Category Archives: Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Mountain Farmers Unite on Climate Change

Photo: Chris Stowers/Panos

Photo: Chris Stowers/Panos

With representatives from more than 10 countries, The International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples formed in May as a coalition to lobby against climate change by advocating for traditional farming strategies. The group called on governments to “support climate change adaptation measures based on traditional knowledge; promote indigenous languages; and bridge local knowledge and science to create effective solutions for conservation, food security and climate adaptation.” While collaboration and shared knowledge are honorable ideas, we at GJEP are curious about the organizations behind the movement and hope that there are no hidden motives lurking beneath the curtain.

Indigenous Mountain Farmers Unite on Climate Change
July 15, 2014
by Sci Dev Net

Farmers from 25 indigenous mountain communities in ten countries have come together to share traditional knowledge that could help them to mitigate climate change and to lobby governments for greater recognition of their unique knowledge.

The International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples was formed at a workshop in Bhutan last month (26 May-1 June). It includes communities from Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Taiwan, Tajikistan and Thailand.

Member communities from Bhutan, China and Peru had already agreed to exchange seeds at a meeting held in Peru earlier this year (26 April-2 May). The agreement was extended to the other members at the most recent meeting.

The farmers say the network will enable communities to access new seed varieties that are more resilient to pests and drought; will help increase their crop diversity; and will reduce their dependence on corporate-owned seeds.

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Filed under Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Uncategorized

Earth Watch: Tom Goldtooth from the Venezuelan Social PreCOP

Tom Goldtooth presenting at the start of Mesa III: Social Participation in Decision Making

Tom Goldtooth (left, white shirt) presenting at the start of Mesa III: Social Participation in Decision Making

Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network and Grassroots Global Justice delegate to Venezuela, spoke to Margaret Prescod (KPFK) from the Social PreCOP on Margarita Island.

Goldtooth spoke about the goals for the Social PreCOP, the vital importance of the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in climate discussions and action, the Indigenous-rooted concept of good living (buen vivir), and the need for real, sustainable climate action that does not accept false solutions like REDD.

Listen to the interview here, from the July 17th Sojourner Truth show.

Read the talking points from Tom’s presentation at the start of Mesa III: Social Participation in Decision Making here.

Tom Goldtooth is a member of our New Voices Speakers Bureau.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Earth Radio, Earth Watch, Indigenous Peoples, KPFK

Breaking Action Alert: Enbridge Blockaded

17 July 2014.  Source: Swamp Line 9 via Earth First! newswire

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Individuals from Six Nations and their allies have interrupted work on a section of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline. The work stoppage began around 10am this morning. Individuals involved asked workers to leave, asserting that the land is Haudenosaunee territory guaranteed under the Haldimand deed, and that Enbridge’s workers were present without consent or consultation.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Oil, Tar Sands, Uncategorized

Mega-Dams in Sarawak threaten indigenous tribes with ethnocide

By Amanda Stephenson, July 3, 2014. Source: Counterpunch

www.theecologist.org

www.theecologist.org

Sarawak, Malaysia, is located on the island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world. Sarawak is home to thousands of endemic species, forty indigenous groups, and one of the largest transboundary rainforests remaining in the world.

The state is also suffering from one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation; only 5% of its primary forests remain. Now, Sarawak’s forests and their inhabitants face another threat: the damming of its rivers for hydroelectric power.

The Malaysian government and its state-owned energy utility Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) plan to build 12 large dams, due to produce 7,000 MW (megawatts) of electricity. Six of them are scheduled for completion by 2020. Continue reading

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Filed under Hydroelectric dams, Indigenous Peoples

Kukamas abandon hunger strike over Peruvian Amazon oil pollution

The Kukama march to the city of Iquitos to protest against toxic waste left behind by more than 40 years of oil contamination in their territories. Photograph by Deborah Rivett/The Arkana Alliance

The Kukama march to the city of Iquitos to protest against toxic waste left behind by more than 40 years of oil contamination in their territories. Photograph by Deborah Rivett/The Arkana Alliance

Peruvian officials have met with representatives of hundreds of indigenous people from the country’s Amazon rainforest after they threatened to go on hunger strike in protest at what they say is government failure to aid communities affected by oil contamination.

For almost two weeks, around 500 Kukamas were camped in a square in Iquitos – the biggest city in Peru’s Amazon – after travelling from their homes along the River Marañón, by boat and on foot.
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12 more opposed to shale gas arrested as RCMP turn violent on National Aboriginal Day

By Miles Howe, June 21, 2014. Source: Halifax Media Co-op

Segewaat, who has been tending the sacred fire for over a week, was among the first to be arrested Photo  by M. Howe

Segewaat, who has been tending the sacred fire for over a week, was among the first to be arrested Photo by M. Howe

12 more people were arrested today in their attempts to stop SWN Resources Canada from conducting seismic testing along highway 126, in Kent County, New Brunswick.

At about 1:15pm, a convoy of cars parked themselves on River Lane, near the town of Kent Junction, about 100 metres from the thumpers. About 40 people then stationed themselves on the side of the road adjacent to the 3 thumpers, and began drumming and singing. The thumpers stopped their procession, and a group then stationed themselves in front of the trucks, blocking their paths.
RCMP forces then arrived, and a confrontation – as happened last Friday morning when 12 people were arrested attempting to halt the thumpers – ensued. The RCMP approached the gathered crowd in a line formation that spanned the highway. The crowd in front of the thumpers thinned to about ten people while the remainder of the crowd moved to the shoulder of the highway and continued to drum and sing. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression

Ecuador’s CONAIE indigenous movement

By Marc Becker, June 17, 2014. Source: Upside Down World

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With calls to return power to the bases and to mobilize the grassroots in defense of the rights of community access to water resources, Ecuador’s largest and most powerful Indigenous federation has inaugurated its leadership for the next three years.

At a two-day congress in Ambato on May 16-17, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) elected Jorge Herrera as its new president.

 

At the end of the organization’s Fifth Congress, Herrera said “we will strengthen the organizational bases of our nationalities in the Amazon, on the coast, and in the highlands.” He vowed to achieve the goals of a plurinational state through unifying the movement by building on the strength of local water boards and youth and women’s organizations.

 

Herrera was the candidate of Ecuarunari, the federation of Kichwa peoples of the Ecuadorian highlands. He is from the Wintza community in the parish of Toacazo in the central highland province of Cotopaxi. He was previously a leader of the Indigenous and Peasant Movement of Cotopaxi (MICC).

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Water

Unist’ot’en Clan Refuse All Pipeline Projects: A Video Message

 

Asserting Indigenous Law Over Unceded Lands

Source: Reclaim Turtle Island

-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- June 18th, 2014 [Unist’ot’en Territory - near Smithers, BC]   Amid threats of a raid and impending pipeline approvals, the Unist’ot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are prepared to continue to defend their territories against the incursion of government and industry. A soft blockade was erected in 2009, which remains today, to insure that pipeline projects which violate Wet’suwet’en Law would not trespass onto Wet’suwet’en territories to develop projects without their consent. Yesterday the Federal government approved the Northern Gateway Pipeline, but the Uni’stot’en Camp still remains in the path of the proposed pipe as well as several others. The Northern Gateway is intended to expand the Athabasca Tar Sands facilitating the export of bitumen to international markets via supertankers off the West Coast. The Uni’stot’en Clan is part of the hereditary chief system which has governed Wet’suwet’en lands since time immemorial and is not subject to the Indian Act or other impositions of colonial occupation. “Harper is illegal, Canada is illegal. The Provincial and Federal governments are illegal because they don’t have jurisdiction in our peoples territory. We have never signed any treaties, this land is unceded.” states Freda Huson, Unist’ot’en Clan member and spokesperson for the camp. Huson references a Supreme Court ruling in the Delgamuukw vs. British Columbia case that clearly states the ownership of unceded territories remains with the Indigenous peoples and that Band Council Chiefs and Indian Act Agents have no authority over these lands. In fact, consultation and consent must be given by the traditional and hereditary governance systems. Huson explains, “They’ve tried to get our consent and our Chiefs have said no to these projects and no means no. Wet’suwet’en law applies to these [projects]. Developers can go ahead and try and put their projects through here but they will be considered trespassers and we’ll enforce Wet’suwet’en law against trespassers… We’re not afraid of the Harper government, we’re not afraid of anyone who is going to try and forcefully put their project through our territory when we’ve already said no.” Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island have been standing up against resource extraction projects which infringe on our collective sovereignty and attack our territories, our peoples and our nations. Continued pushes for pipeline project approvals, tar sands expansion and fracking by the Federal government will only result in increased mobilization by Indigenous peoples. “Our numbers are quite high across Canada, Indigenous people probably out-number settler people and you can guarantee that if there is an uprising in one community – especially with a bigger project that impacts the whole world through global warming – you’re going to have a lot of upset people across Canada, this impacts every body.” Temporary highway, rail and port blockades have been used to show support with other Indigenous communities across Turtle Island and Huson asserts that any attack on the Unist’ot’en will result in widespread, global support. “We had people make vows that they will shut down major highways to impact the Canadian economy if the Harper government is going to ignore Indigenous people.” Dini Ze Toghestiy, a Hereditary Chief for the Likhs’amisyu Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and member of the Unist’ot’en Camp asserts, “Supporters are repositioning themselves in surrounding towns to help build local support, and people in the cities are mobilized now. There’s individuals all over the world who have pledged to do what they can to help us.” Concerning the threat of a raid on the camp, there was no police presence on Unist’ot’en territory on June 15th – the date set for the anticipated raid. A tip from the BC Civil Liberties Association informed the Unist’ot’en Camp that there’s a rumour going around Victoria that the government, rather than file an injunction against the camp, file a charge for trespass using the Crown Lands Act. “But this is not Crown land” stated Toghestiy, “this land is unceded and we’re still here. We’re not going anywhere. People are showing up to the camp every day, our numbers are growing. This war is far from bring over and we’re going to win this one. We’re going to win it decisively.”

Media Contact: Freda Huson: 778-210-1100

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Justice, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression

UNPFII13: a missed chance?

By UNPO, June 17, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry

From 12 to 23 May 2014, the United Nations headquarters drew in more than 2,000 indigenous representatives who had gathered to attend the Thirteenth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to discuss the fate of approximately 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide. Photo by UNPO

From 12 to 23 May 2014, the United Nations headquarters drew in more than 2,000 indigenous representatives who had gathered to attend the Thirteenth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to discuss the fate of approximately 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide. Photo by UNPO

The Permanent Forum was established in response to rallying cries for a permanent space to discuss the economic, social, environmental, developmental, human rights and cultural dimensions of indigenous issues within the high-level, global body of the United Nations. While the Permanent Forum’s founding may have represented a formal recognition for the urgent need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples, this year’s Permanent Forum exposed deficiencies of the UN body. Following the meetings, it is reasonable to ask whether it provides a legitimate opportunity to reach tangible conclusions on how to resolve and end outstanding violations and historical injustices? Continue reading

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs

Will the U’was be forced to threaten to commit mass suicide again?

By David Hill, June 17, 2014. Source: The Guardian

Photograph from Asou'wa

Photograph from Asou’wa

Say ‘Gibraltar’ to many people in the UK and the first thing they’ll think of is a ‘British Overseas Territory’ at the entrance to the Mediterranean. Say it to one of the 7,000 indigenous U’wa people in north-east Colombia and the reaction would be very different: Gibraltar is a well cluster in U’wa ancestral territory which became the focal point of their opposition to oil operations in the late 1990s and early 2000s involving, among other things, threatening to commit mass suicide and being clubbed, tear-gassed, threatened with rape, evicted, arrested and harassed by Colombian military and police.

The first reported suicide threat came in early 1995 when the operating company was Occidental, partnered by Shell and Colombia’s state oil and gas firm Ecopetrol. Repeated other threats were voiced – to the rest of Colombia, to the media, even to Occidental executives. Continue reading

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fracking, Indigenous Peoples