About the Conference
We at IFIP are dedicating our upcoming Latin America Indigenous Funders Conference to Berta Caceres and other warriors that have fallen in fighting to protect our Mother Earth. In addition we will provide a pre- workshop to both Indigenous leaders and donors on the best strategies and practices to support threatened indigenous leaders and communities.
About the conference: The Latin America Indigenous Funders Conference will be a unique event that will bring leaders from the Indigenous, donor, and corporate worlds to the same table, with the potential to turn the coming tide of extinction of species, languages and cultures.
As countries, corporations and communities around the world are increasingly focusing their attention on developing effective ways to decrease the effects of global warming, indigenous communities around the world are providing solutions. The International Funders for Indigenous Peoples is the only global donor affinity group dedicated solely to Indigenous peoples around the world. IFIP works from a simple premise: that face-to-face engagement is essential to Indigenous philanthropy. Join us. There is no time to lose.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Myrna Cunningham
Myrna is an Indigenous Miskita and a former member of the National Assembly of Nicaragua where she also served in the Ministry of Health and as Governor of the autonomous North Atlantic Coast region. She founded the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua and served as the General Secretary of the Inter-American Indigenous Institute. In 2002, she received the Pan American Health Organization’s Public Health Heroine of the Americas Award. She has extensive experience on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, also as Secretary General of the Indigenous Inter-American Institute, and she has served on the board of several organizations to promote the rights of Indigenous women, including the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI). She is a past chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Pre-conference Workshop on Indigenous Security and Well-being and Plenary Session
Indigenous Security and Well-being Workshop
In response to the lethal security risks for Indigenous activists, particularly in Latin America, IFIP created the first donor workshop on Indigenous Security. The goal of this workshop is for donors to identify at least ten concrete steps to support Indigenous communities at risk of violence for their activism.
Tatiana Cordero, Executive Director of the Urgent Action Fund Latin America, will lead the discussion between donors and Indigenous leaders on the path ahead.
Angela Martinez, Senior Program Officer for Latin America for American Jewish World Service, and Laura Zuniga, the daughter of Berta Cáceres, the Honduran Indigenous leader murdered this year, will provide context for the workshop.
IFIP’s first report on Indigenous security issues, Protection for Defenders: How Funders Can Support the Safety and Security of Indigenous Environmental Defenders in Latin America, will serve as a basis for the discussion.
HALF-DAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP: Indigenous Peoples and Security Issues
At this crucial time, IFIP is hosting its first Latin America Indigenous Funders Conference in Lima, Peru from October 25th-27th with a pre-conference workshop focused on security issues. The Conference Planning Committee has decided to dedicate the event to Berta Caceres, who had participated in an IFIP event on the security of Indigenous human rights defenders following her receipt of the Goldman Environmental Award last year.
Given the threat to communities in this region, donors also requested a separate event to deeply discuss philanthropy and the security of Indigenous activists. Held a day before the larger conference, the Indigenous Security Institute will be a half-day event that will convene key funders and organizations who will share data and analysis of the situation. They will also present this information alongside key Indigenous leaders who will bring stories from the frontlines. Participants will brainstorm how to fortify protection and networks for Indigenous communities in the crossfire of exploitation and environmental defense.
This workshop will result in concrete recommendations and steps for donors and the wider community. We also hope that the Institute will bring a Declaration to Protect Indigenous Activists for approval and dissemination at the Latin America Indigenous Funders Conference that immediately follows. The conference will share its findings on a plenary panel and has invited the daughter of Berta Caceres to come and speak.
TRACK 1: Investing in Indigenous Models of Sustainable Development
This track will explore holistic ways to work with Indigenous communities, promoting alternative models that are culturally appropriate and include elements of Indigenous economies and local social practices. In the current framework, Indigenous Peoples are forced to function mostly in an economic and political scheme that differs greatly from their reality. This poses many challenges to their struggle to preserve their livelihoods, health, spirituality, food security, and sovereignty. Donors, on the other hand, need to understand how to adapt their requirements and expectations in order to facilitate the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in their grantee pool, while being sensitive to the Indigenous worldview.
Session topics covered in this track could include looking at some environmentally and socially acceptable economic models for Indigenous communities, power dynamics in Indigenous grantmaking, and Corporate Social Responsibility and how it supports Indigenous Peoples’ rights.
TRACK 2: Protecting Ancestral Territories and Indigenous Rights
More than 370 million strong in over 90 countries, Indigenous Peoples constitute the largest minority in the world and are frequently among the most marginalized and vulnerable segments of the population. Despite significant advances in creating international treaties and national legislation, Indigenous Peoples still face enormous obstacles to asserting and claiming their rights. Their economic, social and legal status often limits their ability to defend their rights, interests and territories. At the same time, Indigenous Peoples’ survival depends on the fate of their territory and natural resources. In line with their traditional practices, Indigenous Peoples are seeking an integrated approach to defending their rights and managing their territories that simultaneously includes spiritual, social, economic, and cultural dimensions, an approach that needs to be taken into consideration in the grantmaking process as well.
Sessions under this track can include: self-determination models; defending and exercising collective rights, tools and technology for protecting land rights; strategies for strengthening the protection of Indigenous territories and the environment; economic and cultural barriers Indigenous Peoples face; access to information; and Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the post-Millennium Development Goals 2015 agenda.
TRACK 3: Walking in Two Worlds: Why Indigenous Wisdom Will Be Vital to Our Future
Intergenerational relations in Indigenous communities are about sharing traditional knowledge, passing on cultural norms and beliefs, as well as reciprocal care and support among generations. With the unavoidable penetration of modern world elements even in the remotest communities, Indigenous Peoples are suffering demographic modifications and changes in family structures. The generation gap is widening, and the essential link between younger and older generations is weakening. There is a strong interdependence between generations, and a meaningful relationship between generations is key for societal and cultural cohesion.
This section can include looking at strategies to bridge the intergenerational gap in Indigenous communities; nurturing cultural dialogue with the elders; preserving stories fundamental to protecting Indigenous control of land and resources; increasing intergenerational solutions for language revitalization as part of bilingual education; and how technology can be used to recover and preserve culture.
TRACK 4: The How to: Strategies for Support
This track focuses on how funders collaborate with and bring support to indigenous communities. The main goal is to show successful donors strategies as well as lessons learned on how funders, NGOs and Indigenous peoples can work effectively toward common goals such as increasing biodiversity, food sovereignty, conservation efforts, and advancing indigenous rights among other important issues.
Funders employ a wide variety of strategies to support indigenous peoples, including direct giving, working through intermediaries, long-term investments, and supporting indigenous control of philanthropic resources. Sessions can share the philanthropic trust’s journey to collaboration with indigenous peoples and explore the opportunities and challenges in creating deep, reciprocal and collaborative partnerships and larger inter-alliances with policy, programming, and advocacy efforts informed by Indigenous participation to more effectively, and practically be more inclusive of Indigenous Peoples cosmovision and the issues of core importance to them.
HALF-DAY SESSION: Resource Mobilization for Indigenous Women
Indigenous women are active agents in the fight against poverty, racism and social exclusion. From their work at community, national, regional and international level, indigenous women produce a multiplier effect in various areas of the lives of other women, children and the whole community.
The main objective of the session is to provide a space for dialogue and exchange between donors and indigenous women, to strengthen mutual learning, recognition of the experiences of empowerment and political debate on the priorities of indigenous women for strategic alliances.
PRE-CONFERENCE SITE VISIT SCHEDULE
The 2 site-visit journeys are an excellent opportunity to understand the depth of mutually beneficial relationships and philanthropy as friendship.
During both site-visit journeys participants will:
Meet Indigenous organizations, representatives and community leaders with expertise in traditional wisdom and practices (such as agriculture and intercultural health education)
Get a lived impression of Indigenous Philanthropy in the field, from the Indigenous communities themselves
Apply philanthropic strategies, methods and innovations discussed during the conference directly to the projects you’ll be visiting