VE Affiliate “Maloca” Brings Kamayurá Chief to UN to Tell of Crisis in Amazon

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Kamayurá chief tells UN of crisis in the Amazon

Chief Kotok of the Kamayurá indigenous people recently addressed the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and described the crisis faced by his people and other indigenous groups in the Amazonian Basin in Brazil.

“For those of you who do not know [what is happening] in the Amazon, we are in crisis,” Kotok told the forum in late April. “There is a lot of deforestation and we drink poisoned water. They’re putting poison in the water and we eat poisoned fish,” he explained.

As UNPFII Vice Chairperson Dalee Sambo Dorough explained, the cattle industry has contaminated the rivers and streams in the Upper Xingu region and dirtied the fishing grounds of the Kamayurá and other tribes. “Obviously, this has a direct impact on their economies,” she said.

“It was a very disturbing plea,” Sambo Dorough said of Kotok’s address to the UNPFII. “They need help; they are suffering,” she added.

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Kotok also said the Kamayurá and the 15 other indigenous ethnicities in the Xingu opposed any changes to the current indigenous laws in Brazil. Congress has long discussed transferring the power to demarcate indigenous lands from the executive branch to the legislature, where the agribusiness, mining and energy industries have significant lobbying power. “I don’t know how it’s going to be,” Kotok said.

Protecting the Xingu Indigenous Park

While in New York, Kotok delivered a proposal from the Associação Terra Indígena Xingu (ATIX) and approved by the Xingu chiefs to protect the Xingu Indigenous Park to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Brazil Permanent Mission to the UN. He also met with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Senior Policy Advisor to discuss ways to preserve the Xingu Indigenous Park.

The ATIX proposal includes the creation of a protective buffer zone around the Xingu Indigenous Park. Intensive soybean cultivation and cattle ranching in the region not only leads to increased deforestation but also pollutes the headwaters of the Xingu River through the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The Xingu River is the primary source of food and water for the Kamayurá and other tribes in the region.

Kotok also wants to clearly mark the borders of the Xingu Indigenous Park. The original markers have either collapsed or been destroyed by intruders, leaving no physical signs to denote the park’s borders. Clear signs act to keep cattle ranchers and soybean farmers out of the indigenous zone.

The Xingu Indigenous Park is the largest indigenous reserve in the world with 2.64m hectares but it is in the middle of the deforestation belt in the state of Mato Grosso.

Cultural exchange

Kotok traveled to New York as part of a joint effort between the support organization Maloca and the International Native Tradition Interchange (INTI). The environmental organization Conservation International provided a grant to fund the chief’s visit.

Kotok’s son Aira came to New York with the support of Maloca and delivered a message alongside his father at the National Museum of the American Indian on 22 April. Aira described life among the Kamayurá, including details on his training regimen for the traditional huka-huka wrestling matches that take place during the Kuarup funeral ritual every year. Kotok organized this year’s Kuarup because his father passed away last year.

Kotok and Aira enjoyed their short stay in New York. They were impressed with the tall buildings but wondered if the fish from the Hudson and East rivers were clean enough to eat. They sampled iced coffee and Buffalo wings while they were in the city but they particularly liked drinking cold water, something they do not have in the village. They did not like taking the subway because they felt stuck in a hole in the ground. They preferred taking the bus because they could take in the sights of the city. But if they felt homesick, they would spend a few minutes on the shore of the lake in Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

The Shifting Landscape of Development Assistance & Funding – Some Recommended Writings on the Subject

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One of the central tensions in international development assistance is the affect that outside organizations have on co-opting priorities and the direction of action at the local level. In their 2002 article titled Operationalising bottom-up learning in international NGOs: barriers and alternatives (Volume 12, Numbers 3 & 4) Power, Maury, and Maury give one of the best description of this tensions and while now over a decade old, is still very much true. The authors summarize the problem in this way:

“[M]ost INGO interactions with community groups can be defined by a single input: money. While there are often attempts to build a more holistic partnership, once funds are introduced the relationship becomes one of power held by the INGO with the community often forced to respond ‘appropriately’ to INGO’s real or perceived wishes in order to secure the elusive funds. Some INGOs have sought to mitigate this effect by working through local community organisations or local NGOs. However, the unequal power relationship generally is transferred to this relationship as well. Ashman (2000) observes that formal agreements as written by INGOs (a) almost always ensure upward (rather than mutual) accountability; (b) are bounded by timelines too short for effective development (usually three years); and (c) suffer from a lack of mutual agreement on the terms for ending funding (tending to be INGO driven).”

Powers, Maury & Maury go so far as to recommend that because of this problem INGO’s should “cease being operational in the field” arguing that:

“Because such intensive, hands-on activities often demand a deep sensitivity and familiarity with local needs and conditions, we believe it may be most effective if INGOs go beyond decentralising their operations and cease being operational in the field. This can be done by forging ties with autonomous local NGOs which have a proven commitment and track record in handing over controls in the development process to the communities where they are working. To the degree that terms for partnership can be negotiated equitably, the imperative for standardised and impersonal mass reproduction of one strategy, which ironically is often only magnified (rather than adapted) in the process of decentralisation, can be significantly curtailed.”

These concerns are echoed in a more recent 2015 article by Nicola Banks, David Hulm and Michael Edwards, all of who are leaders in the study of organizational development and civil society.

NGOs, States, and Donors Revisited: Still Too Close for Comfort? by NICOLA BANKS, DAVID HULME and MICHAEL EDWARDS. World Development Vol. 66, pp. 707–718, 2015

Summary — Serious questions remain about the ability of NGOs to meet long-term transformative goals in their work for development and social justice. We investigate how, given their weak roots in civil society and the rising tide of technocracy that has swept through the world of foreign aid, most NGOs remain poorly placed to influence the real drivers of social change. However we also argue that NGOs can take advantage of their traditional strengths to build bridges between grassroots organizations and local and national-level structures and processes, applying their knowledge of local contexts to strengthen their roles in empowerment and social transformation.

At its core, Banks, Hulme and Edwards argue that the shift called for by critics such as themselves (in a 1996 article) as well as others, such as Powers, Maury & Maury, hasn’t happened quick enough and as a result, is seriously compromising effectiveness of aid.

Despite the inability of INGO’s to transform their practice, to let go of the reigns and truly empower grassroots organizations, a quite revolution has taken place in development financing brought about by the proliferation of the internet, cell phones, and digital media. This revolution is direct-giving – the ability of individuals to make financial contributions directly to local grassroots and civil society organizations and bypassing the usual INGO intermediaries. The following 2014 article by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) describes the transformation taking place and similar to the previous articles, calls for “new business models” to ensure that these trends financing benefit the peoples with the most need.

“The Changing Role of NGOs and Civil Society in Financing Sustainable Development” by Sarah Hénon, Judith Randel and Chloe Stirk, Development Initiatives DEVELOPMENT CO-OPERATION REPORT 2014 © OECD

Summary — The role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society in financing sustainable development is important, but it is changing. While domestic resource mobilisation and international commercial flows are growing very rapidly, they are not equally available to all. NGO finance, capacity and expertise are critical for populations at risk of being left behind. This chapter outlines the scale and trends in resources raised and mobilised by NGOs and civil society, and identifies a rise in direct giving by the public. It finds that the classifications of countries into “developed” and “developing”, and models based on raising money in the “North” and spending it in the “South” do not fit well with the distribution of poverty across and within countries. New business models are needed. To achieve the post-2015 global goals, civil society finance and expertise are needed, along with new cross-border partnerships between organisations working on similar issues, supported by increased transparency and civil society space.

The central actor in the Village Earth approach is a particular type of intermediate organization that focuses on supporting grassroots initiatives from the bottom-up called a Grassroots Support Organization (GSO). Rather than being dictated by the priorities, time-lines and methods of donors, GSO’s form a long-term alliances with a particular region and are committed to its long-term empowerment. In a 2008 article in the Journal of Community Practice, GSO’s were described this way:

“A subset of NGOs has decided to move beyond social service provision and invest in initiatives that build the human and financial resources of impoverished communities. Focusing on diverse issues—from health and the environment to political mobilization and microenterprises—these NGOs share a common approach to the communities with which they work: They foster the long-term empowerment of impoverished populations by assisting them in decision making and the mobilization of resources and political power. This core approach is what defines these development NGOs as grassroots support organizations.”

In the Village Earth Approach one GSO can support several grassroots community-driven initiatives and organizations across an entire region.  In this way, we support the development of two levels of social organization, regional AND at the grassroots community level. GSO’s provide temporary organizational support, fiscal sponsorship, funding, networking, advocacy, and training to these grassroots organizations so they can access the resources they need to develop and refine their strategies, giving them the time to develop organically rather than being rushed simply to meet the demands of donors. Where one GSO can serve as a support hub for numerous formal and informal grassroots organizations, Village Earth serves as an international hub for a multiple GSO’s around the world, providing access to international donors through our fiscal sponsorship based in the United States and Europe, organizational support, training, networking, and advocacy support services. 

In the traditional aid system funding flows from top-to-bottom. Often mirroring that flow is decision-making and power. According to Powers (2002) “While there are often attempts to build a more holistic partnership, once funds are introduced the relationship becomes one of power held by the INGO with the community often forced to respond ‘appropriately’ to INGO’s real or perceived wishes in order to secure the elusive funds”. A common dilemma that occurs with the traditional funding model is the competition that is created between the NGO and communities over funds. For example with a well project, since the Community oftentimes doesn’t know how much is budgeted for the project, they will seek to get the best well they can get. The NGO, on the other hand seeks to economize and get just the quality of well that will do the job since any funds remaining can either be used to purchase more wells or be used to cover other aspects of the project, like salaries for its personnel. The Village Earth decentralized funding model eliminates the built-in competition between outside organizations! Here’s how it works. Rather than funding and decision-making flowing from the top-down, In the Village Earth decentralized model, each level of organization is ultimately responsible for it’s own survival and for generating its own funding, but with support and training from the level above it. In exchange for these services, the level above retains a small percentage of any funding generated through the partnership. All levels are also provided support and training to develop income generating programs, eventually eliminating the need for outside funding. For example, the GSO can work with grassroots to create income generating services to meet locally determined needs, such as micro-finance services, training, organizing farmers’ or artisans’ markets, supporting a marketing cooperative, computer and telecommunications, etc.

This is a radical departure from the traditional system. Instead of grassroots organizations being dependent on the NGO, the NGO is now dependent on the grassroots and Village Earth is dependent on the GSO’s, creating a monetary incentive for providing relevant and timely support services that benefit the grassroots. It also creates an incentive for grassroots organizations to increase their capacity and become formalized so they can retain the overhead paid to the GSO and for the GSO to longer need the support from Village Earth.

VE Affiliate Eco-V Boosts Biodiversity & Environmental Consciousness with Urban Eco-Gardens

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Village Earth Global Affiliate Eco-V is building awareness and appreciation for the natural environment among urban youth through the development of an gardens in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is one of the most bio-diverse countries in Asia, considered by Conservation International as one of world’s 25 biodiversity “hot-spots”. Protecting this rich environment for the long-term means training the next generation of environmental stewards. Eco-Friendly Volunteers based in Sri Lanka runs a number of programs for youth and kids to expand their thinking & positive behavior change is encouraged by having “Eco Gardens”, places for urban Bio-diversity conservation and learning.

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“There were 6 species of butterflies in the area when we started the Eco Garden in 2013 but now we have 59 species recorded so far. “

Youth and kids get training within this Eco Garden & get inspired what they see at urban setup. We started this in September 2013 and already obtained the organic Participatory Guarantee system certificate for Eco garden. There were 6 species of butterflies in the area when we started the Eco Garden in 2013 but now we have 59 species recorded so far. Fortunately we were able to buy the adjacent piece of land which we are expecting to expand Eco garden activities into 455 square meters.

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Eco-V Director, Kanchana Weerekoon teaching youth about the importance of protecting Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity.

50% Off The 1,050 Volume Appropriate Technology eBook Library, While Supplies Last!

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Get ready for your fall and winter field work with the most comprehensive, compact, and cost effective appropriate technology and sustainable living resource in the world! The AT Library contains the full text and images from over 1050 of the best books dealing with all areas of do-it-yourself technology. Portable and easy to use on 28 CDs or 2 DVDs. The AT Library is currently in use in sustainable development projects in over 74 countries worldwide. It’s like a portable internet of appropriate technology solutions!

Here’s What Customers Have To Say:

The AT Library has been a great resource for us in teaching in all of these areas. We could never have brought all of these resources with us in a printed form, but thanks to the AT Library we had information readily available.

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Or call +1-970-237-3002 ext. 504 for more information or to order your library using a credit card over the telephone. Click here for a Complete list of Books in the Appropriate Technology Library

Village Earth Welcomes Jalamba Nursury School Project As Our Newest Global Affiliate

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Village Earth is proud to announce our newest Global Affiliate “The Jalamba Nursery School Project” based in the Village of Jalamba, West Coast Region, Kombo District, The Gambia, West Africa. The goal of the Jalamba Nursery School Project Association is to empower youths, children and vulnerable families through education. The organization has proven its ability to bring sustainable education to children and among the community of Jalamba Village, reducing poverty and illiteracy among vulnerable families who mostly depend on subsistence farming.

The project has government support as a new Nursery School which will serve ages of one through six. While grade school opportunities are available six kilometers away, the Nursery school will provide primary school education affecting numerous families in the community.

The Jalamba Nursury school project is one of the Village Earth global affiliates eligible for a 40% match on Wednesday, July 15th starting at 11am. Link to their globalgiving.org donation page below.

 

Their Village Earth Global Affiliate Page can be accessed here: http://www.villageearth.org/global-affiliates/jalamba-nursery-school-project-association

Supersize Your Donation on July 15th to Qualified Village Earth Global Affiliates

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Don’t miss out! Starting at 11:00am MST on July 15th, Globalgiving.org and Globalgiving.co.uk will be matching all donations 40% to qualified Village Earth Global Affiliates. Make your donation early because there are limited matching funds available and matching will stop as soon as they run out.

Below are Village Earth Global Affiliates eligible for the donation match from Globalgiving. Click to learn more and donate. 

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Here are the criteria for a donation to get matched:

  • Only donations made online are eligible for matching. This includes donations made by credit/debit card, PayPal, and GlobalGiving gift card. For donations through globalgiving.co.uk, CAF online donations will also be eligible.
  • Donations up to $1,000 will be matched while funds last on GlobalGiving.org. Donations up to £600 on globalgiving.co.uk will be matched while funds last.
  • If matching funds run out, donations will no longer be matched.
  • Donations on corporate platforms and on JustGiving or donations by check will not be matched on either platform.

Village Earth Affiliate “Earth Tipi” Builds Caretaker Cabin on the Pine Ridge Reservation

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Thank you to those who contributed to our Caretaker cabin! We were able to build the entire cabin including the roof, insulation, siding  as well as installed the doors and windows. We have enough funds remaining to install a basic propane system with a tank and heater. We still need additional funding to purchase a propane refrigerator and small solar system as well as finish off the interior with a kitchen and bathroom.  A single father and his two children have been occupying the space all winter in exchange for helping care for our homestead model site and education center.
We expect volunteers to arrive later this week to continue working on some interior details well as to do some earth works around the outside to keep water from running off the hillside above it underneath the foundation.

We still need $4000 to complete the project including fixing some damage that occurred during the winter months.
We could not do these projects without your support!
Lila Pilamayaye!
(Thank you very much)
Shannon, Director Earth Tipi

Village Earth & Colorado State University Launch New Online Training in Agroecology

Responding to UN urging for a “paradigm shift” in agriculture to more climate-smart practices that are more “adaptive and resilient to environmental pressures, while decreasing farming’s own impacts.”

Today, Village Earth announced the opening of registration for a new online course focused on the theory and practice of Agroecology. This is the newest course in Village Earth’s Online Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Development offered through Colorado State University’s Online Plus Program. The course was developed in response to a calls by the United Nations and the recommendations of the Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture (http://www.fao.org/climate-smart-agriculture/85725/en/) to shift towards a more climate friendly, sustainable and socially just agriculture system.

In a release dated February 28th, 2015 the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO (http://www.fao.org/)) said “The model of agricultural production that predominates today is not suitable for the new food security challenges of the 21st century and the need to be more sustainable, inclusive and resilient.” In the same release the UN FAO Director-General also highlighted agroecology as a promising way to move food production onto a more sustainable path. The approach uses ecological theory to study and manage agricultural systems in order to make them both more productive and better at conserving natural resources.

According to the Village Earth course description, Agroecology has a broad scope and includes many different meanings. The term has been used to describe an interdisciplinary scientific field, to characterize a set of farming practices, and to name convergent social initiatives. In this course we will identify their common root (the agroecological lens) and learn how to use it as a transformative tool for social and environmental justice. The agroecological lens will be used to reflect step by step, traversing perspectives from a narrow scope (the field) to the broadest level (the food system). Throughout this process, diverse themes ranging from soil care to food sovereignty will be explored. Case studies from initiatives around the globe will be used to inspire enhanced understanding of the actions and perspectives necessary to successfully develop one’s own agroecological project. Successful stories with positive effects can radiate their energy and contribute to the improvement of society beyond their locality.

Since 2003, Village Earth and Colorado State University have provided cutting-edge online training in the field of sustainble community development. Their Online Certificate program uses a multi-sector, participatory approach that focuses on empowerment of people as both the ends and means of a sustainable development process. Rather than teaching prescriptive solutions to community problems, we provide you with the tools to use the community’s input and vision to create options and solutions that truly meet community needs.

The certificate program is designed for people who currently work in community development and desire to advance their careers as well as those who plan to work or volunteer in this field. You will be equipped with practical tools to meet today’s challenges as project directors, community leaders, grassroots activists, funders, and field workers in community-based organizations and governmental and nongovernmental organizations. With a wide variety of electives, you can tailor the program to meet your needs and interests.

Students of the program can choose to specialize in one of five tracks Economic Development (http://villageearth.org/training-and-consulting/online/sp…), Political Empowerment (http://villageearth.org/training-and-consulting/online/sp…), Food Security / Agriculture, Participatory Facilitation, Community Planning and Development. This new course will count towards the Food Security / Agriculture Track.

To earn a certificate in sustainable community development, students must complete the required courses of their chosen track and any elective courses of your choosing. Each course runs five weeks and requires a minimum of 20 hours of student participation. You may take courses in any order.  Each course costs $390.

To learn more about this exciting new course offering visit: http://www.villageearth.org/training-and-consulting/online/agroecology-for-sustainable-communities

Village Earth Affiliate “Titukuke RCDA” Helping Youth to Start Peanut Farms in Zambia

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REPORT ON 40 TITUKUKE YOUTHS TO BECOME PEANUT FARMERS

The organization was privileged to have received funding from Global Giving meant to help 40 youths start an out grower scheme for production of peanuts in Petauke district in Eastern Province in Zambia, Southern Africa.

The youths were given certified seed and planted the high oil yielding MGV4 Peanut variety in the month of December, 2015. The 40 youths were divided into 8 groups so that they find it easy to cultivate the crop that is burdensome especially when weeding. The progress of their crop was monitored by the Field Extension officer. The crop is expected to be ready for harvesting in the month of

May, 2016. Major challenges so far are that the rain pattern was not too good because it came in December instead of October thereby meaning that the amount of rain was enough. However, being that the variety used was early maturing; the peanuts are expected to yield above average. The other challenge was the impassable roads that hindered the Field Officer to utilize the motorbike all the way to beneficiaries’ fields. He had to leave the motorbike half way and walk.

The organization is very thankful to all the donors whose donation has made this dream come true. The youths are very thankful too for the support and wish that yet many youths can be assisted to join them

Village Earth Global Affiliate “Maloca” to bring Kamayura Chief to UN Permanent Forum

KThank  you to everyone who donated to Village Earth Affiliate “Maloca” so they could bring – for the first time – the Kamayura cacique (chief) Kotok from Xingu Indigenous Park in Brazil to New York. The chief will attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where he will bring important messages from Xingu, will exchange experiences with other leaders and will learn first-hand about mechanisms and tools Indigenous Peoples have to defend their human rights, traditional knowledge and their territories. He will forge alliances with foundations and universities in the hope this will open doors for the Kamayura to receive much needed support .The cacique will raise awareness on the incredibly well preserved Kamayura culture and territory (which they want to keep intact for as long as they can, a most difficult job due to aggressive penetration of outside economic interest and western cultural elements).

Maloca is also honored to host a an event with the this distinguished guest April 23, 2015 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm At the National Museum of the American Indian One Bowling Green New York, NY 10004. If you are interested in attending you can purchase tickets online here.

The Kamayura are Indigenous Peoples that live in Xingu Indigenous Park, Mato Grosso state of Brazil. The region is the transition zone between the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and the savannah, an area particularly rich in biodiversity, also known for its high deforestation rates due to intense cattle ranching and soy cultivation. In 2009, the deforestation rate around the Park was 47% as per ISA (Instituto Socio Ambiental).

Xingu Indigenous Park is home to 14 different ethnicities, counting roughly 5,000 people. Chief Kotok Kamayura is the cacique of the main Kamayura village, Ipavu, where about 350 people live. The chief, having great knowledge of what is happening inside Xingu Indigenous Park, will speak about common issues to all inhabitants of the Park, showing how life in their remote villages is affected by human activities outside the Park. As cacique, he is responsible for his community and he must have a vision for their future. With all the aggressive outside influences penetrating village life, he is concerned about the future of their children and grandchildren, with their cultural survival and the integrity of their territory. The Kamayura are dependent on nature and its cycles. Their livelihoods are based on fishing and cultivating manioc. They use medicinal plants from the forest to keep a strong body and cure illnesses. The fish, manioc crops, water supply, and even medicinal plants are already affected by changes in weather patterns.  Chief Kotok will be presenting at the 14th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where he will discuss these crucial issues and will forge alliances with other Indigenous leaders. As part of his first trip to New York City, he will be speaking at the National Museum of the American Indian.  Attendants will be able to meet Chief Kotok and his son Aira personally and glimpse into their captivating world. Together we will discuss pressing issues like climate change, cultural survival, the environment and possible solutions.

The Kaweshkar Inhabiting Tierra del Fuego, Chile.  The land which Ferdinad Magellan named Land of Smoke, Land of Fire is one of the most inhospitable places on the continent, where survival is hard.  With never-ending winds, cold descending to below zero , snow and the fury of the sea where throughout their lives, as lonely as the landscape, small groups of these nomads wandered searching for food and survival. Denominated as nomads, hunters and gatherers these avid canoers made their habitat in the Patagonian canals where to the present day the survivors remain.  The Kaweshkar Indigenous language remains after over 13 centuries.  During the decades of the 30’s they were abruptly hit by civilization and cultural change. Developing illnesses caused by the sudden forced change from their customary otter ski clothing to regular clothes that were not appropriate to endure the below zero temperatures causing them illness and death.  Otter skins were very much in demand in those days and hunters would kill the Kaweshkar to take the skins from their bodies.  Alcoholism was also a cause of death. .  In 2009 UNESCO declared the remaining Kaweshkar survivors as Human Living Treasures of Humanity.  Carlos Edén Maidel (Peteyem) is one of the last 9 remaining Kaweshkar.  The survivors are all pure blood Kaweshkar, all Elders (5 men and 4 women).  What will become of the last 9 remaining survivors?  Times passes and we just see them die off one by one until there will be no more – an entire Indigenous Nation extict forever.  Carlos will also attend the 14th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to inform on current state of his nation and to seek support to produce and publish memories of his Nation.

Teca Woasniye Wicoti (Youth Healing Camp) on The Pine Ridge Reservation a Success!

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Porcupine, SD- On a cold February morning three grassroots organizations met on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to discuss the five completed suicides and how they could intervene; participating in this meeting were Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society), Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) and Oaye Luta Okolakiciye (Red Journey Society). Through the course of this meeting it quickly became apparent that with each program there had an intense desire and need to help the youth and their families suffering from the impact of this epidemic.

Tiospaye Sakowin Wounspe na Woapiye O’Tipi (Seven Extended Families Education and Healing Center) was born and a strategic plan developed to continue to provide healing services to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. These organizations are the first of seven families to align in this effort to promote Lakota Cultural Healing and Education and they were quickly joined by Sung Nagi Okolakiciye (Spirit Horse Society) from Manderson, SD. Since the centers inception on February 15, there have been four additional completed suicides bringing the total to nine completed suicides.

First thing on the agenda? Provide a culturally relevant way for individuals in the helping field to assist and address the suicide issue on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. On March 26 and 27th Tiospaye Sakowin hosted “Lakota Mental Health First Aid Training” facilitated by Richard and Ethleen (Iron Cloud) Two Dogs. This training provided the participants with the opportunity to understand the spiritual growth of individuals from their time of birth until their passing and what happens when this natural growth is interrupted through unnatural sources such as abuse (of all kinds), violence, accidents and suicidal ideation and completion.

The presenters, board members of the collaborating societies, shared their insight and knowledge into the cultural perspective on indigenous healing. To a room of thirty plus participants, Mr. and Mrs. Two Dogs shared their knowledge through integrating the Lakota Customary, Natural, and Spiritual laws within the educational process, and to revitalize and implement the Lakota interventions through education and practice.

Participants in the training ranged from youth to elderly; from as far away as Standing Rock Indian Reservation and as close as Porcupine and Manderson. A surprise visit from Oglala Lakota Nation Tribal President John Steele highlighted the day’s events when he acknowledged the work being completed within the center and thanked all the participants in their vested interest in the epidemic.

Collectively this program and its partnering societies provide a foundation of 20 plus years working with Lakota elders and traditional healers to revitalize and strengthen the Lakota life ways and laws through education, healing and collaboration. Their primary programmatic focus is to empower the Lakota Tiwahe (families) in reclaiming their Lakota identity. Each of these organizations provides a unique attribute that provides healing and empowerment services to the Lakota Oyate. With room to grow, Tiospaye Sakowin will partner with seven organizations with like minds, missions and philosophy to strengthen and expand the impact of indigenous services.

During the Easter holiday weekend this Lakota community-based organization, hosted a healing opportunity for our youth through a Teca Woasniye Wicoti (Youth Healing Camp) on April 2-6, 2015. Through this camp, learning, recreational and healing activities were offered to twenty six participating youth. Through this healing opportunity, as a way to give life to the values, gifts and teachings provided by Tunkasila (Grandfather/Creator) for the healing of the youth that were incorporated into the facilitation of programming. They included: Wacante Ognaka—to have a warm, compassionate environment for youth; Woapiye –traditional healing for their spiritual wounds from the trauma, grief or loss; Wopakinte—spiritual purification from the negative residue left by any trauma; Woyuskin—to provide a happy, fun and accepting environment; Lakol Caswicatun Pi – to provide an opportunity for those youth who do not have a spirit name to receive one as a way to reinforce their Lakota cultural identity; Wicozani—to provide an opportunity for wellness screenings and Wowasake—to provide an opportunity to achieve resiliency.

In recent years these collaborating organizations worked with community leaders, families and Lakota Oyate to provide healing opportunities to over sixty youth per annum in a series of youth camps based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. These sixty youth reflect those young people who have addressed their unresolved trauma and emotional issues during these camps, then continue throughout life better equipped to address other issues. With financial support from local, state and Tribal organizations these camps are uniquely designed to address specific needs of the age and gender of the participating youth.

At conception, Teca Woasniye Wicoti was designed to service 24 Native American youth (12 males and 12 females) ages 12-17, who have experienced trauma, loss and/ or grief. Registration for the camp was closed on March 27th with 26 females and 13 males registered with continuing requests from the community for exceptions to the deadline so that more youth may attend; 26 youth completed the program.  Ethleen Iron Cloud-Two Dogs, Camp Lead on this project stated, “All registrations will be accepted, no one will be turned away.” She continues to say, “As adult relatives, we seek to instill in our youth the Lakota belief that every individual has a purpose on earth and that resiliency to confront life’s challenges can be achieved.”

Teca Woasniye Wicoti was set up to mirror a Tiospaye (extended family) governing which allows for all to work together. The youth of the camp engaged and participated in gender appropriate teachings and ceremonies. Each of the activities and ceremonies engaged the youth at different levels and allow them to work together in their healing experience, thus creating a small community approach. “There are so many people who came together to make this happen for our youth,” Cindy Giago, volunteer Program Manager for Tiospaye Sakowin states, “so many that it would be hard to name each person in one setting but there are those that go above and beyond to make things like this happen; like my brother and sister-in-law, my nephews, nieces and my daughter-in-laws that never back down from a good battle.”  Mrs. Giago goes on to state that the Tunkasila and the Unci (the ancestors) provide the most important and significant guidance through prayer and the Societies are blessed with the earthly spiritual guidance of her Tiblo (older brother) Richard Two Dogs, a Lakota Medicine Man.

Youth participant qualifications included being members of or have tribal ties to the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota Sioux nations as the camp’s foundation is based on Lakota Life Ways, culture and most importantly spirituality. Participants are between the ages of 10-17 years of age who would benefit from attending and receiving interventions designed to prevent progression of symptoms of depression, which could eventually lead to suicidal ideations.   In the end the camp effort is hosted over 75 participants who include the youth, their families, volunteers, mentors, spiritual leaders and security. Many local programs, schools and organizations supported the youth at the camp, as well as many individual donors nation-wide. Donations included clothing, food, supplies as well as monetary donations.

Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center will be hosting additional Camps this summer which include the Teca Woasniye Wicoti (Youth Healing Camp) that happened in April, Wakanyeja Wicoti (Children’s Camp) in July, Wikoskalaka Yuwita Pi (Lakota Gathering of Young Women) in August and the Lakota Koskalaka Wica Yuwita Pi (Lakota Young Men’s Gathering) times two in June and November 2015. As this organization depends greatly on charitable donations from well-meaning companies here in the United States; they ask you to please consider donating to their organization as you will be eligible for a charitable contribution for donating to a registered 501c3 organization. Please visit www.villageearth.org for more information or email: [email protected] The center invites you to be one of their partners in the successful implementation of these programs that will address the needs of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in a much more in a culturally appropriate, positive and healing perspective.

Learn About Utah Tar Sands Resistance – April 22nd at the Fort Collins Old Town Library.

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Join Village Earth and 350 Ft. Collins, a local affiliate of 350.org, April 22 at the Old Town Library at 6:30 PM for a screening of “Last Rush for the Wild West” a documentary about the tar sands mine currently under construction on the Tavaputs Plateau in Utah, part of it is on Uintah Ute tribal land, so there are several indigenous groups involved opposing the mine. In June 2014, the EPA told U.S. Oil Sands that it needed additional permitting to proceed because its mine sits on traditional Uintah and Ouray Ute tribal land. They continued operations without the permitting.

Melanie Martin, who organizes with Peaceful Uprising and Utah Tar Sands Resistance, we be speaking and answering questions following the screening. Last year she spent her summer and fall on the East Tavaputs Plateau working to halt the first potential fuel-producing tar sands mine in the U.S. She writes on climate justice issues for a range of publications such as Yes!, Waging Nonviolence, and Truthout, creates short film pieces, and makes a pretty badass chipmunk mask.

50% Off Our 1,050 Volume Appropriate Technology Library, While Supplies Last

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SquareADSaleWSL

Get ready for your summer field work with the most comprehensive, compact, and cost effective appropriate technology and sustainable living resource in the world! The AT Library contains the full text and images from over 1050 of the best books dealing with all areas of do-it-yourself technology. Portable and easy to use on 28 CDs or 2 DVDs. The AT Library is currently in use in sustainable development projects in over 74 countries worldwide. It’s like a portable internet of appropriate technology solutions!

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Medical Services Provided by VE Global Affiliate, Empowering Youth Cambodia

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Providing healthcare to urban slum area residents

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Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC) provides weekly medical clinics in their four schools, as well as dental care and health education.  The program has been a tremendous success and the results from 2014 are substantial; 3,200 patient-doctor visits (medical checks are open to the community), 320 student-visits to the dentist, 130 women and 1 man provided access to family planning.  Further, EYC staff and partners follow up with patients as needed to ensure their health needs are addressed, particularly with their students.

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Student Srey, 17 years old, had significant acne problems due to an allergic reaction after receiving a prescription from an unqualified, low-cost doctor that her mother took her to.

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Srey is a young leader in EYC who excels in her academics both in public school and English classes in EYC. After her family was evicted from their house three years ago she moved into an EYC school and volunteers with several programs including teaching traditional dance to children.

 

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Another student, Srey, 15 years old, had a visibly disturbing issue of no front teeth. The staff of EYC recognized the issue and EYC’s social worker discussed treatment with her and her family.

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She needed six new teeth and the family was able to pay for half of the cost.

 

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The new teeth came in very nicely and she now smiles brightly and is confident to talk to people

She would like to say “thanks to EYC donors to help with the payment and for bringing me to fix my teeth. My life is much better now.”   The combination of poor hygiene and diet (low nutrition levels + plenty of sugary foods) have created a dental crisis for many young people in urban poor areas of Cambodia.

A very appreciative beneficiary is Khon Sophat, a 28 year old former factory worker who is currently a mother of four.  Her husband is a motor taxi driver and they rent a small rent house for $10 per month. Their children are ages 6, 4, 2 and 4 months. EYC’s social worker Koun Lyna was referred to her and after providing education to her on her birth control options, brought her to see the doctor at Maries Stopes clinic where she got an IUD.  Lyna said “she is very happy to get an IUD. It’s really helpful to her and her family as she now has time to look after the family and the expenses of four young children also.”  Lyna is an ongoing resource if needed.

New Photos from Village Earth Global Affiliate SGDI – West Bengal, India

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International Women’s Day Rally

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International Women’s Day Rally

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community well for drinking water



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International women day celebration

 

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Annual SHG conference and financial literacy awareness.

 

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Micro enterprise by tribal women -part of SHG economic activities in Purulia.

 

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Micro enterprise by tribal youth through livelihood initiative ( part of social protection of tribal ). Its an initiative to main stream tribal youths to engage in economic ventures.

 

Help Bring Kamayura Chief to UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in NYC

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Maloca just launched its first fundraiser for 2015 to bring – for the first Ktime – the Kamayura cacique (chief) Kotok from Xingu Indigenous Park in Brazil to New York. The chief will attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where he will bring important messages from Xingu, will exchange experiences with other leaders and will learn first-hand about mechanisms and tools Indigenous Peoples have to defend their human rights, traditional knowledge and their territories. He will forge alliances with foundations and universities in the hope this will open doors for the Kamayura to receive much needed support .The cacique will raise awareness on the incredibly well preserved Kamayura culture and territory (which they want to keep intact for as long as they can, a most difficult job due to aggressive penetration of outside economic interest and western cultural elements).

A key date is March 18th when Global Giving will match 30% the donations made that day. Here is the fundraiser link:  https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/bring-the-kamayura-chief-to-the-united-nations/.

If we succeed to bring the cacique in New York, Maloca will organize a series of events that will enable the chief to promote the Kamayura culture and introduce the cacique Kotok Kamayura to the international public in NYC.

We have finally received a photo of the fishing net Maloca succeeded to provide for the Kamayura.  This was a great success for Maloca and its supporters, and the Kamayura send their heartfelt thank you to everybody who made purchasing the fishing net possible.  This fishing net will not only provide food for upcoming inter-tribal festivities, but will grant the survival of several sacred rites associated with caring for and use of the net, rites in which the whole village partakes. More photos to come in the summer, when the fishing net will be used in the Kwaryp ritual!

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How Sustainable Land-Based Economic Development Promotes Tribal Sovereignty and Self-Determination

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Support this project at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/acquire-lands-for-lakota-cultural-and-bison-camp/x/9855461#home

Believe it or not, land is one of the most underutilized resources available to Plains Indian Tribes and Tribal members. And unlike other sources of income, sustainable land utilization can bolster Tribal sovereignty, self-determination and cultural revitalization. Consider these statistics, according to the Indian Land Working Group, 6 of the 9 million acres of Indian Lands suitable for agriculture in the United States are leased to non-native and consequently, non-natives collect 92% of all agricultural income generated on these lands.

The leasing of Indian Lands by the Federal Government dates back the the the Act of February 28, 1891 which amended the General Allotment Act to give the Secretary of the Interior the power to determine whether an Indian allottee had the “mental or physically qualifications” to enable him to cultivate his allotment. In such cases, the Superintendent was authorized to lease their lands to non-tribal members. In 1894, the annual Indian Appropriation Act increased the agricultural lease term to 5 years, 10 years for business and mining leases, and permitted forced leases for allottees who “suffered” from “inability to work their land,” and dramatically increased the number of leases issued across the country (Source:LLRP).

These policies have meant that the Indian landowners across the country have been separated from their allotted lands, in many cases, for generations. In fact, many Tribal land owners know very little about their lands; where they are located, how they are being used, who they share ownership with, etc. This has had devastating impacts on the ability of landowners to manage and benefit from their land-based resources – economically or culturally.

Since 2003 the Lakota Lands Recovery Project has been providing direct support support to individual American Indians seeking utilize their lands. The most recent effort is a project initiated by Edward Iron Cloud III on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Mr. Iron Cloud seeks to acquire a lease to 1500 acres of land on the Reservation to establish a cultural camp for native youth and a campsite for tourists and different organizations visiting the Reservation. The lease for this land is only $8000 per year so by being creative and developing revenue streams from the land, like tourism, that do not require a lot of start-up capital, he can transform this land into something that more directly benefits his family and his community. Of course, the emergence of crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com as well as online “reservation” services like AirBnb.com, Homeaway.com, VRBL.com, etc open up new possibilities for non-agriculture based enterprises on Reservation lands.

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Some of these sustainable low-capital enterprises viable on a reservation setting might include.

  • Renting campsites using online booking services like AirBnb
  • Horseback riding
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Birdwatching
  • Collecting wild plants
  • Making land available to groups for camps, ecological research projects, etc.

Unlike conventional agriculture, enterprises like the ones listed have a greater multiplier effect (keeping dollars changing hands locally) in their communities by creating more local jobs and benefiting the entire support economy by increasing patronage at local gas stations, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, etc.

If you’re interested in utilizing land on your reservation, contact David Bartecchi at [email protected]

Buy and Sell New & Used Items on Village Earth’s Online Auction – Now through Jan. 19th.

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Looking to get rid of that ugly sweater you received from Aunt Mildred or those slippers you know you’ll never use? Or maybe you have some items laying around the house that you’ve been wanting to sell? Here’s a great way to sell those items while benefiting Village Earth.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Go to Village Earth’s Auction Page at http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/village-earth/65425/
  2. Choose how much of the sale price you want to donate to Village Earth (from 10% – 100%). 
  3. Click on the “List Your Item” button (see below). Plus, charity listings on eBay have up to 30% higher sell through rates then non-Charity items and they sell for between 2-6% higher prices.

 

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Browse and Buy Items Listed by Our Supporters Below

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Need a Last Minute Gift Idea? Send a Donation Gift Card that Benefits Village Earth

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Need a unique last minute gift idea? This year, make a donation in honor of your friend, relative, coworker, neighbor etc. and they’ll receive an attractive custom printed gift card. You can choose to have Globalgiving.org mail a high quality paper card or you can print or email it for no additional charge.

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To give a gift card, simply choose the “Gift or In-Honor Of” tab below the donate button on any of Village Earth’s projects pages on Globalgiving.org (see list below).

 

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Choose your method of delivery and amount and then you can choose one of three card design options.

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Below is a list of Village Earth’s projects listed on Globalgiving.org.

MniGGLLRPGGGeneralGG SGDIGG TitukukeGG KnifeChiefGG EarthTIpiGG DinehGG MalocaGG LivingRootsGG

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Village Earth Honors International Human Rights Day, Wednesday Dec. 12th, 2014.

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The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

Today, Village Earth honors International Human Rights Day with a reaffirmation of our commitment to the defense and protection of the rights endowed in Humans and all living creators. A human rights-based approach is at the core of what we do. This means doing more than making an bad situation a little better or helping people do more with less. Instead, it means engaging with community in a dialogue about the root causes of poverty and oppression and working side-by-side to transform them.  Furthermore, this approach, this philosophy, recognizes the importance of local leaders and their organizations as the primary actors in change, rather than outside NGOs, academics, or experts. We believe a human rights-based approach must also consider justice, the intergenerational impacts of oppression (both material and psychological), and the necessity for governments, corporations and individuals to adequately and respectfully remedy past wrongs.

Read more about Village Earth’s Approach.

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