Archives for September 2007

KRFC Radio Program – Shipibo, The River of Life

To listen to the recent radio program on KRFC FM, independent community-based radio in Fort Collins, Colorado, click on the file link below:

Track01.cda

Limber Gomez, a Shipibo leader, was invited to do an interview on KRFC. He speaks about the hopes and challenges facing the Shipibo people, as well as about the community-based indigenous radio project they hope to do. For more information about this radio project, check out the below blog posting titled: Shipibo Radio Project

Below: Limber Gomez on his recent visit to Fort Collins.

More Buffalo to Be Delivered to Pine Ridge

Village Earth’s “Adopt-A-Buffalo” campaign, already in it’s 4th year, will be delivering 15 more bison to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation September 29th, 2007. The bison were donated by the Danylchuck Bison Ranch in Rye Colorado, their 4th donation of bison to-date. After receiving the necessary vaccinations and quarantining for cross state travel, the bison will make the long journey to south Dakota and will be released on the lands of Lakota Bison caretakers.

For a tax deductible donation of $500 you will receive a certificate of adoption for one of the bison in your name or in the name of a friend or loved one. The funds will be used to help develop and expand bison restoration on Pine Ridge with needed infrastructure such as fencing and wells. To date, Village Earth’s “Adopt-A-Buffalo” campaign has helped start 2 new herds of buffalo and expand an existing one and in the last year alone has helped acquire over 2000 additional acres of land for bison restoration. Smaller donations are also welcome.

Click here to learn more about contributing to the Adopt-A-Bison Program.

Shipibo Leader Visits Fort Collins


Above: Limber with Village Earth founders Ed and Mimi Shinn as he receives his certificate of completion for the Participatory Practices for Sustainable Development (PPSD) course.

Limber Gomez, a Shipibo leader and activist, recently visited Fort Collins, Colorado to attend the two-week PPSD training course at Colorado State University. This course was an extraordinary experience for Limber and all participants to share their experiences working with communities on all continents. This course helped to reaffirm Limber in the value of Shipibo culture as a guide for future development efforts. He realized that many people around the world are facing the same challenges and has decided to arrange for a delegation of Shipibo leaders to connect with parallel indigenous movements throughout Latin America because of the strength in unity across diverse cultures.

Limber also participated in a number of speaking events to both the Fort Collins community and also at Colorado State University. He also spoke on the radio and made connections with the KRFC-FM radio community to support the Shipibo’s radio project initiative (see posting below).

Limber returned home to the Ucayali to energize the newly formed Organization for the Defense and Development of the Indigenous Communities of the Peruvian Amazon (ODDPIAP) by offering workshops to ODDPIAP officials, community leaders, and university students in how to best engage communities in their struggles for self-determination.

We would like to thank Limber for his courage to join Village Earth here in the US and to all the donors that made his fruitful visit possible!

Shipibo Radio Project

As one of the eight parts of the Shipibo peoples’ plans for their self-determination and the “development” of their region, radio as a means of communication was of utmost importance. The Village Earth-Shipibo team has been in contact with Project Tupa, based out of Free Radio Berkeley. Project Tupa has a lot of experience in setting up easy to build and maintain low power transmitters for indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. Using locally-available materials, Project Tupa offers a 3-day workshop which teaches the communities how to maintain and repair the equipment themselves.

During Limber Gomez’, a Shipibo leader, recent visit to the Fort Collins community, we had the good fortune to meet with the Fort Collins’ community’s local community-based radio station, KRFC 88.9 FM. The KRFC team is ready and excited to help out with this interesting project in any way they can.

The Shipibo people see that being in control of their own media is an important step in their struggle for self-determination. Right now, corporate media rules in the cities and extort exorbitant prices from indigenous peoples who want to make radio announcements or have their own radio programs, such as the long-running Indigenous Voice program that had to be cancelled due to lack of funding.This 3-day workshop, materials included, will leave the Shipibo people with 4 of their very own hand-built radio transmitters to be placed strategically throughout the region.

Village Earth, Project Tupa, KRFC, and the Shipibo people can undertake this project with a mere $6000. Unfortunately, radio projects are difficult to fund. However, radio can be an important tool in cultural revival (through the diffusion of indigenous language and music programs), for defense of indigenous and territorial rights (indigenous leaders can communicate issues of concerns with greater ease in this remote region), and for educational programs.

If you are interested in supporting this team and the Shipibo’s efforts at determining their own rights and methods of communication, then you can make a 100% tax-deductible contribution through Village Earth. You can donate online using Pay Pal (clearly indicate your support for the Shipibo radio project), by using your credit card over the phone 970-491-5754, or by check sent to:
Village Earth
P.O. Box 797
Fort Collins, CO 80522

For more information, please contact the project coordinator: [email protected]

Village Earth Partners with Indian Land Tenure Foundation on Strategic Land Planning on Pine Ridge


(Above: Map illustrating the problem of fractionation on the Pine Ridge Reservation)

Village Earth, was recently awarded a grant from the Indian Land Tenure Foundation to conduct a series of Strategic Land Planning workshops with up to three (3) groups of allottees who own undivided interests on the same allotment(s) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The purpose of these workshops is to provide the education, resources, and support needed by undivided interest owners to analyze the different options they have for the management, use and inheritance of their lands, now and for future generations. But also, to choose an appropriate course of action and move towards it. This might include but is not limited to:

  • Consolidating fractionated pieces of land.

  • Creating wills to lessen further fractionation.

  • Creating agreements between landowners for the utilization of specific undivided allotments of land for farming, raising livestock, housing, business development, tourism, etc.

The Indian Land Tenure Foundation is a nonprofit organization, based in Minnesota, that is community organized and community directed. The community includes Indian landowners, Indian people on and off reservations, Indian land organizations, tribal communities, tribal governments and others connected to Indian land issues. The mission of the foundation is to ensure that “land within the original boundaries of every reservation and other areas of high significance where tribes retain aboriginal interest are in Indian ownership and management.”

 

WHY STRATEGIC LAND PLANNING
Nearly 1,067,877 acres of the Pine Ridge is owned by individual allottees. Over a century of unplanned inheritance has created a situation where lands have become severely fractioned. This has created a management nightmare where, in order for a land owner to utilize their undivided lands, they may have to get the signed approval of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of separate land owners. As a result of this complexity, most land owners (Nearly 65% on Pine Ridge) have opted to lease their lands out as part of the Tribal/BIA range unit leasing system.

This situation has had a dramatic impact on the overall economy on Pine Ridge. Like other Reservations across the United States, fractionation has been a major obstacle to housing and business development but also native owned farms and ranches. According to the USDA 2002 Census of Agriculture for American Indian Reservations of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, in 2002 there was nearly 33 million dollars in receipts from agricultural production on Pine Ridge, yet less than 1/3rd of that income went to members of the tribe.

Despite the fact that most people are leasing their lands out, according to a survey conducted by Colorado State University, it was found that most people on the reservation believe that the Lakota people should be managing reservation lands, not the non-tribal lessees, State or BIA. Despite this situation, many opportunities exist for undivided interest owners of an allotment including stopping further fractionation and even reversing the situation through the creation of wills, land consolidation, or forming cooperative agreements between land owners.

WHO IS ELIGABLE TO APPLY?
Because of the complex nature of land planning on Pine Ridge we have limited the workshop to three (3) groups of allottees who own undivided interests on the same allotment(s) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

HOW TO APPLY?
Applications can be obtained by contacting David Bartecchi at 970-491-5754, [email protected] or online at

Completed applications should be mailed to:

David Bartecchi
Village Earth
PO Box 797
Fort Collins, Co. 80522

Application must be postmarked by Sept. 31st, 2007.