Peter Buffett is a Co-President of the NoVo Foundation, which works to foster a transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership. As part of this work, NoVo supports work in Indigenous communities across North America, including community-led programs that center Indigenous girls and women. Suzanne Benally (Navajo and Santa Clara Tewa) is a leader in U.S. Indigenous rights advocacy, and serves as the Executive Director of Cultural Survival.
It was the Wampanoag People, the people of the first light, that encountered the Pilgrims when they arrived to Turtle Island (North America) from Europe in 1620. Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States, mythologizing the violent events that followed European arrival into a story of friendship and mutual sharing. But the reality is that the Wampanoags’ generosity was met with genocide, and this truth has been systematically suppressed in the US education system, government, and popular culture.
A close relationship with local environments and ecosystems is more critical than ever in the face of a rapidly changing climate. This program features two perspectives from Indigenous communities that are practicing resiliency to global warming by adapting their traditional knowledge and science to put a changing climate into the context of their communities' history and lifeways.
Elizabeth Azzuz (Yurok), Cultural Fire Management Council
Jannie Staffansson (Saami), Arctic and Environment Unit of the Saami Council
In many Indigenous communities, dual justice systems operate in tandem: the European system, a colonial imposition characterized by hierarchical, punitive, written codicies, and the Indigenous system, which is often based in tradition and holistic in nature.
Human Rights Lawyer Michelle Cook (Dine') elaborates on the interactions between these two systems, and explains how communities can use the language of human rights to challenge the colonial legal system imposition in order to gain a seat at the table as independent nations with internationally recognized justice systems.
Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough (Innuit, Alaska, USA) discusses her early engagement in the politics of Indigenous Peoples land rights, and shares her insight into why the defense of land merits extra international legal attention. She urges leaders to have optimism, and take “the long view” approach to making progress in the protection of Indigenous rights.
John Scott highlights the importance of using processes established by Indigenous communities when gaining free, prior and informed consent for activities which will take place on their lands. He also talks about the importance of including traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples at the UN Permanent Forum.
Antonio Gonzales, director of the American Indian Movement AIM West, explains why the use of Indigneous Peoples as mascots is culturally offensive and can no longer be tolerated in the 21st century. We caught up with Antonio Gonzales at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples Issues, New York.
Antonio Gonzales explains how without proper enforcement governments, cooperations, and extractive industries willingly ignore frameworks like FPIC which are designed to protect the rights of indigneous peoples.
Antonio Gonzales has spent many years working with international forums for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. He has witnessed achievements but draws attention to the fact that indigenous communities across the world are struggling to bring their governments to the table for discussion. He is currently advocating for an International Convention.