Connecting Communities · Sharing Knowledge · Building a Common Future
April 27, 2005

Susan Berresford Recognized For Increasing Support To Indigenous Communities
On April 9th, Ford Foundation President Susan Berresford became the very first recipient of the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples Award for her leadership in increasing philanthropic support for international Indigenous development projects and communities. The award was presented at a special reception sponsored by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians at the San Diego Marriot Marina and was attended by more than 50 national and international funders.
"I am proud to have been at the Ford Foundation for over three decades in which several generations of staff and leadership all enthusiastically supported the voice and action of Indigenous Peoples around the world,"said Berresford in receiving the award. She added, "The [IFIP] award is a treasured recognition that many other donors will feel proud to accept over the coming years."
Rebecca Adamson, President of First Nations Development Institute presented the award, a soap sculpture called "Transition." An original piece created by Oneida artist Cheyanne Doxtador from Akwesasne, the sculpture symbolizes a woman's strength and journey through life.
In presenting the award, Adamson recognized the work of the Ford Foundation and its role as the leading donor to Native projects and communities.
Adamson stated the Ford Foundation is, "the number one donor in Native giving and it has continued to be the number one donor for the past 14 years." She continued, "Susan's leadership, insight, commitment and integrity have been critical to assisting Indigenous Peoples."

Anthony Pico, Chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and a sponsor of the IFIP reception, performed a ceremonial blessing and presented Berresford with a beautiful Pendleton blanket called "Awakening." He explained that it symbolizes the profound respect and gratitude his people have for Ford's leadership in assisting Indigenous Peoples.
IFIP Director Evelyn Arce-White also commended Berresford and spoke about the organization's accomplishments during the past year. She also gave special recognition to several sustaining members- Levi Strauss Foundation and The Christensen Fund.

During the event, Berresford acknowledged IFIP's efforts in becoming an independent organization, stating, "I am pleased that IFIP is seeking 501c3 status and is working to bring more donors to this area." She noted, "I am impressed with the new Indigenous Peoples Funders and Resource Guide and know that IFIP will continue to produce important and quality work."
In concluding the event's proceedings, Arce-White remarked, "IFIP is truly a unique organization in that it is the only one focused specifically on increasing philanthropic support for Indigenous Peoples around the world." She added, "The inaugural award represents another milestone for IFIP and, in particular, recognizes the work of a leading supporter of Indigenous Peoples."
For more info on IFIP see

IFIP's Educational Session: Challenges & Opportunities to Funding Indigenous Peoples with an Environmental Perspective
Santiago Kawarim, Achuar Indigenous leader, Amazon basin in southeastern Ecuador spoke about how the Achuar, a nation of approximately 3,500 people occupying nearly 2 million acres of pristine tropical rainforest are developing sustainable economic enterprises based on the renewable resources of the land and their successful collaboration with Pachamama Alliance.

Enrique Salmon, PhD., Program Officer, The Greater Southwest and Northwest Mexico , of The Christensen Fund discussed a new funding strategy that adapts indigenous systems for managing landscapes that sustain cultural and biological value and diversity.

IFIP also participated on two off-site visits. "Crossing the Cultural and Economic Divide: Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians" and "Transnational Migration Issues along the U.S.-Mexico Border".

IFIP Conference Highlights: Joênia Batista de Carvalho, Leads the Legal Department for Indigenous Council of Roraima and is IFIP's Keynote

Victory for Indigenous Council of Roraima and Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

On April 18th , Brazil announced the long-delayed creation of a reserve for some 15,000 Indians who will displace non-indigenous farmers in a hotly disputed remote part of Brazil's Amazon. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva approved the creation of the Raposa Serra do Sol (Mountain of the Sun Fox) reserve in Roraima state in northern Brazil , according to the Justice Ministry. "Violence has plagued the area, where 20 Indians were killed and scores wrongly imprisoned and threatened through the 1980s", according to the Indigenous Council of Roraima. For more info

Katie Redford, a lawyer for EarthRights International, and a speaker at the upcoming conference has been instrumental in winning this human rights case!
THE NATION, A Big Win for Human Rights, by DAPHNE EVIATAR
[from the May 9, 2005 issue]

"Companies like Unocal have been claiming all along that these cases are not to be taken seriously, that they're just brought by a bunch of activists for political reasons without legal grounds, and that no one's had to pay for them and no one ever will," says Katie Redford, a lawyer for EarthRights International, who helped put the case together in 1996 on behalf of one of two groups of Burmese refugees. (Most of the plaintiffs have fled the country and remained anonymous since the case was filed, to protect them from retaliation by the Burmese government; see also Eviatar, "Profits at Gunpoint," June 30, 2003). "Companies have been able to mislead themselves and the public that human rights concerns would not affect their bottom line. That's just not the case anymore." This whole article can be found on the web at

Announcing the Establishment of the Fund for Indigenous Rights and the Environment

The Fund for Indigenous Rights and the Environment (FIRE), a new Alaska-based foundation has launched our fund by awarding a series of Inaugural Grants to support a range of outstanding Indigenous initiatives. In total $65,000 in small and mid-size grants have been awarded. Please also take a moment to visit our newly launched website:

Established in 1988, the Reebok Human Rights Award honors young people from the United States and around the world who have made significant contributions to the cause of human rights, often against great odds. A $50,000 grant is given to further the work of each Award recipient, Contact Reeboks Human Rights office at:
tel: 781-401-4910 or 781-401-5061
fax: 781-401-4806
email: website:

International Forum Indigenous Peoples August 11- 14, 2005 Porto Alegre, Brazil
State Cultural Secretary (SEDAC-RS) Anthropological museum of Rio Grande do Sul (MARS), and Studies and research Nucleus for Indigenous Culture (NEPCI) of the Pontificia Universidade Catolica (PUCRS) signed a Technical Cooperation agreement to realize the First International Forum of the Native South American People (I International Forum - Indigenous Peoples). Email for more info
and visit their website.

To unsubscribe email Evelyn Arce-White
with "remove" in the subject line.