ages to protect the Earth.
18 An Award for a Fearless Woman
Agnes Portalewska Cultural Survival is honored to present Dayamani Barla, an Indigenous rights activist from Jharkhand, India, with the 2013 Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award.
20 The Intersection of Plural Citizenship and Indigenous Rights
Erin McArdle Interview with Cultural Survival Board Member Duane Champagne
22 Our Nyikina Story of Language Revitalization
Dr. Anne Poelina Australian Indigenous people of the Mardoowarra (Fitzroy River) in Australia develop new tools for language revival.
Departments 1 Executive Director’s Message 2 In the News 4 Climate Change Changing with the Climate in Finland: The Skolt Sámis 6 Rights in Action Guatemala’s Community Radio Movement Struggles for Justice 8 Indigenous Arts The Art of Youth Resistance and Inspiration: Nishiyuu Journey 10 Women the World Must Hear Jessica R. Metcalfe Brings Native American Fashion into the Spotlight 26 Bazaar Artist Making Art Out of Wire: Bernard Domingo 27 Our Supporters 28 Take Action Take action with the Tsilhqot’in Nation of British Columbia, Canada as they assert their right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the wake of gold and copper mining.
24 The Way Forward
Evelyn Arce Indigenous philanthropy can change the world and International Funders for Indigenous People is leading the way.
On the cover After walking 1,600 kilometers, youth from Whapmagoostui First Nation in Canada arrive at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Photo by Tonya Fawn. (see page 8)
Executiv e Director’S message
Hope Lies in the Seventh Generation
he well being and future of children should be at the center of any decision we make. How will our children benefit from what we do? I have spent the majority of my career working in the interests of young people, so this central question is important to me. As Native people we come from societies where children are socialized into their family and community roles through daily activities, intergenerational relationships, and community processes. Leadership arises through shared communal understanding of these processes and of knowing who we are as a people. I am reminded of a moment years ago, sitting around a table when one of my cousins was talking about putting her young son in preschool. My uncle leaned over and told me that soon as the child was able to walk, he would be taking him to the corn fields to learn. I thought about the child learning to sing to the corn, nurturing it to grow, so that it may in turn nurture us. He would be learning and securing a deep relationship with the natural world and an understanding of who he is. Then I imagined him in preschool learning to sing “twinkle, twinkle, little star – how I wonder what you are?” and in this process, over time, wondering who he is. As Native people, our experiences with schooling have a long history of violence against children, with inhumane forced removal and forced assimilation. Yet we are dependent on the success of our children’s education, and in local communities we seek to make it culturally relevant. We seek to recover or revitalize
our languages so that our children and young leaders may walk into the future with wisdom and knowledge expressed in their native tongues. We are passing on a complex and challenging future, and it is dependent on what we do for our children now; on the leadership we nurture and support. In this issue of Cultural Survival Quarterly we spotlight Indigenous youth and their courageous actions to sustain their cultures and assert their rights. With deep appreciation we acknowledge the many ways in which our young people are asserting their Indigenous identity in new forms: leading protests for their rights; using cultural artforms as expression and voice; organizing alliances in their communities; engaging in learning opportunities for leadership; becoming learners of their languages; and becoming guardians of mother earth. They have strong role models to look to, as seen in Dayamani Barla, Dr. Duane Champagne, Dr. Anne Poelina, and Elder Lucy Marshall, who are also written about in this issue. Cultural Survival is honored to recognize Dayamani Barla, an Indigenous human rights activist and journalist from the Munda tribe in the Indian state of Jharkhand, with the 2013 Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award. It is my honor to recognize her, knowing the struggle and sacrifice Indigenous women leaders make as mothers and grandmothers for the future of our children.
Suzanne Benally, Executive Director (Navajo and Santa Clara Tewa)
Donors like you make our work around the world possible. Thanks so much for being part of Cultural Survival. Staff Suzanne Benally (Navajo and Santa Clara Tewa), Executive Director Mark Camp, Deputy Executive Director Danielle DeLuca, Program Manager, Global Response Program and Free, Prior and Informed Consent Initiative David Michael Favreau, Bazaar Program Manager Sofia Flynn, Accounting & Office Manager Maria del Rosario “Rosy” Sul Gonzalez (Kachiquel), Free, Prior and Informed Consent Initiative Radio Producer Jamie Malcolm-Brown, Communications & Information Technology Manager Cesar Gomez Moscut (Pocomam), Content Production & Training Coordinator, Community Radio Program Agnes Portalewska, Communications Manager Angelica Rao, Program Assistant, Community Radio Program Alberto “Tino” Recinos (Mam), Citizen Participation Coordinator, Community Radio Program Patrick Schaefer, Director of Development Miranda Vitello, Development Assistant Ancelmo Xunic (Kachikel), Community Radio Program Manager
INTERNS AND VOLUNTEERS Lauren Bolles, Don Butler, Febna Caven, Aileen Charleston, Jessie Cherofsky, Ryann Dear, Nick DiMatteo, Laura Garbes, Madeline Hall, Terrance Hall, Daniel Horgan, Curtis Kline, Caitlin Lupton, Erin McArdle, Mehreen Rahman Ava Berinstein, Linguistics Advisor
There are so many ways to
W h o i s t h e S e v e n t h G e n e r at i o n ?
The concept of the Seventh Generation originated from the Great Law of the Haudenosaunee people, which holds appropriate to think ahead and decide whether the decisions made today would benefit the children seven generations into the future. Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation, writes: “We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure every decision that we make relates to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come. ‘What about the seventh
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generation? Where are you taking them? What will they have?’”
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 1
i n t he new s Finland’s Public Broadcaster to Launch Indigenous Sámi Language News February 2013
The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle has announced that it will begin airing an Indigenous Sámi language television news program next autumn. The current Sámi news program, Oddasat, is a 15minute program that airs at midnight. Yle’s Sámi News will air in the daytime to better serve the 9,000 Sámi living in Finland and will focus on issues speci-ically relevant to Finnish Sámi.
India Opens the Floodgates for Extinguishing Indigenous Rights February 2013
India’s central government has backed away from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest’s decision to make consent from affected communities, including Indigenous Peoples and forest dwellers, mandatory for any projects that would destroy forests. The government has announced that major “linear projects,” including roads, pipelines, and railways, do not require consent. The announcement potentially clears the way for hundreds of new industrial projects.
Colombia Halts Mining Multinationals in Indigenous Territory February 2013
According to El Tiempo and Colombia Reports, a judge has ruled for the immediate suspension of all mining and exploration activities on almost 50,000 acres of Indigenous Embera Katio territory. The ruling is a positive first step toward recognizing the rights of Indigenous groups and occurred in the same week as a decision to suspend a nearby eco-tourism project.
Malaysian State Scales Back Borneo Dam Plans February 2013
In response to widespread criticism and active protests, including several by Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak, the Malaysian government is no longer 2 • www. cs. org
The Tanzanian government plans to take 1,500 square kilometers of grazing land from the Maasaiof Loliondo in Ngorongoro District for conservation. Photo by Joan Mazza/Flickr.
pursuing a set of 12 new hydropower dams on the island of Borneo. The current plan reduces the project to a set of four dams but is still eliciting complaints.
Indigenous People of Panama Withdraw from UN-REDD March 2013
The National Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples of Panama (COONAPIP) has formally withdrawn from the Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) in Panama, citing claims that the UN-REDD process has been inconsistent and does not currently guarantee Indigenous rights or participation. The Coordinating Body has further warned Indigenous Peoples to be wary of deceptive practices by UN bodies and officials.
Indigenous Colombians Unveil Five New Millennium Development Goals March 2013
Colombia’s Indigenous organizations have revealed five new millennium development goals as a counter to the original eight goals’ so-called naive consideration of ethnic and social groups. The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), the Indigenous Confederation of Tayrona (CIT), the Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC), and traditional Indigenous authorities collaborated on the new goals, which present broad targets such as Indigenous self-government and self-development.
Tanzanian Government Plans Maasai Land Grab March 2013
The Tanzanian government has initiated a plan to take 1,500 square kilometers of essential grazing land from the Maasai of Loliondo in Ngorongoro District. Continuing a legacy of removal that began in 1959, when every living person was evicted from the Serengeti by the British Government for the purpose of establishing the Serengeti National Park, the land grab is being justified in reference to controlling the game area to protect wildlife and water catchments.
Nunavut Languages Act Now Official in Canada April 2013
Nunavut’s Official Languages Act, which establishes Inuktitut, English, and French as the official languages of the territory, was officially passed on April 1, five years after its approval by the Legislative Assembly. The Department of Culture and Heritage will provide funding to public agencies to ease the transition to the new language laws.
India’s Court Rules in Favor of Indigenous Rights April 2013
India’s Supreme Court affirmed that the Indigenous (Adivasi) communities will have the final say on plans for a bauxite mine by a subsidiary of UK-based Vedanta Resources in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa. This is a landmark victory in recognizing Indigenous rights in India. Plans for a bauxite mine were being developed on the Dongria Kondh Indigenous community’s traditional lands, which they consider sacred.
Campaign Updates Russia: Stop the Silencing of Indigenous Voices RAIPON Reinstated The Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples (RAIPON) has been reinstated. Last November Russia’s Ministry of Justice suspended the activities of the organization, which represents 41 Indigenous groups and over 250,000 people across the Russian Arctic. RAIPON had been outspoken in calling for a ban on oil production on traditional lands along the Arctic continental shelf. Cultural Survival joined many other organizations in calling for the Russian government to reinstate RAIPON’s status and its continued participation in the Arctic Council, and on March 15 the suspension was lifted. RAIPON vice president Rodion Sulyandziga responded: “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all those who have been with us during these difficult days and months...who did not keep silent and did not turn their backs. Thank you for your involvement and solidarity. This is a collective achievement.”
Belize: Our Life, Our Lands— Respect Maya Land Rights Oil Company Attempts Bribery, Corruption of Traditional Leaders Texas-based US Capital Energy stooped to new lows in its attempts to interfere with the area’s traditional Q’eqchi Maya elections. Company representatives offered bribes of $100 to each of the 78 traditional leaders governing the 38 Maya villages of southern Belize, encouraging a vote for their pro-oil candidate, Domingo She. Fortunately the attempted bribery backfired when leaders voted to remove She, who
Cultural Survival's Global Response program launches international advocacy campaigns with Indigenous communities whose right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent is being violated by agribusiness and extractive industries.
was initially elected to the vice presidency, from his post, along with three other pro-oil leaders, citing violation of traditional laws and an adversarial approach to Maya leadership. “We cannot allow the future of our people to be sold by a few people,” one of the leaders declared. Ethiopia: Stop Land Grabbing and Restore Indigenous Peoples’ Lands World Bank Takes Notice, Karaturi Global’s Profits Dwindle An independent panel has been established to investigate testimony by Anuak refugees from Gambella, Ethiopia that the World Bank indirectly financed a scheme to forcibly and violently remove them from their traditional lands to make way for foreign agri-businesses, such as India-based Karaturi Global. The World Bank denies the allegations, along with the occurrence of human rights violations, despite extensive documentation showing otherwise. In the wake of the controversy, Karaturi Global’s stock value has dropped over 90 percent and the company was recently denied loans from major development banks, both of which it attributes to “unfair” criticism by advocacy groups.
Guatemala: We Are All Barillas—Stop a Dam On Our Sacred River! Free Ruben Herrera Another community leader from Santa Cruz Barillas has been captured by the police and jailed in Guatemala City as a result of his outspoken opposition to the Spanish company Hidralia Energia’s construction of a hydroelectric dam in
the Q’anjob’al Maya community. Rubén Herrera was captured on March 15 and charged with kidnapping, terrorism, coercion, and arson, among other crimes. In January of this year, 11 men who had been captured under similar circumstances were finally released after eight months in prison, with all charges dropped. Many activists have fled the area and been forced into hiding as a result of continued persecution. Panama: Revoke Repressive Laws Another Ngäbe Protestor Killed Tensions are rising across the Ngäbe-Bugle territory after an Indigenous Ngäbe protester, Onesimo Rodríguez, was killed on March 22 in the hamlet of Las Nubes, Chiriquí province, after attending a rally against the controversial Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam. Rodríguez was viciously attacked at a bus stop in the late afternoon after participating in a 200-strong solidarity march in the nearby town of Cerro Punta. He had also reportedly taken part in a protest camp near Vigui, broken up by riot squads the week before. Despite peace accords established in 2012 to cancel mining and hydroelectric concessions in the Ngäbe-Bugle territory, the government has not stopped the ongoing construction of the Barro- Blanco dam.
Learn more and take action on Global Response campaigns at www.cs.org/ take-action. Sign up for our e-newsletter and read more news at www.cs.org/news. Cultural Quarterly June 2013 Cultural SurvivalSurvival Quarterly December 2012 •• 3 3
c l i mat e ch a n g e
Changing with the Climate in
T h e S k o lt S á m i ’ s P at h t o C ultu Gleb Raygorodetsky
Like every Skolt Sámi, Vladimir Feodoroff is as much an expert at steering his boat on a lake as he is at lassoing reindeer during a seasonal roundup. Like every Skolt Sámi, Vladimir Feodoroff is as much an expert at steering his boat on a lake as he is at lassoing reindeer during a seasonal roundup.
At his all-season fishing camp near the Näätämö River, Jouko Moshnikoff (right) and his friend Teijo Feodoroff cut reindeer ribs for dinner.
At his all-season fishing camp near the Näätämö River, Jouko Moshnikoff (right) and his friend Teijo Feodoroff are cutting up reindeer ribs for dinner.
On the porch of Jouko Moshnikoff’s cabin, near of one of the most significant spawning sites for Atlantic salmon on the Näätämö Rive, Illep Jefremoff, Vladimir Feodoroff, and Tero Mustonen On the porch of Jouko Moshnikoff’s cabin, near of one of the most (L-R) examine thesignificant spawning sites for Atlantic salmon on the Näätämö Rive, Ilarea map of the lep Jefremoff, Vladimir Feodoroff and Tero Mustonen (L-R) examine the region. area map of the region.
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he radiant disk of the Arctic sun hangs in the mid-September sky above northern Finland like a ritual Sámi drum pinned to the wall inside a lavvu, a traditional Sámi dwelling. Its reflection floats gently on the still surface of Rautujärvi Lake, located over 400 kilometers above the Arctic Circle, near the Norwegian and Russian borders. Come November, according to traditional calendars refined by the Sámi over generations, the sunlight should be bouncing off the ice and snow of Sápmi, as the Sámi call their land. But the air and water currents over this landscape are no longer in sync with the ancestral calendars and the sun’s reflection may continue to float on the water several weeks longer, disrupting Sámi traditional winter travel, fishing, hunting, and reindeer herding activities. The Skolt Sámi are a small but culturally and linguistically distinct group of the Eastern Sámi, considered to be one of the most traditional Sámi reindeer herding and fishermen groups. Historically, the traditional lands of the Skolt Sámi spanned the vast territory from Lake Inari eastward to Kola Bay, the present-day location of the Russian city of Murmansk. Today, most of the Skolts live in a small pocket of the northern Lapland region of Finland, north of Lake Inari. They were relocated here when their homelands were seized by the USSR after World War II and eventually settled in the village of Sevettijärvi, where they maintain their traditional practices and continue to speak the endangered Skolt language. Before World War II, the Skolt families would move with their reindeer along wellworn migration routes from winter pastures to summer fishing grounds across the boreal region of the Kola Peninsula. The “snowmobile revolution” of the 1960s brought a rapid shift away from more traditional herding practices; herders began to rely increasingly on mechanized transport, such as snowmobiles, small airplanes, and helicopters for gathering dispersed reindeer into herds during corralling season. Despite the dramatic societal shifts brought about by relocation and, decades later, Finland’s integration into
ral R es i l i e n ce the European Union (EU) economy, reindeer herding has remained at the heart of the Skolt Sámi culture and way of life, permeating their food, songs, clothing, and art. Adapting to rapid change is nothing new to the Skolts, and they draw on this experience as they search for ways to navigate their newest challenge: climate change. Lifeways Dependent on Local Resources
Reindeer meat is vital to the Skolts’ culture, helping ensure their food sovereignty in a changing landscape and climate, and budding birch leaves are an important spring food for reindeer craving fresh nutrients after a long winter diet of desiccated lichen. In 1966, the colder microclimate in the river valley saved the birch forest during an outbreak of the autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata), a cold-intolerant forest pest. In the south-facing hills, however, the winter temperature never dropped below -35° C, thus allowing the moth to survive. Illep Jefremoff recalls, “I remember going fishing with my mother then. It was like having a heavy snowfall in the middle of the summer. The fish ate up the moths that fell into the water, but the birch trees dried up and died later.” Now, a few occasional birch stumps are all that remain of the once lush birch forest that used to support a diverse wildlife community. The Skolt herders are concerned that as the climate warms, the moth outbreaks will become more frequent and widespread, thereby destroying an important spring food source for reindeer. Since the annual migration route of an individual reindeer herd is restricted to the territory of one of 56 reindeer cooperatives in Finland, herders have limited ability to find alternative sources of nutrientrich spring food for their reindeer. Fishing for Atlantic salmon (Salmon salar) has been another vital part of Skolts’ subsistence and cultural heritage, and indeed, they consider themselves
more fishermen than reindeer herders. In the summer of 2012, Vladimir Feodoroff and Jefremoff visited the traditionally known spawning sites as part of the project “Skolt Sámi Survival in the Middle of Rapid Change.” The goal of this collaboration between the Skolt Sámi, the Snowchange Cooperative, and the United Nations University (UNU) Traditional Knowledge Initiative is to help the Skolts to develop a climate change adaptation plan. The project is part of the international Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Assessment initiative that is being developed and coordinated by a Peru-based Indigenous nonprofit organization, ANDES, and supported by UNU. By applying the methodology of community-led self-reflection, evaluation, and future-visioning based on local worldviews and traditional knowledge, a collective consensus emerged that the climate change challenges faced by the reindeer herders, while significant, are manageable; the Skolts identified their customary salmon fishery as a much greater concern. Accordingly, the Snowchange-Skolt partnership has been focused on strengthening the resilience of the Skolts’ traditional salmon fishery along the Näätämö River, one of the few remaining free-flowing waterways in northern Europe that still supports wild populations of Atlantic salmon. After visiting the spawning sites and holding several community-based workshops and discussions, the SkoltSnowchange partnership drafted an Atlantic salmon co-management plan for the Näätämö River in April 2013. Discussions have also begun with other salmon users along the watershed and with representatives of the state fisheries agency about the future of the Näätämö salmon. The main goal is to enhance spawning habitat and improve salmon survival along the Näätämö River. This includes restoring traditional salmon spawning grounds and reducing the predatory species that are hunting juvenile salmon,
or smolt. The group also believes that only a single net (instead of three) or simply lures should be permitted for catching salmon. “Getting 10 salmon per person in the summer is enough for us Skolts,” says Feodoroff, “because we just use it for subsistence, not to sell.” Adapting to Change
The changing climate alters the intricate relationships between the elements of the Skolt traditional territory. “Who are these new winds?” ask local Elders. “We do not know them, but we still try to greet them.” The future of the Skolts and their land in this time of climatic upheaval depends on their ability to maintain the balance in their relationships with the land and water, forest and tundra, reindeer and salmon. They believe this can be achieved only through respectful collaboration with others who have a stake in the future of the region and its biocultural heritage. “It is the time to say goodbye to some things we’ll never see again,” says Tero Mustonen, Selkie village chief and founder of Snowchange. “But it is also time to build new knowledge. And this knowledge can only emerge through keeping strong connections with the traditional territory. We must be there on the land as it is changing, so that we can change with it.” —Gleb Raygorodetsky is a United Nations University’s Traditional Knowledge Initiative Research Fellow. All images courtesy of Gleb Raygorodetsky
This article is part of Conversations with the Earth (CWE): Indigenous Voices on Climate Change Initiative. To learn more about CWE, visit it on Facebook and Twitter. www. facebook.com/ConversationsEarth, @ConversEarth
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 5
r i ght s i n a ct io n
Vindicating Claims Internationally
Guatemala’s Community Radio Movement Struggles for Justice
Tzutujil youth Pedro Sajquih Hi and Mayra Ignacia Mendez run the weekly children's program at Radio Sembrador in San Pedro La Laguna, Solola. Photo by Angelica Rao.
Cesar Gomez and Alma Temaj (center and far right) speak at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in March. Photo courtesy of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Jessie Cherofsky “
or over 600 years, they’ve denied us our voice. Today, we will vindicate our claims. Today, we bring a tiny grain of sand to this process,” Alma Temaj said on March 15 in the lobby of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States in Washington, DC. It was an hour before the hearing on the Situation of the Right to Freedom of Expression of the Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala, in which Temaj and four other representatives of Guatemala’s community radio movement would have the opportunity to address, as Temaj put it, the “monoculturalism, discrimination, and racism” inherent in the Guatemalan state’s restriction of Indigenous communities’ access to radio frequencies. As César Gomez, a Poqomam Maya Cultural Survival staff member, defined it in his testimony at the hearing, “Community radio is radio that belongs to a community organization, uses the Indigenous language in its programming, is nonprofit, and invites the participation of all sectors of the community, even government institutions.” Temaj, a Mam Maya leader in the Mujb’ab’ Lyol (Meeting of Expressions) radio association in Guatemala, characterized community radio as “an invaluable tool that contributes to the effort to strengthen and conserve our languages, culture, traditions, and worldview.” Community radio provides a platform for the diverse perspectives present within a community. In many rural communities, high levels of illiteracy limit access to print media; many Indigenous people speak only their native language, so mainstream radio broadcasting is inaccessible to them. Com-
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munity radio is an ideal medium to address the distinct needs of small Indigenous communities. Indigenous Peoples are not only entitled to their own media as per the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; they are also guaranteed “special measures” to access those rights in the Inter-American Convention and ILO Convention 169. Despite these guarantees and by Guatemala’s own 1996 Peace Accords and constitution, the Guatemalan telecommunications law does not allow licenses for community radio. Stations obtain licenses at public auctions, a mechanism that is inherently prohibitive for the budgets of small, non-profit stations whose operation depends, in many cases, entirely upon volunteers. In October 2011, the community radio movement brought its case to the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, exhorting Congress to establish a mechanism by which Indigenous community radio stations could gain licenses. The government failed to do so, and the movement’s only recourse was to appeal to the intergovernmental body charged with overseeing human rights throughout the Americas, the IACHR, in September 2012. On March 15, 2013, the five representatives of the community radio movement, Alma Temaj; Cesar Gomez; Salvador Quiacain, a Tz’utujil member of the Tz’utujil Comprehensive Development Association; Marcelino Nicolás Moscut, a Poqomam Maya member of the Community Radio Asso- ciation of Guatemala; Leopoldo Zeissig of the Social and Labor Investigations Collective; and Cultural Survival’s Mark Camp, sat on one side of a table. Facing them across the room were representatives of the Guatemalan government.
Three members of the IACHR sat at a third table to hear the presentation. The Indigenous delegation spoke first: after Temaj’s introduction, Gomez asserted that the telecommunications law had led to a consolidation of frequencies among “a small group of companies that monopolize communication and exclude Indigenous Peoples from…being able to broadcast within their own cultural, social, economic, spiritual contexts …because of a clear economic, political, and legal disadvantage.” He cited the situation of community radio in the towns of Palín and Aguacatán, which were so desperate for access to frequencies that they had to mortgage all of their property and ended up with a debt that took 10 years to pay off. Gomez argued that because the Guatemalan government had never defined community radio, it could conflate nonprofit Indigenous community radio stations with other nonlicensed stations whose broadcasts cause interference, but whose missions could just as easily be for-profit or not community-related. He explained how in 2012 the Guatemalan Congress amended the law to enable current license holders to extend their licenses for 20 additional years and ratified legislation to penalize unlicensed radio operation with six to 10 years in prison. He attributed these actions to a “lack of political will” to legalize Indigenous community radio. Gomez’s testimony was followed by an outline of the legal history of the issue and a reading of the delegation’s requests: • that the IACHR urge Guatemala to stop persecuting community radios and close the office of the Attorney General for Radio, whose sole mission is to prosecute unlicensed community radio operators. • that the IACHR urge Guatemala to modify its legislation to accommodate the stipulations of the American Convention on Human Rights and establish a mechanism that permits Indigenous Peoples’ direct access to radio frequencies. • that the IACHR Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights make an official visit to Guatemala and release a report on the situation of community radio. • that the State of Guatemala, after this hearing, not retaliate against the petitioners or the managers of community radio stations. In response, Gerson Lorensana, legal advisor to the Guatemalan Presidential Commission for the Coordination of Human Rights, did not explicitly address community radio or the Indigenous delegation’s requests. He used the term “illegal radios” and spoke of Guatemala’s concern that unlicensed broadcasts interfere with licensed broadcasts, claiming that the conflict is not between Indigenous Peoples’ right to freedom of expression and radio frequency allocation, but rather a problem of illegal use of radio frequencies. Catalina Botero, IACHR Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, mounted a vociferous opposition to Lorensana’s conflation of the concepts of illegal and community radio and his effort to redirect the discussion. “There’s a trap here,” she said. “[The State] has not bothered to understand what exactly community radios are, so it conflates them with illegal radios. The State sees a community radio as any radio without a license. So, as the State does not define community radio, it does not regulate it.”
Mam woman from Cajola, Quetzaltenango speaks on the air at Radio La X Musical. Photo by Angelica Rao.
Botero went on to attack the State’s defense that the “requirements for Indigenous Peoples [to obtain access] are the same as for any other person or entity. [The State] requires [Indigenous Peoples] to compete in impossible conditions,” she argued. “You certainly understand that an Indigenous community can’t compete with a for-profit company in an auction for license to broadcast.” Echoing the sentiment of Rapporteur Shelton, Botero claimed, “The right to equality does not mean treating everyone the same. It means treating those who are in equivalent situations equally, and those who are in inequivalent situations, differently.” The commissioners’ favorable reaction to the community radio movement’s claims and requests is heartening. Yet the Commission’s official response to the hearing, along with its pending reaction to the petition that Cultural Survival co-authored and submitted to the IACHR, will not be binding on the State of Guatemala. Gaining the support of the international body is an important and powerful step in an effort to build international pressure on the Guatemalan government to act. Ultimately, it is only the Guatemalan Congress that can pass legislation to make it possible for Indigenous Peoples to operate community radio stations. —Jessie Cherofsky is an intern at Cultural Survival and accompanied the Guatemalan community radio delegation to the Inter-American Commission hearings.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ Article 16 states: 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination. 2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom of expression, should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 7
i ndi geno u s a r t s
The Art of Youth Resis Nishiyuu Journey Across Snowy Canada
“Since time immemorial, we have called ourselves Nishiyuu (human beings), to distinguish ourselves from our relatives in the Natural Kingdom. The term has a complex and deep meaning, which includes the interconnectedness of all life, as well as the oneness of time within which all life begins and ends.” nishiyuujourney . ca
n January 16, 2013, six James Bay Cree youth from Whapmagoostui First Nation in Canada left their community on the shore of the Hudson Bay and started a trek to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest the violation of Aboriginal Treaty Rights and encourage the unity and acknowledgement of the Cree and other First Nations People. The “Original Seven,” Stanley George, Jr., 17; Travis George, 17; David Kawapit, 18; Johnny Abraham, 19; Raymond Kawapit, 20; Geordie Rupert, 21; and their guide, Isaac Kawapit, 47, hiked and snowshoed over 1,600 kilometers. On March 25, 68 days after they set off, they were greeted at their destination by a crowd of thousands, with their group having swelled to 270 walkers. The Journey of Nishiyuu grew out of the Idle No More campaign, a grassroots movement launched in November 2012 in opposition to Canadian Bill C-45, the government’s omnibus budget bill that includes changes to land management
The Journey of Nishiyuu, arriving on Victoria Island before heading to Parliament Hill, Ottawa. Many of the walkers had not seen family for a very long time. Photo by Tonya Fawn. 8 • www. cs. org
on reservations. The idea for the walk was David Kawapit’s, who wanted to draw attention to some of the challenges faced by First Nations people such as marginalization, poverty, lack of clean drinking water, and inadequate housing. Kawapit sought to share a simple message of unity and pride: one that was maintained and expressed by the Cree, Inuit, Algonquin, Mohawk, and other youth who joined along the way. As stated on the group’s website, “This quest-journey will establish and unite our historical allies and restore our traditional trade routes with the Algonquin, Mohawk and other First Nations. The time for Unity is now.” It was important for Kawapit to share this message with younger generations of First Nations groups in particular. Upon arriving in Ottawa, a weary Kawapit announced, “The youth have a voice. It’s time for them to be shown the way to lead. Let them lead the way.” Jordan Masty, 19, joined the group in its earliest stages and was a consistent carrier of a symbol of the journey: the unity stick. The journey followed the traditional trade routes of the Algonquin, Mohawk, and Cree, serving to promote solidarity within and among the tribes. In walking the same paths that were walked by their ancestors, the youth sought to understand the conditions faced by previous First Nations members. According to Chief Stanley Jason George, this was a vital movement at a vital time: “The Seventh Generation took action and clearly indicated that they will no longer abide by the status quo. By taking action, by taking a stand, and walking the talk...the corporations and government now see what we are capable of and that our cultural-ancestral values are very much alive!” In undertaking the voyage, the group faced burdens both physical and mental. At several stops along the way the walkers were met by family, friends, and welcoming cheers, which helped ease the loneliness. By the time they made it to southern Ottawa the group was nearly 100-large and walking next to highways with police escorts, with passersby honking in encouragement. The ambitious journey was completed in part because of the strength of the bonds within the original group, and with those who joined along the way. Reflecting on his completion of the journey, Kawapit said, “It feels really good, but at the same time I’m really sad that it’s ending. A lot of us shared a lot of good times here, sad times, but we all stuck together.”
tance and Inspiration As the number of walkers grew, so did public support; the Facebook group dedicated to the Journey of Nishiyuu has over 36,000 members. The public support did not translate to media attention, however, as there were only scattered online news accounts and exposure outside of social media outlets. Despite the general disregard by the mainstream media, or perhaps in spite of it, the group pushed on through treacherous terrain and temperatures dropping as low as –50°C in order to portray the ongoing strength and pride of First Nations groups. With about one week to go, 22 of the walkers were treated for foot injuries. Three of the ailing walkers were ultimately sent to a hospital in Maniwaki, Quebec for more treatment. In the face of this adversity the walk continued, and upon finally arriving at the steps of Parliament Hill in Montreal, the
Cree Legend of Cheh-Cheojans This legend has relevance to the Journey of Nishiyuu. It is said that this legend is also about the end of the Ice Age. Once there was a young boy who couldn’t stop crying after his grandfather had left for a new journey in the Spirit World. It was winter. The Elders advised that he be asked what would make him stop crying. “If I could only hunt summer birds with my bow and arrow, I would stop crying then,” he said. Elders and tribal leaders gathered in council. Through the ceremonies they were told that the only way to make the young boy stop crying was to bring back from the south the Summer Spirit. The people were warned that this wouldn’t be easy because it was kept in a bundle and guarded by a fierce tribe in the south. For ages they had kept the Summer Spirit only for themselves so that winter would never come. They would destroy anyone who attempted to take it away from them. They were feared far and wide. After many councils of tribal leaders and Elders, it was decided that the best runners among the tribes’ warriors would be sent to the far south to fetch the Summer Spirit. There would be many challenges on the way, before they reached the village in which the bundle was kept. Source: Matthew Mukash, nishiyuujourney.ca
Seven James Bay Cree youth and their guide hiked and snowshoed over 1,600 kilometers to bring attention to Indigenous Peoples' rights in Canada. Photo courtesy of Chief Stanley George.
Original Seven were greeted by over 3,000 people, including Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Canada’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt. Valcourt has reportedly accepted an invitation to travel to northern Quebec this summer to visit with the group and learn more about their concerns. At the reception, May spoke of the negligence of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who had chosen to be in Toronto to greet an arriving pair of pandas on loan to Canada from China. “It says a lot that Stephen Harper isn’t here, that he’s greeting the pandas. It says a lot that we need to move heaven and earth to meet First Nations on a nation-to- nation basis with respect,” she said. Each First Nations member who walked reinforced the need for Indigenous people to be active in their own advocacy, much like their predecessors in the Idle No More movement. It is of special note that the majority of the walkers were First Nations youth—a sign that this message is being carried between generations. The Nishiyuu Journey was as much a walk to reconnect with ancestors as it was to create the path for youth of the next era. Again from the Nishiyuu website: “Our Nishiyuu Walkers will have fulfilled the prophecy of how the warriors would bring the Summer Spirit back home again.” —Terrence Hall is an intern at Cultural Survival.
To learn more about the inspiring journey of Nishiyuu youth, visit: nishiyuujourney.ca
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 9
women th e wo r ld m u st hear
Decolonizing the Runway Jessica R. Metcalfe Brings Native American Fashion Into the Spotlight Kristen Dorsey
hen Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) wears one of the most prized pieces in her wardrobe, a scarlet cape intricately embroidered with white feathers by Tracy Toulouse (Ojibwe), she stands up a little straighter. To don such a piece, she says, one must “live up to the cape…it is a huge statement piece, you have to be as strong and as beautiful as that cape.” The power of Native American fashion is contained within thousands of years of history, culture, traditions, and technologies, woven into each object crafted by Native American designers. These objects move beyond Beyond Buckskin founder Jessica Metcalfe adornment and are powerful testaments to the resilience and vibrancy of over 500 North American Tribal Nations thriving today. Metcalfe is the owner of the blog and online boutique Beyond Buckskin, a digital space dedicated to Native fashion. The dynamic lens of contemporary Native fashion allows her to engage large audiences in critical dialogues about the diversity and humanity of Native American people, breaking the norms of an industry where cultural appropriation and racist stereotypes are the status quo. Metcalfe, an artist herself, grew up painting and drawing in her Native community in North Dakota and earned a degree in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College. But it wasn’t until selecting a topic for her master’s thesis at the University of Arizona that she was turned on to Native fashion, and more specifically, to the work of two distinctive designers: Margaret Roach Wheeler (Chickasaw) and Pam Baker (Squamish/Coast Salish). She explored how these designers communicated traditional values such as status and clan association through their wearable art, and when it was time to tackle her doctoral dissertation, Metcalfe took her examination of Native fashion even deeper by deconstructing European concepts of fashion theory and countering them with a uniquely Native perspective. She describes the ultimate goal of her dissertation, which focused on Southwestern Native designers and markets, as being “to provide the only comprehensive critical scholarship on contemporary Native American fashion design.” 10 • ww w. cs. org
During her dissertation research, friends and colleagues entrusted Metcalfe with family photographs depicting Native adornment of past generations with an unspoken understanding that she would share the images and stories. The resulting blog, Beyond Buckskin, allowed Metcalfe to share her research on Native fashion designers within the fashion industry in a more immediate way and with a broader audience. Beyond Buckskin unquestionably fills a void: it is the main source of public education about Native American designers whose voices are often excluded from mainstream fashion. Just as crucial, the blog offers a critique of the fashion industry’s perpetuation of damaging stereotypes, including its continual appropriation of Native American cultures. “As Native Americans, we have no mainstream representation, so when the fashion industry perpetuates stereotypes and is apathetic to the blatant theft of our intellectual property for profit by non-Native designers, there is a profound negative impact,” she says. The creative innovations of Native Designers are frequently excluded in favor of the non-Native vision of “tribal,” defined by a gross misuse of sacred regalia and cheap bargain-bin knockoffs of Native design. Notable examples include the recent headdress and leopard bikini ensemble modeled by Karlie Kloss on the Victoria’s Secret runway, and Jeremy Scott’s collection for Adidas which appropriated Northwest Coast totem pole designs in a tacky and distasteful way. Perhaps most egregiously, In Navajo Nation v. Urban Outfitters, Urban Outfitters was found to have infringed upon the Navajo Nation’s trademark “Navajo” when it labeled a collection of underwear and flasks with style names that included “Navajo.” Metcalfe cautions that stereotypes in fashion are not to be taken lightly. As she notes, “Fashion has the power to be highly damaging. When I see Urban Outfitters completely disregarding the Navajo Nation’s claim to their own name, that is a power move.” The Beyond Buckskin Blog supports the movement to reclaim Native Americans’ visual heritage and property. When Metcalfe pushes back against cultural appropriation, she makes fashion headlines. Take the case of Paul Frank: when the junior-focused, ready-to-wear brand threw a “fashion night out” party, it did so by featuring neon, Indianthemed clothing and decor with Disney starlets yielding tomahawks and posing in war paint and feathers. Metcalfe posted a photo of the party to the Beyond Buckskin Facebook page, and outrage ensued. The Native American online community and many other allies used social networking to articulate their anger, frustration, and disappointment at the Paul Frank event. Along with Adrienne Keene, author of the popular blog Native Appropriations, she also posted a public letter demanding an apology and suggesting that the company atone for its racist actions by engaging with and supporting Native arts and culture organizations. The Native American
Model Martin Sensmeier wearing a tee by Jared Yazzie (Navajo) for OxDx, beaded sunglasses by Candace Halcro (Cree/Metis), blueberry copper earrings by Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut).
Chippewow Blossoms by MaRia Bird from the Beyond Buckskin Boutique.
Photo by Anthony Thosh Collins.
Native model Blake Sisk wears a jacket and purse by Jamie Okuma (Luiseno/Shoshone Bannock), dress by Bethany Yellowtail (Crow/Northern Cheyenne), and earrings by Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw).
Native model Martin Sensmeier wearing porcupine quill hairties and medallion by Ista Ska, a collective of Lakota quill and bead artists from the Northern Plains. Photo by Anthony Thosh Collins.
online community and its allies mobilized with such energy that the company issued an apology and announced that it would take a series of positive steps. This included inviting Metcalfe to visit the headquarters to recommend Native American designers to start a new collection, proceeds from which will be donated to a Native organization. Metcalfe has blogged about the success of the Paul Frank campaign, stating that “The Paul Frank case is shaping up to be a great example of how to apologize, listen, come up with solutions and creative ideas, learn, pass on that new knowledge to others, and move forward.” The Beyond Buckskin boutique celebrates its one year anniversary this May, and its first year has already been filled with many successes. While the blog teaches the public why cultural appropriation is wrong, the boutique introduces fashion created by Native American fashion designers and steers buyers away from non-Native, appropriated products. The boutique also offers a unique online shopping experience by functioning as an online museum. All products for sale are enriched with links to the designer’s profile, along with stories about the item’s cultural, social, and political context. Shoppers not only leave with Native American-made designs, but also with an added understanding of their purchase. One of Metcalfe’s favorite examples of this are the top-selling “Chippewow Blossoms” earrings by designer MaRia Bird. Bird’s company, Mea B’Fly Designs, creates colorful, graphic earrings combining Native history with vibrant patterns. When the shopper reads the full description of the earrings, she gets a history lesson about the floral beadwork created by Chippewa women for the last several hundred years. The Beyond Buckskin boutique is unique in bringing
designers together as allies. Metcalfe explains: “The conventional fashion industry is one of the most elitist industries around, and it takes a lot of money and resources to get noticed.” Rather than viewing each other as competitors, the Beyond Buckskin artists find a welcoming, supportive community where every new artist, blog post, and media headline drives more traffic to the site, benefitting all. Metcalfe plans to add more designers, creating a second, all-Native produced lookbook showcasing Beyond Buckskin products within a fashion editorial layout, and adding print and video documentation of Beyond Buckskin content so that fans 50 years from now will have access to a complete Beyond Buckskin archive. Her future plans also involve high profile fashion shows, seed grants for Native American designers, and breaking into the international market. Metcalfe is one of those rare individuals who unites many under one mission, and there is no doubt that she will succeed. As she says, “the voice of many is more powerful than the voice of one. This same philosophy has allowed our Native communities to survive genocide and remain strong, and through Beyond Buckskin, it will allow our Native Designers to flourish as cultural ambassadors for our people.”
All photos courtesy of Beyond Buckskin
—Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw) is a former CS staff member, jewelry designer, and owner of Kristen Dorsey Designs (kristendorseydesigns.com). To learn more about Native American Fashion and the Buy Native Campaign, visit: beyondbuckskin.com.
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 11
Far From Home, Indigenous Micronesian Students Protest-in-Performance in Hawai’i Cristina Verán
n November 7, 1946, Washington’s high society and military leaders celebrated the US nuclear bomb testing at Bikini Atoll in the US-controlled Marshall Islands, having removed its Indigenous inhabitants from their land and poisoned surrounding earth and sea for generations to come. In the wake of this destruction, the occasion of unleashing this most toxic tool of war was “commemorated” with an atom bomb cake and smiles all around. But for the Marshall Islanders, disease, deformity, dispossession, and death were all they would know of the mushroom cloud’s aftermath. It was—and remains—nothing to smile about. The history of colonization and foreign militarization among the island groups collectively known as Micronesia is shared in significant respects with the islands of Hawai’i. And so perhaps it is fitting that the Indigenous Chamorro of Guam, known in their language as Guåhan, as well as those from the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, have been coming to Hawai’i—many for education, healthcare, and somewhat incongruously, military service. Oceania Rising, a group of young pan-Pacific students at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, has brought young leaders among Micronesian youth together with Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawai’ians) and other Indigenous Pacific Peoples to rise up in a singular voice to challenge the order of things. “We don’t want to just tell people a bunch of facts,” explains Oceania Rising member Kenneth Golfigan Kuper of the Marianas Island of Guahan. “What we do, it’s like this call and response, flash mob kind of engagement with an audience in order to communicate a message with power, with dynamism and emotion. We use movement, we use the space and a sense of place to convey this unity in people’s minds… to fuel you, the audience.” Today, some 60 years after the destruction at Bikini Atoll, US military presence in the Pacific remains strong. Both the Marshall and Marianas Islands groups remain under US control, and their Indigenous Peoples without a form of selfgovernance that does not answer to United States interests. These islands, along with the now independent countries of 12 • ww w. cs. org
the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, and Palau, have been identified by the European-imposed collective term of Micronesia, meaning “tiny islands”—though Pacific author and scholar Epeli Hau’ofa argued that the region would be better articulated as a “sea of islands” comprising a vast, interconnected continent of Oceania. The islands have experienced centuries of interference by the expansionist goals of Spain, Germany, Japan, Britain, and finally, the United States. Being imagined as remote and insignificant, they have been abused as battlegrounds, bomb testing sites, and military zones, with the Marshalls and Marianas (particularly the island of Guam) most affected. Oceania Rising’s mission is often expressed in a threeword mantra: Remember, Resist, and Recommit. At the Waves of Change Symposium, they joined in a performative protest; members stood up from different points in the audience to speak out about something personal and powerful, referencing one of the R’s, and later invited others in the crowd to join in.
a bad sign Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner We are shocked to find the rising waters displacing our grave sites The land crumbles away beneath rows of skywhite tombstones Crashing waves swallow up our ancestors We watch as they devour our histories The sea is angry with us says an old man It has begun.
Photo by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner
REMEMBER: We remember a time, when our ancestors fought against colonizers, and we had agency and control over our resources, living by our traditions. RECOMMIT: We recommit to speaking our Indigenous tongues, so that our children may speak through their ancestors and our language can flourish throughout all our lands. RESIST: We resist the US military taking our lands, the legacy of our colonial history and being second-class citizens on our own islands. — Oceania Rising chant Because both the Marshall and Marianas Islands groups remain under US control, their peoples continue to confront the destabilization of their cultures. “Our parents and grandparents were told not to speak Chamorro, and there were all sorts of policies and laws put into practice so that it was demonized,” says Jessi Lujan Bennett, a graduate student at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies. Only when she arrived in Hawai’i did she begin her journey to reclaim Chamorro fluency. For those raised on their islands, the prospect was no less challenging. As Francine Naputi, a masters student in public health and part of Oceania Rising recounts, “I grew up hearing Chamorro all the time, and both my parents are fluent in it. But I never really understood the urgency to learn it—until I came out here to Hawai’i.” Now, she says, “Hearing our language spoken here in Hawai’i helps me deal with the homesickness, and makes me feel that connection.” In Hawai’i, some have faced discrimination for being Micronesian—including, they say, from Native Hawai’ians. Marshallese poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, who was raised on her native Majuro Island in the Marshalls as well as in Hawai’i recalls, “I grew up with a lot of racism directed toward me from here, and I had a lot of anger for a while. I was encouraged to ‘fit in’ and to speak more English.” She notes with palpable frustration, “Micronesians have a shared colonial experience with Native Hawai’ians, but unfortunately not many people know that history.” It is in acknowledging this history and expressing solidarity that Kenneth Golfigan Kuper sees the great potential for collaboration and the impetus for Oceania Rising’s pan-Pacific inclusion: “[As] Indigenous Peoples from other Oceanic islands [that] have been victims of militarization, becoming the wastelands for Western experimentation, we know what it’s like to have people come to our homelands and interfere with them.” According to Francine Naputi, the group makes a conscious effort not to compare colonial experiences, like “my struggle’s not as bad as yours, who had it worse, or was more or less traumatized.” Instead, the goal is to come up with what Gofigan Kuper describes as “a beautiful combination of resistances.” On March 1 of this year, the group’s efforts shone in what has been hailed as the largest gathering of Pacific Islanders at the University of Hawai’i’s Manoa campus to mark Nuclear Survivors Day. Established first and foremost to pay respect to Marshallese victims of US nuclear testing on their islands, it grew to include the participation of communities throughout not just Micronesia but islands of Polynesia and Melanesia as well. “It happening to us meant that it happened to Oceania, the whole Pacific,” Naputi said. “It’s a shared history, and so it’s not just ‘my tragedy.’ It’s all of our tragedy.” —Cristina Verán is an international Indigenous Peoples’ issues specialist, research consultant, strategic planner, community liaison, and multi-media producer.
For Indigenous Pacific students far from their homelands in the US–controlled Micronesian territories of the Marshall and Marianas Islands, a protest-in-performance movement—in solidarity with Native Hawai’ians and other Pacific Island peoples against nuclear proliferation and militarism in the region—creates shared community in shared struggles at the University of Hawai‘i.
Leading members of Oceania Rising (L–R) Kenneth Gofigan Kuper, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Francine Naputi, and Jessi Lujan Bennett. The group’s politicized performance-protests this year have focused on the Islands of Micronesia, especially those impacted by nuclear testing and militarization. Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 13
(L-R) Ryan Dennison, Mariana Harvey, Michelle Sherman and Keioshiah Peter play handgames
Jesse Shortbull, Elaine Yellow Horse and Mariana Harvey enjoy meal of wild rice, salmon, and greens.
In Alliance as Native Youth Leaders, as Family “In the beginning there were
only the skies, the earth, animals,
and plants. Before humans were to come, the creator called them all together and told them: ‘The humans are coming. They are pitiful. They do not have food or clothes. Will you take care of them?’ The salmon was the first to speak up. He said, ‘I [will] feed them with my flesh.’ The water spirit spoke next and agreed to take care of the salmon and also nourish the hearts and bodies of humans. The deer then promised to give its life for feeding man. It is with deep respect that my community partakes in the meat of salmon. I thank all the beings that gave us today’s dinner.” Johnny Buck (Yakama/Wanapum)
2013 Native Youth Leadership Alliance Fellows 14 • ww w. cs. org
t was dinnertime at the National Visioning Retreat of the Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA), in Estes Park, Colorado, and co-founder Johnny Buck of the Wanapum tribe was leading the prayer before the meal. Young Fellows who are leaders from over 20 tribes and their mentors stood in a circle around him, reverent and attentive to the sacred story Johnny was sharing. A sumptuous meal of salmon and rice with other traditional foods was served, and the tables were abuzz with conversation, ideas, and reminiscences of the day. Each day at the four-day annual retreat was an eventful and transformative one for this new group of young leaders as their first introduction to the people and ideas that make up the Alliance. Charting their unique life stories using the metaphor of the river of life; sharing artifacts and memories that define their values; discussing decolonization, generational trauma; healing; and visioning for the future, the Fellows explored their selves: the self in place; the self in polity; the self in community. It was a perfect start to realizing NYLA’s vision of cultivating self-aware, community oriented, and culturally rooted leaders. Five years ago, in 2008, Kevin Killer from the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota and of Kiowa descent (now a State Representative for District 27 in the South Dakota Legislature) was selected as a “Young People For” (YP4) Fellow. He was surprised to learn that he was the first Native American youth to represent Tribal colleges in a leadership network that represented over 21 states. The void that he saw, occurring at a time when the youth population is
becoming the majority in Native American communities, compelled him to create an extension of the YP4 network to Tribal colleges. In 2009, Sophia Kizilbash, who co-directs NYLA with Killer, joined the network, bringing extensive cross-cultural experience from her work with communities across the United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Jamaica, and the Philippines. Recognizing the need for the network to grow beyond the agency of YP4, the core group expanded and co-founded NYLA with the clear objective of providing culturally relevant leadership support to develop vibrant leaders within Native American communities. NYLA invests in Native youth from tribal colleges and rural areas, inspiring them to develop plans of action rooted in their communities and nurturing them to fruition. Every two years the Alliance invites a new group of young leaders and fosters them through a series of national and local retreats, capacity building programs, networking opportunities, peer support, and intergenerational mentoring. It also provides a stipend to assist the Fellows in seeding community-building initiatives, skill-building trainings, or networking opportunities. Prescriptions for leadership today are disproportionately influenced by the values of the dominant economic and political systems, with an excessive emphasis on centralization and management, competition, and rationalism. The Alliance is a valuable divergence from this norm with its emphasis on a decentralized and relational leadership style that is rooted in reciprocity, and in the assets and values of its communities. Its very structure is one of collective leadership with almost no hierarchy and centralization; its leadership program is geared towards building supportive and personal networks between the fellows and their mentors, and using those networks to guide the youth to create change in their communities in a timeframe sustainable for the long term. For NYLA’s Fellows, who come from cultures where the concept of leadership is informed by interdependence, assimilation to the organization’s principles is easy. Past Fellows have gone on to become archeologists, community organizers, filmmakers, illustrators, elected officials, educators and entrepreneurs. They are building the capacity of their communities through initiatives that strengthen culture and language, promote healing and restorative justice, increase economic and political participation, and ensure food sovereignty. 24-yearold Burdette Birding-ground, who co-created a portable kiln to utilize wood waste that also converts it into bio-char (a soil fertilizer), and 27-year-old Michelle Sherman, who started the “Celebrate Life” initiative to reach out to Two Spirit/LGBTQ youth like herself in her Dine’ Navajo community in New Mexico, exemplify the Alliance’s vision for leaders. “In NYLA, the fellows are given a whole palette. They choose what they are ready for, where they want to focus. By supporting their growth and well-being, we support their community’s well being,” says Kizilbash. Going beyond deadlines, expected outcome charts, and Fellow achievement measures, there is real space for innovation and learning within the Alliance’s folds. Montana Fellow Amy Stiffarm (Whiteclay/Chippewa Cree/Blackfeet), who is currently a member of NYLA’s organizational leadership team, notes, “In today’s society, to stop and think is not OK. It is not OK to take time for reflection and self-development. But in NYLA you are given the space and support to incubate, to
Collaborative session during Native Youth Leadership Alliance retreat.
create, and understand yourself as a critical part of being a leader. NYLA gives me the space to find the answers from within my own communities, at my own pace.” Voicing the same appreciation, former Fellow Angel Mills, a film student at the Institute of American Indian Arts says, “NYLA and its relationship with its Fellows are not tainted by deadlines. Deadlines come in when it’s a short-term relation that you get yourself into. Our association with NYLA is long-term. Lifelong. It doesn’t have the deadlines. It’s a network, a family, for life.” This lifelong, empowering circle of support and friendship is creating crucial changes in the Native American communities, but this success has come with its own challenges. Ironically, the very factor that renders the Alliance successful— its long-term, flexible, individualized approach—also makes fundraising difficult. Aside from a few funding sources that are willing to go beyond the conventional definition of leadership development, most formal sources see it as an entity too organic to fit neatly into their funding criteria. But for the people who are NYLA, who are passionate about their vision of creating long-term, meaningful change in Native American communities through their very own leaders, these obstacles are mere inconveniences. These young leaders are out among the people, creating and relating powerful stories of sustainable change within their communities, proving again and again their success. —Febna Caven is an independent researcher and writer on communities in contested environments. www.nativeyouthleadership.org Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 15
Bike ride in Colorado from Boulder to Denver to remind everyone we need to move beyond fossil fuels for a sustainable future.
Guardian of the Earth: A Portrait of Erin McArdle
he world has changed. For many, childhood is no longer what it used to be. Hours that might once have been spent in the woods with neighborhood kids is not an experience shared by the majority youth of today. We are living in the digital age, a place where Facebook, the Internet, television, iPhones or any number of distractions have become the norm. As youth activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (Aztec/Nahuatl), age 12, says, “We are slowly losing our connection with the natural world, and it shows.” Despite this seemingly grim outlook, young environmental activists throughout the world have been using social media to help spread their message of saving the planet. In 1995 in Hawai’i, Martinez’s mother started Earth Guardians, an organization devoted to youth environmental activism. Today it is carried on by Martinez. His older sister, Isa, used to lead the Boulder, Colorado Earth Guardian group. It serves as a place where youth can connect to share the different ways they are inspiring other youth to lead through activism. Says Martinez: “It’s really cool to get out there and inspire and educate others. It’s not just about our group being the head of the climate change movement; it’s more of an opportunity for youth to get educated and empowered. It can be the beginning of a huge peaceful revolution that begins with the people.” With all of his passion and drive, it’s easy to forget that Martinez is only in sixth grade—his favorite subjects in school are Physical Education and math. But his young age belies a sense of responsibility and even a wisdom beyond his years. Growing up, Martinez relates how his environmental activist mother brought him along to various meetings and rallies and his father “imparted on me traditional Aztec views on our connection to nature.” This combination of influences 16 • ww w. cs. org
drives his worldview that “we are all interconnected throughout everything we do in our everyday life. We are all connected to the earth.” As he explains, “I pursue activism to assure a healthy habitable environment not only for this generation, but other future generations.” Currently Earth Guardians is working towards a statewide ban in Colorado on fracking (hydraulic fracturing, the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure to release natural gas held deep inside the earth) by educating citizens about how this technique affects the air and water supply. “Fracking is polluting millions of gallons of water in an already dry state, and it is poisoning what is left in our rivers and water systems,” Martinez says. “[People are] just getting sick and they don’t know why. If they know why, they can further take action.” Martinez recalls how he and a group of other affected youth marched down to the state capital and lobbied to representatives against the consequences of fracking. “It was really, really cool because we went down there and we shared our stories about how we knew people who were being affected, how we were being affected, and how we got involved with this issue, and why it was so important for kids out there,” he recalls. He also instigated a petition to President Obama with a list of demands “to clean up and revive what we have destroyed and taken from the earth.” This petition also calls for stricter regulations on natural gas, oil, and coal companies “so they are not constantly destroying the earth,” and a shift towards clean energy. “Renewable energy is the best chance we’ve got before it gets any worse,” he says. Martinez is also passionate about what he believes to be the state’s responsibility to aid in the education of youth on environmental issues. “Schools should do more; we have the right to know what’s happening to us. If we want to make any difference in this world as a generation we have to start educating communities
Xiuthezcatl Martinez and other youth lobby Colorado State legislators for a State wide ban on fracking.
the Environmentalist as a Young Man differently and we have to change our educational system so it can include that.” Martinez advises other youth who want to reduce their carbon footprint to monitor how they live their everyday life: “every choice you make, every time you either bring your own cup to the coffee shop or you use paper cups, it really is a vote for or against our environment,” he says. “We really have to teach this generation to live more sustainable lives. We have the technology, we have the knowledge; we have to start putting it to use...just [take] the first step in changing your own lifestyle: turn off the lights when you’re not using them, turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, and then take it to the community, tell your friends, tell your teachers about it...take that first step. You have to be bold and stand up. You have the power, we have the power; you have to realize it to put it into power.” Looking towards the future, Martinez is optimistic. “If things go our way, we won’t have to worry about polluted water or where our water comes from. That’s what we’re working for, so that future generations won’t have to deal with the same mess that we have now. There’s a huge shift among our society and [we] as youth have to lead the way, [so] when we look back at this crisis we’ll think of it as a bad dream—as a nightmare that happened long ago that we don’t really have to worry about anymore.” —Erin McArdle is an intern at Cultural Survival.
More information on Martinez and his fellow Earth Guardians, as well as a link to his petition to President Obama, can be found at: http://www.earthguardians.org.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez at home in nature. All photos courtesy of Tamara Roske.
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 17
An Award for a Fearless Woman 2013 Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award Agnes Portalewska (CS Staff) I have never deceived my homeland. I never overlooked the questions raised by the Jharkhand people. The flowing water of the Koyal, Karo, and Chata Rivers is a witness to this. I learnt to write with my fingers in the mud and sand of this land. On the banks of the river Karo, while grazing my sheep, I learnt to bathe and swim. The shade of grass and trees covered with dew filled in the sky, gave me love; how can I sell this? How couldn’t I make the pain and suffering of the society, which taught me how to live, a part of myself? To protect the interests and rights of these people is our (everyone’s) responsibility. And I think this is the only way for the persons who try to fulfill this responsibility. Letter from Dayamani Barla, penned from her jail cell in Ranchi Prison
Dayamani Barla's activism has been recognized around the world. Photo courtesy of www.countercurrents.org.
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rassroots Indigenous rights heroes too often go unrecognized. Yet their efforts to promote the rights of their peoples and protect their traditions, languages, and resources are critical to their cultural survival. Cultural Survival is honored to present Dayamani Barla, an Indigenous human rights activist and journalist from the Munda tribe in the Indian state of Jharkhand, with the 2013 Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award. Barla has been on the forefront of people’s movements against corporate and government-led land grabs and other injustices that threaten the survival, dignity, and livelihoods of Indigenous peoples. “This prize is presented in recognition of outstanding human rights work, dedicated leadership for Indigenous Peoples rights, and a deep life commitment to protecting, sustaining, and revitalizing Indigenous cultures, lands, and languages,” says current Cultural Survival Executive Director Suzanne Benally. The ELL Indigenous Rights Award was established in memory of Ellen L. Lutz (1955–2010), a renowned human rights lawyer and former executive director of Cultural Survival (2004–2010), who taught us that no tyrant should go unchallenged and no small group should be powerless. Lutz fought with a superior intellect to wrest justice out of life’s most unjust developments, never allowing her own self-interest to interfere with those efforts. The award honors individuals that exemplify Lutz’s commitment to advancing Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Coming from a humble background where she worked as a domestic servant to fund her education, Barla is the first tribal journalist from her state and is considered the “voice of Jharkhand” for her powerful storytelling, community organizing, and writings. “Barla has been a trailblazer on many fronts, charting new waters as an Indigenous woman to ensure the voices and perspectives of Adivasi (Indigenous) people are heard by the larger mainstream society,” says her nominator Terry Odendahl, executive director and CEO of Global Greengrants Fund. As one of the first female Adivasi journalists in India, she has won many awards, including the Counter Media Award for Rural Journalism and the National Foundation for India Fellowship. Barla’s writings and activism shed light on the ways in which the deep cultural, spiritual, and traditional knowledge heritage of Adivasi communities are intertwined with their jal, jungle, and zameen (water, forests, and land). She is an outspoken critic against the racism and persecution that Adivasi communities face. Together with her colleagues from the Adivasi Moolvasi Astitva Raksha Manch (Platform of Indigenous Adivasi People to Defend their Existence), Barla has prevented ArcelorMittal, a global mining giant, from plundering the rich natural resources of Jharkhand. The proposed steel plant, a $9 billion planned investment, would have seized 12,000 acres of land and displaced 40 villages, additionally harming the surrounding ecosystems and by extension the livelihoods and survival of Indigenous communities. Loha nahi anaj chahiye! (“We want grains, not iron!”) was a rallying cry
of Indigenous communities protesting this project. “We will not allow the ArcelorMittal Company to enter into the villages because one cannot be rehabilitated once displaced. The lands which we cultivate belong to our ancestors; therefore we will not leave it,” Barla said in an article published by Adivasi journalist Gladson Dungdung. According to the Working Group on Human Rights, 60 to 65 million people in India have been displaced from their homelands due to development projects since India’s independence, making it the highest number of people uprooted in the world in the name of progress. Forty percent of those displaced are Adivasi communities. Barla has also been involved in people’s mobilizations against the Koel Karo dam project. This struggle is considered one of the longest and most successful anti-dam movements in India, and is rooted in the highly mobilized Munda Indigenous community. Located in the Chhota Nagpur Plateau, Jharkhand is blessed with rich biodiversity from its evergreen forests and is bestowed with tremendous mineral wealth. However, an unequal process of industrialization, urbanization, and corporate globalization has led to immense human rights violations and displacement of Indigenous peoples from dams and mining activities in the region. Barla’s steadfast commitment to the people’s democratic and constitutional rights to assemble and dissent has attracted the wrath of corrupt government and corporate actors, who are pushing for rapid industrialization and economic globalization that disenfranchises Indigenous communities.
Dayamani Barla and the Nagari Tribal Women spearheading the Anti Land Acquisition Movement. Photo courtesy of fabricated.in.
From October 18 to December 21, 2012 she was jailed by the Jharkhand government under a litany of charges ranging from leading peaceful protests against fertile farmland acquisition in Nagri to demanding job cards for rural poor in Angada block under a national employment guarantee scheme. “Dayamani’s jailing was a reminder to civil rights activists across the nation of the unfriendly role the Jharkhand state is taking towards drivers of democratic change,” says Odendahl. Recently she has been leading anti-land acquisition struggles, along with farmers of Nagdi, whose precious fertile agricultural land has been allocated for the construction of business, law, and information technology schools in Jharkhand. In a letter written from her jail cell, Barla reflected that the “looters of the state have become well-wishers in the eyes of the government.” The selection of the ELL Award recipient is based on the following criteria: the Indigenous activist’s work is primarily at the grassroots level directly in Indigenous communities, and/or expands from there into advocacy at the state and international level; leadership is recognized by the communities that it represents; the activist works towards promoting and advancing Indigenous/human rights and this work reflects his or her compassion, dedication, and personal sacrifice to his or her people, communities, and Indigenous Peoples; and the award will raise the profile of the recipient’s work, advancing the activist’s efforts and helping to safeguard his or her well being. “Dayamani is an example of a selfless and courageous activist, who powerfully demonstrates how Indigenous women play a crucial role in safeguarding the rights of their communities, while also protecting the rights of nature,” says Odendahl. This year’s ELL Award, which comes with a $10,000 cash prize, brings critical attention to the undemocratic attitude of the Jharkhand state towards social activists, as well as honoring and celebrating the critical work of an Indigenous human rights defender who has fought brave struggles for the greater good of Adivasi communities in the state of Jharkhand and beyond. Barla will be presented with the award at a ceremony on May 23 at the Museum of the American Indian in New York. Barla speaking at 2012 ViBGYOR Film Festival, Kerala, India. Photo Courtesy of ViBGYOR Film Collective.
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 19
The Intersection of Plural Citizenship and Interview with Cultural Survival Board Member Duane Champagne
(L–R) Duane Champagne; Them Two, The First Americans. Watercolor by Samuel English (Chippewa) www.samenglishart.com; Champagne's latest publication, Captured Justice: Native Nations and Public Law 280.
Erin McArdle Our series spotlighting the work of our Board members continues with newly elected board member Duane Champagne. Champagne is professor of sociology and American Indian studies and co-director of UCLA’s Native Nations Law and Policy Center. A member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, he was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota, giving him firsthand experience of life as a plural citizen of the United States of America and Turtle Mountain Band.
uane Champagne attended school on the Turtle Mountain Reservation, and it was during these formative years that he discovered his skill in mathematics and strong interest in history, culture, and economic development. “As I grew older,” Champagne says, “I noticed a distinct cultural and social difference between life on my reservation and in the nonreservation towns that surrounded me.” After high school he enrolled in at North Dakota State University where he double majored in math and sociology. Following a yearlong stint as an ACTION volunteer (the domestic Peace Corps), he pursued graduate work in sociology, ultimately earning a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. Champagne’s original intention for graduate work was to study economic development within Indigenous communities. The study of economy, however, led to an understanding that politics and culture had to be addressed concurrently. 20 • ww w. cs. org
“As a graduate student in sociology, there was a lot of emphasis on materialist theories that often reflected mainstream American cultural and philosophical orientations,” Champagne says. “While conducting field work as a postdoctoral fellow within the communities of the Northern Cheyenne and Tlingit, I gained a great amount of respect for community and culture, which became central themes in my research and writings.” After graduating from Harvard in 1982, Champagne received a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellowship hosted by Cultural Survival, then located in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. Champagne described this working relationship as “very comfortable,” and explained how Cultural Survival sponsored his fieldwork grant in Alaska for three months to study the Sealaska Corporation, the largest of 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, among the Tlingit and Haida people. After this work, he spent three months in Montana studying a movement among the Northern Cheyenne to stop coal strip mining and gasification on their reservation. Around the same time, he wrote a pamphlet on the strategies and conditions for American Indian cultural and political survival, which he later expanded to a small book. Throughout the years Champagne has continued to publish numerous works concerning Native American issues, including Notes From the Center of Turtle Island in 2010, and most recently, Captured Justice: Native Nations Under Public Law 280, in 2012. All photos by Kaimana Barcarse
Indigenous Rights Champagne has strong opinions about the current economic, social, and political issues affecting Native American life on and off the reservation. Describing the tribal economy, he says, “Casinos bring a form of capitalism which is unlike that of the tradition of trade and gift giving. Within casino reservations, money is usually distributed equally among the tribe to invest in community, cultural renewal, legal as well as cultural protection, and other tools of survival and renewal. Within American communities, the focus on wealth and power rests on a more individualistic approach, such as, for example, CEOs making millions of dollars and hoarding it all within their Tuscan-style mansions or foreign sports cars. In the tribal system, making money individually is a secondary concern behind distributing and investing capital for the benefit of the entire Indigenous nation. A tribal chair usually receives the same per capita share as every other member does. In this way, Indigenous Peoples can enter markets in ways that still preserve and uphold their values, collective ownership of land and resources.” Many non-native Americans misunderstand this need for conservation of Native self-government and territory, which pre-dates the Constitution. US policy often disregards Indigenous rights, considering them “unnecessary” and “special,” and thereby challenging the equality that all US citizens share under constitutional law. Reducing Indigenous rights of selfgovernment, cultural autonomy, and territory to citizenship rights only, is aimed at integrating and assimilating Indigenous Peoples, with their consent, into national citizens without Indigenous rights. Indigenous groups around the world have wrestled with the question of whether to trade autonomy for citizenship for centuries; in this country, Native Americans have long struggled to assert self-government while holding on to their traditional lands. According to Champagne, in the 1950s US termination policy intended to dissolve Indian reservations, but Indian communities nationally gathered in resistance and stopped passage of termination acts in Congress. Termination policy promised full citizenship to US Indians, but denied Indigenous rights to self-government and territory. While most Indians were willing to accept US citizenship, Indian nations did not want to give up their tribal histories, cultures, and governments. As a result, by the 1970s, in both Canada and the US, there emerged a form of dual or plural citizenship for Indigenous peoples. During the 1960s and ‘70s, large numbers of people began questioning Indian policy and working toward recognition of Indigenous rights within the United States. Today there are national Indian organizations, congressional lobbies, and a special committee in the Senate devoted to Native Americans. Some Native Americans have followed traditional western career paths in fields such as law or business, yet many still hold a strong connection to their tribal nation. As Champagne
says, “Identity is complex, and being American Indian is a legal issue from an American point of view. The critical tie of Native identity is whether or not a person believes in and supports...self-government, territory, and culture. It is no longer simply a matter of biological tie, but also a [voluntary] commitment to Indigenous nationality and preservation of culture and community.” Misunderstandings between Native and non-Native peoples frequently arise all around the contemporary world. As Champagne sees it, “The significant problem is the lack of understanding about who Indigenous people are and their diversity. The UN states that there are 5,000 Native nations around the world, while most mainstream nation-state communities think they disappeared over 100 years ago. There is no visibility; no one understands their issues, and they are treated as a minority group which strips them of their Indigenous rights to self-government and territory.” Further, many mainstream citizens view Indigenous culture as a “nuisance,” particularly when Indigenous Peoples do not readily accept market systems or nation states. “Many Native peoples choose to live within their own economic, political, and cultural boundaries, which ultimately fosters marginalization,” Champagne says. Champagne sees the challenge that lies ahead for Indigenous Peoples as the assertion of their political and territorial autonomy, “which depends a whole lot on just how oppressive or understanding certain nation states are.” He supports the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples but cautions that it does not provide real protection for Native peoples, especially along the lines of self-government. In fact, he says, “the Declaration asserts citizenship and nation-states’ rights over Indigenous Peoples’, while failing to recognize Indigenous rights except within the powers of nation states.” Champagne acknowledges that gaining this recognition will be a long struggle, but he has no doubt that Native peoples around the world will continue to fight for the recognition and assertion of their rights. “One of the driving forces behind Native passion for their territory and culture is the creation story in which the creator delivers directly to the community,” he says. “Having those direct blessings from the creator transfers a sense of a special mission of sacred spiritual autonomy from the nation. [However], this direct connection with the creator is often interrupted by nation-states’ regulations. While the struggle for Indigenous self-governance will never fully be resolved, communities will persist in nonviolent ways to preserve what they know in their hearts to be rightfully theirs. The spiritual character of Indigenous nations and territories inhibits surrender to secular and alien nation-state bureaucratic and legal control.” —Erin McArdle is an intern at Cultural Survival.
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 21
Our Nyikina Story
Australian Indigenous People of the Mardoowarra resources, and our culture, ensuring that our traditional laws and customs are passed on to future generations. We Are Our Language
Top: Dr. Anne Polina and Elder Lucy Marshall. Bottom: (L-R) Elder Wabi recording the Nykina language and reading a story to Kyle. Photos courtesy of Dr. Anne Polina.
Dr. Anne Poelina
he traditional lands of the Nyikina people are located in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia. It is because of our birth right that we describe ourselves as Yimarrdoowarra, which means belonging to the Mardoowarra, the Fitzroy River. This sacred river country was one of the last fertile regions of the Australian continent to be invaded and colonized by Europeans. Our resource base for our traditional knowledge is in our relationship with each other and our traditional lands, including the Mardoowarra. Our people believe that our cultural actions are the basis for freedom and that our journey is strengthened through the wisdom of our elders. Like many Indigenous communities around the world, our community has been affected by language loss. But we do not stand idly by. The Nyikina people have become organized and united in addressing the threats to our language, our 22 • ww w. cs. org
Language is central to our cultural and spiritual identity. It is the medium by which we describe cultural practices, our attachment to land and place, and other cultural and spiritual activities. The use of our language is intrinsically linked to the social and emotional well-being of our people, leading to improved health and educational outcomes for individuals and communities. Numerous studies have shown that bilingual education enhances Indigenous children’s learning experience, including their English literacy levels. Bilingual education also provides our children with the foundation to engage with the dominant culture of our country while maintaining their own cultural identity. Nyikina Elder Lucy Marshall believes, “It is important for our young people to learn their language so they know who they are and who they can be.” Elder Jeanie Warbie, who has been instrumental in working to save the Nyikina language, echoes this view: “When you know your language, you feel good in your liyan (spirit).” It is a regrettably familiar story that most Aboriginal languages in Australia are classified as critically endangered or extinct. Prior to colonization, more than 250 Aboriginal languages were spoken. At the time of a national survey conducted in 2005, only 145 of these languages were actively spoken, with most of these categorized as “severely and critically endangered.” Only 20 Aboriginal languages were considered to be alive and “strong.” The extreme level of language decay can be directly attributed to the impacts of colonization, including the forced dispossession of our lands and cultural oppression by our colonizers. In 2009, the Australian government launched its first national policy focused on Indigenous languages. The policy was created in response to the concerns and recommendations that surfaced from the 2005 survey. Our experience of working in this area over the past 10 years has demonstrated that the Commonwealth’s investment in Indigenous languages is seriously underfunded. At a critical time when we have very few fluent speakers of our language left to support this work, the investments have been ad hoc. We have struggled to capture this important national investment and as a result we have lost the opportunity to fund Nyikina linguists and language workers, which has made it extremely difficult to maintain momentum. All Is Not Lost
Although the current status of Indigenous languages in Australia can be described as devastating, all is not lost. Young
Computer Assisted Language Learning Model (CALL) In the first phase, consultations with the language group defines the problem of diminishing numbers of language speakers and teachers and identifies appropriate technologies to use as the platform for the CALL resources produced. Consultations and research are ongoing. In the second phase, Yimardoowarra people will provide linguistic, cultural, and practical skills to complement Virginia Westwood’s CALL technology and methodology in designing a software prototype, as well as draft design principles for the CALL model. The third phase follows a cyclical pattern similar to participatory action research, but will involve the Yimardoowarra co-researchers in designing, collecting, and creating the resources and testing the incremental prototypes. In this phase, participants will be trained in technical skills in creating photographs, videos, and audio recordings and multimedia editing skills on computer. The fourth and final phase involves refining the model’s original design principles. These outcomes include immediate and ongoing social, cultural, and economic benefits for the Yimardoowarra people and a new model of CALL design for the wider community.
Nyikina people are an essential resource for sustaining our language and culture, for without their involvement our cultural identity and practices will cease. Reflecting on the value of the considerable amount of time she spent learning from cultural mentors and elders in her youth, Marlikka Perdrisat says: “this experience made me confident to talk about my cultural identity when I was at boarding school; I felt secure in the knowledge and was able to share my experiences with other students and teachers.” Young Nyikina people are taught creation songs, dances, and stories to increase their understanding and strengthen their connection with the land, water, and all living creatures. Mark Coles Smith is a young Nyikina man who is becoming well known as a musician, actor, and filmmaker. Smith has been building his cultural identity and capital by working closely with elders over the past 10 years. “There is this strong link between song and dance that is directly related to our relationship with the land. Working with the elders you have a sense of knowing it, but when all of these elements are combined, you feel it,” he says. In our attempt to revive our critically endangered language, we are working on two major projects. The first is the research and development of the Nyikina Dictionary. This resource draws heavily on the work of Dr. Bronwyn Stokes and includes sample sentences drawn from the fieldwork of Colleen Hattersley. The dictionary, due to be published in 2013 in print and on CD-ROM, contains sound files of fluent speakers to allow the learner to hear the language being spoken. Larissa
Searle, an active language learner in the project, comments, “It’s fantastic that we still have elders who are fluent language speakers, and with this modern technology we are able to record them speaking so anyone wanting to learn the language can hear this Australian language as it is spoken now.” Our other effort involves the development of a model for Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). The project, spearheaded by Virginia Westwood, involves Yimardoowarra people as co-researchers and collaborators on the model’s design and implementation. The model we use is the most familiar worldwide and is often referred to as “Established CALL.” We believe it will become a model for Indigenous language survival and revival worldwide. Solutions for improving the health and well-being of Indigenous people must reflect Indigenous understandings of these concepts in order to be successful and sustainable. We believe that our inclusion of language speakers and cultural knowledge bearers as co-researchers in the program’s design will help ensure its cultural sensitivity, relevance, and ultimate success. The reconstruction and preservation of Nyikina knowledge and language is paramount both to our self-determination as individuals and to our people as a collective whole. Instead of following predetermined plans imposed by the government, we are forming partnerships and establishing guidelines, negotiating the rules for engagement to determine our future. We are working together to create a new way forward. —Dr. Anne Poelina is an Indigenous Australian from the Nyikina Nation living and working in community cultural development on her homelands. She holds masters degrees in education; public health and tropical medicine; and Indigenous social policy; and a Ph.D. in philosophy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bushtucker in Nyikina Country. Painting by Loongkoonan. Image courtesy of www. indigenart.com.au
For more information on Nyikina people’s advocacy, visit: www.mardoowarra.com.au
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 23
Tracy Austin, executive director of the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation of the Americas, speaks with Evelyn Arce (far left); Nilo Cayuqueo of the Abya Yala Fund, and Andy Carroll of the Association of Small Foundations.
Winona LaDuke, founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Program, (right) speaks with Chip Conley of Joie de Vivre Hospitality (center) and Ken Wilson of the Christensen Fund (left).
The Way Forward
How Indigenous Philanthropy Can Change the World Evelyn Arce
ndigenous philanthropy is cost effective, high impact giving, according to a groundbreaking report presented by International Funders of Indigenous People (IFIP). At the IFIP annual conference last year, case studies from pioneering funders who work with traditional communities around the globe provided data that Indigenous philanthropy is “the way forward.” That language is borrowed from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the expert group of scientists responsible for research on global warming, who called traditional knowledge and Indigenous adaptation strategies “the way forward.” It is unknown to what extent Indigenous people in remote regions of the world understood how global trading in mortgage securities precipitated an international economic meltdown—but there is no doubt that they are experiencing the impact. Even before this latest recession, Indigenous Peoples received less than .01 percent of international philanthropic giving from US foundations. As funders see their endowments shrink, Indigenous communities are suffering a decrease in support. One reason is the common perception among funders that traditional communities are too remote to take part in standard funding agreements. They are not perceived as riskfree partners with communications budgets, technological savvy, or business expertise. Their outsider status in industrialized culture is a liability. IFIP is a group of funders interested in a new paradigm of giving that combines the best of Indigenous and industrialized cultures. At their most recent annual conference, funders inspired by their face-to-face encounters with Indigenous leaders stood up and affirmed their commitment to encourage 24 • ww w. cs. org
their colleagues to support this important sector of international philanthropy. Working with Indigenous communities simultaneously meets the objectives of several usually segregated program areas from environmental defense to human rights, social justice, and sustainability. At the conference, Tracy Austin, Executive Director of the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, described the evolution of her perspective as an environmental funder: “At an [Indigenous Funders] conference I learned how the BINGOs (big environmental NGOs) were violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples.” After listening to Indigenous representatives describe the negative effects when funders favor familiar intermediaries over direct collaboration with communities, Austin changed her investment portfolio. Impact on Indigenous Peoples is now an evaluation metric for her foundation. “Some projects do get avoided,” she said, “and some get improved upon.” Bringing a business perspective to the conference, Chip Conley, CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, said that investment decisions need a new evaluation lens. Instead of the pure bottom line of the Gross Domestic Product, he endorsed the country of Bhutan’s creation of Gross Domestic Happiness. There is a growing realization that economic values need to incorporate other human needs beyond profit. Indigenous participants who have never used a barometer as narrow as the GDP warmly welcomed Conley’s message. However, Phrang Roy, coordinator for the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, pointed out the complex challenges of evolving away from the current economic model based on constant expansion and resource depletion. The Indigenous leaders who travelled from all over the world to attend the conference did not arrive empty handed.
Phrang Roy of the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty (left) listens to an activist with the Tarahumara Peoples of Chihuahua, Mexico.
They came with stories that offered hope and replicable solutions demonstrating sharp business acumen. Winona LaDuke, founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Program, described how her Native community is creating sustainability its own way by reviving ancient agricultural and fishing practices. Wayne Bergmann recounted how he grew up impoverished, as all Nyikina people do in Western Australia. After working as a tradesman he went to law school and eventually became CEO of the Aboriginal Kimberley Regional Economic Development Enterprises. He described how environmental groups were outraged when the Aboriginal peoples announced that they wanted to negotiate a fair deal to extract resources on their own land. The country’s main environmental groups could not reconcile the idea of Indigenous Peoples as “stewards of the land” negotiating commercial development directly with the government and gas companies, so they offered Bergmann a $1 million slush fund to stop. Instead of taking the offer, Bergmann negotiated a $300 million deal for his people that created a model system of protected areas monitored by Indigenous rangers, a cultural heritage center, an economic development agency, and an Indigenous philanthropic trust. “We need to walk in two worlds, where traditional law and culture stay strong and where we create our rightful place in the modern economy,” Bergmann advised, acknowledging that the people of Western Australia won the right to their land and self-rule after decades of land dispossession and cultural genocide. Winning the legal standing to decide their own future gave them the agency and legitimacy that so many Indigenous Peoples around the world still lack. In light of this, Bergmann invited other Indigenous leaders to join him in a global network to share experience and resources, particularly for communities facing resource extraction from outsiders on their lands. “We are building a common database of ideas,” he proclaimed. As an Indigenous funder, New Zealand Maori Che Wilson shared his peoples’ growing experience managing funds under the J.R. Mckenzie Trust. Wilson started out as a representative to the trust of his tribal community and later became chair of the trust’s Maori development fund. In the seminar Indigenous-led Funding Institutions, Wilson was joined by Jonella Larson White, Ququngaq member of the Alaska
Wayne Bergmann, Nyikina from Western Australia, explains his vision as CEO of his people’s economic development enterprise.
Native Fund Steering Committee, along with other leaders in the field of Indigenous-led philanthropy. IFIP conferences are unique spaces for frank, productive conversations among donors and Indigenous representatives. In the final session of the conference, various funders asked IFIP to establish a database of successful collaborations between donors and Indigenous communities; IFIP is actively seeking sponsorship for this initiative. Two important new projects were also born: the first, a United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples toolkit for donors, will help funders apply the principles of the Declaration to their grant-making. The second, a funders database of projects, will provide funding models based on successful philanthropic Indigenous partnerships. The conference also made it clear that local meetings could help bring new donors into the network. As a result, the organization decided to hold three regional meetings around the world for peer-to-peer training in Indigenous funding. The three locations chosen for 2013 were San Francisco, Copenhagen, and New York City. Annual conferences will also alternate between US and international settings. In 2014, the conference will coincide in New York with the UN General Assembly’s first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples held in September. The funders group also moved from its home base on a Native reservation in upstate New York to the donor nexus of San Francisco. The move marked a new strategy to build membership and generate a broader base of Indigenous philanthropy, as this critical moment in the Earth’s history demands nothing less. —Evelyn Arce is executive director of International Funders of Indigenous People and is of Chibcha descent. All photos courtesy of IFIP
To learn more about IFIP, go to www.internationalfunders.org
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 25
B a z aa r Ar tis t: M aking Art Ou t of W ire
t’s easy to balk at the prices of children’s toys today; the newest gadget comes into fashion with a hefty price tag only to be replaced in a few short months by the next obsession. Zimbabwean wire artist Bernard Domingo has dealt with this problem, which he encountered in his own childhood, with creativity and resourcefulness. What began as a youthful interest in making toys for himself has grown into a fruitful business and love of art, changing his life in ways he never anticipated. Born in Zimbabwe as part of the Shona people, Domingo’s upbringing placed a special emphasis on creativity. He started making toys at age six, and, using wire coat hangers as his first medium, began teaching his friends and other neighborhood children how to do the same. This practice in teaching and toymaking eventually led him to explore other mediums of art; the wire sculptures he makes and sells today are the result of a lifetime of creativity and communal instruction. While the spirit of his sculptures originated in his home country of Zimbabwe, Domingo has traveled to the far reaches of the world in order to sell his art. Finding no jobs once he was out of school, he started his own business and now sells his art on multiple continents. The sale of his art abroad has allowed him to build a house for his family back in Zimbabwe and also expand his practice by way of creating the artistic cooperative Domingo Wirecraft, which produces his beaded figurines. Domingo’s artistic success has enabled him to build a fruitful life in the United States. Coordinating the production of his art in Zimbabwe while living and selling his art in the United States is a difficult task; however, Domingo sees this as the most worth26 • ww w. cs. org
while effort. As a member of a large family with six siblings, Domingo uses the profits from his art to support his family in Zimbabwe. “If I was back over there, all those guys would be struggling the same way I would be,” he said, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to earn money to send his relatives’ children to school and improve the quality of their lives. Selling his art in the United States has also improved Domingo’s reputation as an artist, giving him wider name recognition. According to Domingo, the opportunity to sell his art at the Cultural Survival Bazaars has been both positive and profitable, connecting him to a larger market of art buyers and a wealth of social resources. Participating in the bazaars has also played an emotionally uplifting role in his life; speaking about the mood and social experiences at the bazaars, Domingo said, “You need your mind to be free; when I go there, my mind is always free.” Domingo’s hard work, creativity, and resilience have paved the path to his success in true defiance of hardship, such that he now leads a life of happiness and productivity. Domingo values the path his life has taken, musing, “The place that I’m in now is a good place to be.” Visit Domingo at our Cultural Survival Bazaars. June 15: Boston, MA July 20–21: Falmouth, MA July 27–28: Tiverton, RI August 8–10: Mashantucket, CT
For more information, visit: bazaar.cs.org.
Why I support Cultural Survival ❝ Frank Pavon, Yuma, AZ
I saw the Cultural Survival Quarterly magazine at Barnes and Noble and the cover caught my attention: the colorful hat and the face reminded me of my childhood in Ecuador. I support Cultural Survival because uniqueness is what makes the world interesting, and to see the different cultures of the world endangered and disappearing is sad. I see a lot of people supporting endangered animal species, but not many supporting the endangered human cultures of the world. “I was born in Quito, Ecuador to a single mother. I became aware of my artistic talent at a very young age and started exchanging my work for food and sometimes money. When I saw that face on the cover of CSQ, something inside me was stirred up. I decided to paint it and capture the look that was too familiar in my memories. It was not only a picture, but a window into my past. It jump started my creativity; it inspired me and got me exited about art. My intent is to not only capture people’s faces but their life experience and their struggles, and above all their tenacity to keep living.”
Support Cultural Survival Today! For over 41 years Cultural Survival has worked with Indigenous Peoples all over the world, from the Anuak people in Ethiopia to Maya communities in Guatemala. As we look forward to our next 40 years, it is essential that we continue to have your participation in our mission. For more information or to make your gift, go to
Leave a lasting legacy with a Planned Gift A gift from your estate through wills, trusts, life insurance, and retirement assets builds a foundation for Cultural Survival’s future while offering tax advantages to you. The Cultural Survival Legacy Society recognizes those members who have included Cultural Survival in their estate plans. For more information, go to cs.org/plannedgiving, or call 617-441-5400
Here are some ways you can get involved: • Renew your membership and continue to receive your own copy of the Cultural Survival Quarterly • Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to get the latest from Indigenous communities around the world • Be part of our Global Response Program and take action to support the rights of Indigenous Peoples by writing letters and sending emails. • Stay connected by following us on Twitter (@CSORG) and liking us on Facebook (facebook.com/culturalsurvival)
Cultural Survival Quarterly
June 2013 • 27
Tak eA Global Response cti on No w
Gathered at Teztan Biny: Xeni Gwet’in Elder and Healer Gilbert Solomon, Xeni Gwet’in Councillor Marilyn Baptiste, Xeni Gwet’in Youth Tamara William, Kwicksutaineuk Ah-kwa-mish First Nation Chief Bob Chamberlin, and Peyel Laceese, a youth from Tl’esqox (Toosey Indian Band). Photo by Garth Lenz, www.garthlenz.com
Save Teztan Biny (Fish Lake)—Again!
he lands of the Tsilhqot’in Nation, whose name means “People of the River,” are rich in history, natural beauty, and abundance. Situated on the Chilcotin Plateau of south central British Columbia, Canada, the Tsilhqot’in Nation encompasses a wide range of forests, rivers, grasslands, and pristine glacial lakes, including Teztan Biny, commonly called Fish Lake, because of its unique abundance of fish—it is home to about 85,000 Rainbow Trout. It is also a place of enormous cultural and spiritual significance for the Tsilhqot’in Nation, where generations have traditionally come to fish, trap, skin, and gather as a community. “If they put an open pit mine here it would be just like cutting somebody’s heart out,” says Edmund Lulua of the Xeni Gwet’in community. That’s exactly what Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Limited plans to do: a massive open pit gold and copper mine with a tailings pond just two kilometers upstream from Teztan Biny, the proposed “New Prosperity” mine would turn Teztan Biny into a lake on life support. The Tsilhqot’in have already saved their lake once. After more than two decades fighting for their land rights, people from all walks of life have stood alongside the Tsilhqot’in. Jim Prentice, then Canada’s minister of the environment, rejected an earlier iteration of the project, which had planned to drain the trout-filled lake and use it as a waste dump. The government’s environmental impact review condemned the project with “scathing comments.” But Taseko’s plans die hard. Having modified its original mine proposal into the “New Prosperity Mine,” the company has been given a second chance via a federal environmental review, and plans for the project will be accepted or rejected as early as Fall of 2013. The fight is on to save Teztan Biny—again. The Tsilhqot’in Nation and their environmental partners at work across Canada are demanding that the New Prosperity Mine be cancelled and abandoned. But they need help from the international community to make their voices heard. Chief Joe Alphonse, chair of the Tsilhqot’in national government, explained: “In the case of the re-bid Prosperity Mine proposal, we feel that we’ve nearly exhausted every possible avenue to resolve this at the local level.” We need your help to stand with the Tsilhqo’tin. They did it once before, and we can help them do it again.
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to TAKE ACTION and join the growing movement for First Nations’ rights.
High Magnitude, Long Term, Irreversible
he so-called “New Prosperity” mine project is just as destructive as the rejected Prosperity mine project—and possibly even worse. Taseko claims to have redesigned the project to be less harmful, but the initial federal review panel has concluded that “no other viable alternatives...could be explored to avoid the significant adverse environmental effects identified.” The report determined that the mine would result in “high magnitude, long term, and irreversible” effects on the Tsilhqot’in people and their environment, including their substantial fish and Grizzly bear populations. Of major concern is the poisoning of groundwater with toxic mine waste. In the New Prosperity plan, tailings, a form of mine waste made up of toxic heavy metals, would be stored underwater in a pond constructed just two kilometers upstream from Teztan Biny. A huge deposit of waste rock, tailings, and impounded water would cover much of Teztan Biny’s upstream catchment area, including Little Fish Lake and surrounding feeder streams and wetlands. Contaminants, including heavy metals, can leach out into surface and groundwater causing serious pollution and health problems for many generations. The first and best line of defense against this toxic drainage is to prevent the potentially acid-generating material from mixing with open air. However, with existing technology, acid mine drainage is virtually impossible to stop once the reactions begin. Affected communities are then faced with the long-term, high cost of treating mine drainage water, effluent discharge, and the disposal of treatment sludge—all of it deadly to fish. The most reliable strategy for preventing acid mine drainage is to submerge the waste rock or tailings under water to prevent exposure to oxygen. While this can be an effective strategy, its success depends on keeping the water cover and dam structures intact forever. Forever is a long time to keep a nightmare bottled up. A Precedent Among First Nations People of the Tsilhoq’tin Nation, made up of the Tl’etinqox, Tsi Del Del, Yunesit’in, ?Esdilagh, Xeni Gwet’in, and Tl’esqox peoples, have been united in consistently opposing Taseko’s mining project. For decades, these communities have been involved in a legal case seeking rights and title to their lands, as well as fishing and trapping lines, which include the area proposed for the mine. Defense of their territory is nothing new for the Tsilhqo’tin. Going back to 1864, they successfully stopped colonizing Europeans from accessing their lands in search of gold. This legacy of upholding their rights have made the Tsilhqo’tin leaders among First Nations; what happens in their territory could have resounding effects across Canada. Taseko has gained a reputation for disrespecting First Nations. In a letter from November 2011, Taseko’s president and CEO Russell Hallbauer asked to deny any requests to include Aboriginal people in the federal review panel. He denounced the Tsilhqo’tins’ opening prayer ceremonies at hearings as inappropriate and argued that Aboriginal places should not be considered sacred. All of these statements show a flagrant disrespect for First Nations and are in clear violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government of Canada has a responsibility to ensure that no projects affecting Indigenous Peoples (First Nations) move forward without their full Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, yet Tsilhoq’tin Councilor Marilyn Baptiste has stated that effective consultation has not taken place. The Tsilhoq’tin have clearly rejected all versions of this mine proposed for their ancestral territory. As the federal review panel concluded, even the best-case scenario “would not eliminate or accommodate the significant loss First Nations would experience as a result of the Project.” It is time for Canada to reject Taseko’s plans for mining in Tsilhqo’tin territory for good.
WRITE NOW and ask Canada’s Environment Minister to put an end to the New Prosperity Mine proposal, once and for all. As Tsilhoq’tin Chief Roger William says, “It’s time for them to fold up their tent and move on.” Please send letters, emails, and faxes to: The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment 401 Confederation Building, House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6 Canada Phone: (613) 992-0253, (613) 992-0887 email@example.com The Honourable Christy Clark Premier of British Columbia Box 9041 Station PROV GOVT Victoria, BC V8W 9E1 Canada Phone: (250) 387-1715 Fax: (250) 387-0087 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Adrian Dix Constituency Office 5022 Joyce Street Vancouver, BC, V5R 4G6 Canada Phone: (604) 660-0314 Adrian.Dix.MLA@leg.bc.ca Federal Review Panel (Dr. Bill Ross, Dr. George Kupfer, Dr. Ron Smyth) New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project 160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor Place Bell Ottawa ON, K1A 0H3 Canada Phone: (613) 957-0700 or (866) 582-1884 Fax: (61) 957-0941 email@example.com For more information: www.teztanbiny.ca wildernesscommittee.org www.raventrust.com
Teztan Biny, or Fish Lake. Photo courtesy of the Wilderness Committee.
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