Ecuador'sWaoraniindigenoustribe; UnitedNations; #ancestralAmazonianlands; #oilexplorationactivities
New York, Apr 29 (Canadian-Media): Ecuador's Waorani indigenous tribe won their first victory Friday against big oil companies in a ruling that blocks the companies' entry onto ancestral Amazonian lands for oil exploration activities, University of Bristol study said.
After two weeks of deliberations, a criminal court in Puyo, Ecuador, accepted a Waorani tribe bid for court protection in Pastaza province to stop an oil bidding process. Image credit: Science X Newsletter
After two weeks of deliberations, a criminal court in Puyo, central Ecuador, accepted a Waorani bid for court protection in Pastaza province to stop an oil bidding process after the government moved to open up around 180,000 hectares for exploration.
The lands are protected under Ecuador's constitution that establishes the "inalienable, unseizable and indivisible" rights of indigenous people "to maintain possession of their ancestral lands and obtain their free adjudication."
The constitution also enshrines the need for prior consultation on any plans to exploit the underground resources, given the probable environmental and cultural impacts on tribal communities.
The state reached an agreement with the Waorani over oil exploration in 2012, but the tribe's leaders say they were duped.
The judges ordered the government to conduct a new consultation, applying standards set by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in San Jose.
The ruling "has created a significant precedent for the Amazon," said Lina Maria Espinosa, attorney for the plaintiffs, outside court.
"It has been demonstrated that there was no consultation and that the state violated the rights of this people, and therefore of other peoples."
The Waorani, who number around 4,800, also inhabit other Amazonian provinces.
#ConventiononbiologicalDiversity; #Indigenousidentity; #UN; #UNDRIP #SDGs;
#EconomicandSocialCouncil; #TraditionalKnowledge; #2019InternationalYearofIndigenousLanguages; #HumanRights; #UnitedNationsPermanentForumonIndigenousIssues
United Nations, Apr 23 (Canadian-Media/UN): Traditional knowledge is at the core of indigenous identity, culture and heritage around the world, the chair of the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said at the annual event’s opening day on Monday, stressing that it “must be protected”, UN media reports said.
Image: UN News/Predrag Vasić/ Sjisäwishék ‘Keeping the fire strong’, indigenous girls of the Onondaga Nation, Haudenoaunee Confederacy, perform at the eighteenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Anne Nuorgam, who is a member of Finland’s Saami Parliament and head of the Saami Council’s Human Rights Unit, described the Forum as an opportunity to share innovations and practices, developed in indigenous communities “over centuries and millennia”.
Indigenous peoples make up less than six per cent of the world’s population, but account for 15 per cent of the poorest on earth, according to the Forum. They live in some 90 countries, represent 5,000 different cultures and speak the overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages.
Noting that 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, she said that “we have to celebrate our languages, but also take concrete action to preserve them and save those on the verge of extinction”.
Ms. Nuorgam pointed out that in many countries, indigenous children are not taught in their language. Citing Article 14 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) , she recalled that indigenous peoples have the right to provide education in their own languages.
“However, this needs financial and technical support from Member States and the UN System”, she stated.
As studies show that children learn best in their own mother tongue, Ms. Nuorgam encouraged everyone to “make sure our children” are connected to their indigenous communities and cultures, as they are “inextricably linked to their lands, territories and natural resources”.
“This enables us to protect our traditional knowledge”, asserted the chair.
Indigenous issues linked to world development
Recognizing UNDRIP as a "watershed moment" in 2007, General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa lamented that it still faced implementation challenges, saying that the world has a “historic debt with the indigenous peoples” and that much more must be done to overcome the implementation gap.
She also drew attention to indigenous women, pointing out that while women are key agents of change for tackling poverty and hunger, they face multiple forms of discrimination and violence.
In his opening remarks, Valentin Rybakov, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), explained that the Forum’s expert advice on indigenous peoples’ issues, informs ECOSOC deliberations and decisions.
Tadodaho Sid Hill, Chief of the Onondaga Nation, gives a ceremonial welcome to the eighteenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues., by UN News/Elizabeth Scaffidi
“This is of particular importance in helping us follow up on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, said Mr. Rybakov.
He mentioned key activities in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including, in September, the first SDG Summit for State heads since the 2030 Agenda was adopted and the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in July to review six of the SDGs, including on quality education, economic growth and combatting climate change.
“These topics are of central importance to indigenous peoples and the attainment of their human rights”, he said, saying that the Permanent Forum and its follow-up activities “demonstrably contributes” to reaching these goals.
“Along with recognition comes the need to acknowledge the source, ownership and protection of traditional knowledge”, Mr. Rybakov said.
Thriving for ‘millennia’
The Executive Secretary of the Convention on biological Diversity, Cristiana Pasca Palma, credited her Romanian grandparents – who used traditional agricultural methods passed down for centuries, to till the soil – for nurturing her appreciation of biodiversity and related traditional knowledge.
“All of our ancestors have always lived off the land and waters in one form or another”, she said. “And their traditional knowledge, often transmitted especially through women – grandmother to mother, to daughter – have enabled us as a species to thrive for millennia”.
The event also enjoyed a performance by Sjisäwishék, or ‘Keeping the fire strong’ - indigenous girls of the Onondaga Nation, Haudenoasuanee Confederacy, and a ceremonial welcome by the traditional Chief of the Onondaga Nation, Tadodaho Sid Hill.
The session runs from 22 April through 3 May, with regional dialogues to be held during the second week.
Established by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2000, the Forum provides it with advice and recommendation on indigenous issues. The 16 independent experts of the Forum – eight nominated by UN Member States and others by indigenous organizations globally – work in their personal capacity.
#Nunavut; #BartHanna; #HouseofCommons; #Ottawa; #Sedna, #seagoddess; #Inuitmythology; #tympanum; #DominionSculptor
Ottawa, Apr 9 (Canadian-Media): A new sculpture by Nunavut artist Bart Hanna will soon be on display in the House of Commons foyer, media reports said.
Bart Hanna. Image credit: Twitter handle of Inuit Art
It was commissioned as part of Canada 150 celebrations, and unveiled in Ottawa on Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of Nunavut as a territory.
The sculpture was unveiled on April 8, 2019, and it will be displayed in West Block until it can permanently take up residence in the House of Commons Foyer following the restoration of Centre Block.
The sculpture depicts Sedna, a sea goddess and an important figure in Inuit mythology.
"She is a marine being that has been seen throughout the arctic waters, as my grandfather said one time many years ago," said the Igloolik-based Hanna, in a statement.
"Most stories of Sedna seem to suggest that she is benevolent; however, I have occasionally encountered comments that suggest this is not always the case."
The 65 centimetre by 84 centimetre sculpture is a tympanum, typically used to decorate a semi-circular or triangular space above a door or window.
Hanna was selected by a jury to create the piece. The jury included other artists, the House of Commons' curator, and the Dominion Sculptor, who oversees the carving program on Parliament Hill.
Sedna is one of the most important and powerful figures in Inuit mythology. She watches over her sea-creature children and protects them from the harsh elements of the Arctic.
#Winnipeg; #Manitoba; #Canada; #CarolynBennett; #FederalBudget2019; #TruthandReconciliationCommission’sCallstoAction; #FirstNations, #Inuit; #Métis; #NationalCouncilforReconciliation; #CanadianRootsExchange
Winnipeg (MB), Apr 6 (Canadian-Media): Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations highlighted, while speaking at an event in at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at Winnipeg today, the federal government’s proposed Indigenous-related investments in Federal Budget 2019 investing in the Middle Class, media reports said.
Minister Carolyn Bennett also discussed how the Government was investing in areas of critical need for Indigenous communities, including education, mental wellness, housing, to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
“Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action is a critical step in Canada's journey of reconciliation...Our government is working across all departments to realize the vision of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Budget 2019 has made significant investments to further this important work,” said Carolyn Bennett.
Budget 2019 proposes to provide $1.2 billion over three years, beginning in 2019–20 to help First Nations children access important health and social services.
Other areas which would be considered by Federal Budget 2019 are; forgiving and reimbursing loans to allow more than 200 Indigenous communities to reinvest in their priorities like governance, infrastructure and economic development ; improve access to clean drinking water, support the revitalization of Indigenous languages; help First Nations communities prepare for emergencies and adapt to the threats of climate change; ensure that First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples are able to fully contribute to and share in Canada’s economic success; Enable First Nations, Inuit and Métis students to have better access to post-secondary education; provide $126.5 million in 2020–21 to establish a National Council for Reconciliation; Provide $15.2 million over three years to help ensure that the voices of First Nation, Inuit and Métis youth are heard and to support Indigenous youth reconciliation initiatives, through an Indigenous youth pilot program delivered by Canadian Roots Exchange, responding to Call to Action 66.
Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) is a community of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth committed to building honest and equitable relationships.