(GVO) – Residing within the southern part of Ecuador’s Amazon region, the approximately 1,200-strong Kichwa community of Sarayaku have drawn international attention for their battles over land and indigenous rights—battles that have relied on worldwide support. Since 1996, when the Ecuadorian…
Colombia (OpenDemocracy) – New concessions threaten the water supply to the capital city of Bogota. Information from Colombia’s National Hydrocarbons Agency shows that at least forty-three new fracking concessions have been handed out to multinational companies including Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and…
Peru (deceleration) – In an open letter to the Peruvian authorities, Survival International, Rainforest Foundation Norway, and Peruvian indigenous organization ORPIO have denounced the Peruvian government’s failure to protect uncontacted tribes. The organizations are calling for the government to create an…
A worker from Peru’s state-run oil company tries to hammer a piece of wood into a gaping hole in the country’s northern pipeline. He fails. Repeatedly. The oil continues to gush with alarming speed and force. Dead fish float belly-up in the black slime.
By the time the spills were stopped this August, over 4,000 barrels of oil had poured into a tributary of the Peruvian Amazon – source of a fifth of our planet’s fresh water. Dozens of indigenous villages were left without drinking water and children were covered in angry rashes.
Leonardo Tello, director of a local radio station, produced a report illustrating these horrific images. He is angry, frustrated and heart-broken. Over the past 19 years the government has registered 190 spills, most affecting the Amazon rainforest.
Psychedelic science continues it’s redemptive march out of obscurity, and stigma. Decades of misinformation and propaganda is crumbling in a free fall accelerated by cannabis reforms. It’s a revolution conjuring up uses for psychedelics ignored since the days of 1960’s counter-culture. Among those benefits, researchers now say, is an uncanny ability to remedy the chains addiction.
The findings hail from a study done by numerous United Kingdom-based researchers. Unlike many, the study noted the “thousands of years” of historical use of psychedelics by indigenous cultures. It’s a facet sometimes referenced, but rarely held with any real credibility, or esteem. Rather, such native knowledge is left to languish well beyond the margins of academia. The UK study also acknowledged the role legislation has played in stunting psychedelic inquiry.
‘What would you die for?’ The question isn’t heard often at the UN Climate Negotiations, but it did break into the halls of power on Thursday 17 November. It was posed by indigenous youth delegate Niria Alicia Garcia Torres.’Tell me, what is it you would die for? And what do you stand for?’
These same questions are guiding the hearts of protestors on the treaty lands of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota, USA. Members of over 200 tribes and thousands of allies have gathered over the past seven months to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline, facing off militarized police, sound cannons, rubber bullets, pepper spray and attack dogs to defend their lives, land and water from a 1,172-mile oil pipeline, which they call the ‘black snake’.
Across Guatemala, indigenous communities are organizing to challenge logging in the country’s vast forests. These communities are concerned with the impact that both legal and illegal logging will have on their watersheds and on the environment.
On June 15, concerned residents from the highland Ixil Maya municipality of Nebaj, Quiche staged a protest outside the municipal building to express their concern with the steady increase in trucks leaving town loaded with lumber. The action was organized by residents and members of the Indigenous Authority of Nebaj in order to pressure the state authorities to strip the nine companies of their licenses to exploit timber on private lands. Residents raise concern over the fact that the deforestation affects everyone in the area.
The Zapatistas have sided with the teachers who are engaged in a massive and sometimes violent dispute with the Mexican government. The group released a statement, reprinted in full below. The Zapatistas are a militant group best known for their fight in Chiapas, Mexico. It is unclear if the Zapatistas plan on engaging in any militant actions on behalf of the community.
“Faced with the cowardly repressive attack suffered by the teachers and the community in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca—in which the Mexican state reminds us that this is a war on all—the peoples, nations, and tribes who make up the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation say to the dignified teachers that they are not alone, that we know that reason and truth are on their side, that the collective dignity from which they speak their resistance is unbreakable, and that this the principal weapon of those of us below.
We condemn the escalation of repression with which the neoliberal capitalist reform, supposedly about “education,” is being imposed across the entire country and principally in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Michoacán. With threats, persecutions, beatings, unjust imprisonments and now murders they try to break the dignity of the teachers in rebellion.”
Twenty years ago, the Peruvian government forcibly sterilized hundreds of thousands of indigenous women. Roxana Olivera talks to some of those still waiting for justice.
It was meant to be another competitive match for Hilaria Supa, then-leader of the Women’s Federation of Anta, in the south-eastern Andean highlands of Peru. Her team showed up on the field in their traditional colourful polleras – multi-layered embroidered skirts – to play, Supa assumed, their usual fast and explosive game.
But something was wrong.
‘The women didn’t want to play football that day,’ recalls Supa, now a member of Congress, in her office in downtown Lima almost 18 years later. ‘That had never happened before. Those women loved the game!’
From Canada’s Far North to Australia, pursuing a more respectful relationship between science and traditional knowledge.
In the rugged Sahtú Region of Canada’s Northwest Territories, a district so remote that in winter only a single treacherous ice road connects it to the outside world, life revolves around caribou. For millennia, the Dene people lived as nomads, tracking vast herds across the Sahtú and harvesting the itinerant animals for their meat, skin and bones. Although the region’s indigenous people today reside in villages, subsistence hunting remains central to diet and culture. The Dene language contains phrases for such concepts as “we grew up with caribou blood” and “we are people with caribou.”
That intimate relationship did not always coexist comfortably with empirical science. Wildlife biologists had long studied caribou by swooping down in helicopters, netting them and affixing them with radio collars, a process that some Dene saw as disrespectful to creatures they considered kin. In September 2012, the Sahtú Renewable Resource Councils passed resolutions recommending that all wildlife research involve local people and respect indigenous values. Biologists could still collar the caribou, but they now had a directive to pursue more respectful, non-invasive methods as well.