Briefing in NY on OHCHR plans around civic space

Ms. Peggy Hicks, Director of the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures, and Right to Development Division at OHCHR will brief interested civil society on OHCHR plans for the coming years around civic space, followed by a discussion. The briefing will be held on Friday 17 August 2018 at 3 pm at UNHQ, New York in Conference Room A. One member per organization is cordially invited to attend the briefing. Kindly confirm your participation by email to Ms. Morenike Aroso ( by 16 August latest.

See also: 

Support Needed for Indigenous family in Dominica

Irvince Auguiste is a Tribal Link Project Access Alumni and a former chief of the indigenous Kalinago people of Waitukubuli, known as Dominica in the Caribbean. On September 17th 2017 his island was devastated by ravaging hurricane María. His family of nine members, as well as the complete village, was one of the most impacted on the island. After María only five houses standing remained of a community of in total 38 households.

Irvince's house and car were totally destroyed. Three of his sons were injured. One of them called Tikenti was covered under a concrete wall of their house. Due to his severe injuries, he had to be flown to another island for medical attention.

After losing everything they had built and owned over 30 years, the past year the family has been dealing with all that came with the hurricane’s aftermath. His son’s treatment has been very costly until now, many of the materials have to be shipped from abroad and the economy oriented on tourism, the family’s source of income, has not recovered yet.

Irvince’s family survived, but they are still living in tents without proper roof or facilities for a dignified new beginning. Nearly a year after losing everything, tired of waiting for governmental help and in the fear of the upcoming hurricane period, Irvince now asks you for help. His home was always open for all visitors and will always be. Last Sunday the new hurricane period officially started and his family is not asking for any luxury but a safe home. The requested amount will be spent on buying materials and tools for a new house. If required the details of expenses spent will be provided through email. Please contribute to this account and be sure that if you come one day to his house, you will be received with all hospitality and gratitude.  When the family has a new home they can continue helping others in the community.

Please consider supporting and sharing this link with others:


International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018

The observance of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples will take place on Thursday 9 August 2018 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm in the ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This year’s theme is “Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement”.

The event will include a panel discussion on the current situation of indigenous territories, the root causes of migration, trans-border movement and displacement, with a specific focus on indigenous peoples living in urban areas and across international borders. The panel will also examine the challenges and ways forward to revitalize indigenous peoples’ identities and encourage the protection of their rights in or outside their traditional territories.

After the panel there will be Q&A segment where participants can make comments and/or ask questions from the floor. We kindly ask all speakers to limit their interventions to 3 minutes.


Please register >>>>>HERE<<<<<

Remember to read the information carefully.

Registration closes on Sunday 5 August 2018 at 11:00 pm EST


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New global report on the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in wetland management

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has a long-standing commitment to promote, recognize and strengthen the active participation of indigenous peoples, and local communities as key stakeholders for conservation and integrated wetland management (Resolution XII.2, para 19). In celebration of the ‘International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples’, which takes place on August 9th each year, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat has published an initial report on ‘The relationship of indigenous peoples and local communities with wetlands.’ This publicationprovides a compilation of the Convention’s available data on indigenous peoples and local communities, as requested by the Ramsar Conference of the Parties (Resolution XII.2, para 20).  

The report also presents an overview of the Convention’s current policy framework, and provides examples of approaches from other relevant environmental policy processes, international law and practices that the Contracting Parties could consider in order to strengthen the Convention’s inclusive and participatory approach to wetland conservation and wise use.

For Report: Download


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Taíno Exhibition Opens at the National Museum of the American Indian

"Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean" opened July 28 and runs through October 2019 at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. The exhibition includes photographs and a discussion of the community and activist groups keeping the Taíno movement strong, such as the United Confederation of Taíno People, which maintains a visible presence at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and throughout the UN system. #Taino #NMAI  

 Pamela Kraft, Tribal Link Foundation's Executive Director (at right) attends the opening of "Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian on July 28th, 2018 in New York. In photo (from left): Mainaku, Kayaani, and Joselyn Borrero with Pamela Kraft.  Photo credit: Roberto Múkaro Borrero

Pamela Kraft, Tribal Link Foundation's Executive Director (at right) attends the opening of "Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian on July 28th, 2018 in New York. In photo (from left): Mainaku, Kayaani, and Joselyn Borrero with Pamela Kraft. Photo credit: Roberto Múkaro Borrero

Newly Released Video Shows Indigenous Man Thought to be Last of His Amazon Tribe

(SAO PAULO) — No one knows his name. No one knows the name of the people he came from. And he appears to have lived alone in Brazil’s Amazon for 22 years.

Video released for this first time this week by Brazil’s Indian Foundation shows rare images of a so-called uncontacted indigenous man who is believed to be the last surviving member of his tribe. The footage was shot in 2011, though a team that tracks him says it last saw evidence he was alive in May.

By SARAH DILORENZO / AP July 21, 2018


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Inspiring Indigenous internationalism

Excerpt from article: 

The Permanent Forum, as it is often referred to, serves as an advisory body to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). While the UN serves nation-states, the UN PFII provides Indigenous peoples with a unique avenue to voice concerns in an influential setting. However, navigating the UN is complex and often intimidating for many people, and that’s where Project Access shines.

Project Access was established by the Tribal Link Organization to help Indigenous peoples understand the mandate of the UN Permanent Forum. This year, the Project Access training brought together Indigenous leaders from all 7 of the Indigenous regions. The program is delivered with the aid of several UN accredited Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and most helpfully, with the help of previous participants who serve as mentors. The multifaceted training helps new participants understand the history of Indigenous peoples at the UN, the purpose of the Permanent Forum, and how to deliver effective interventions on the floor. Taking place for the three days preceding the UN PFII, the training brought in speakers from UN accredited Indigenous NGOs (International Indian Treaty Council), UN agencies (Convention on Biological Diversity), and academia (Elsa Stamatopoulou, Director, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program, Columbia University). Furthermore, we were able to meet the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the Chief of the Secretariat for the Permanent Forum!

See full article at:

 Project Access trainees represented the 7 recognized Indigenous regions of the world, facilitated by the Tribal Link Foundation at the UN Development Program in New York, NY.

Project Access trainees represented the 7 recognized Indigenous regions of the world, facilitated by the Tribal Link Foundation at the UN Development Program in New York, NY.

Thai campaigners urge change to forest law after indigenous verdict

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Campaigners are calling on Thai authorities to amend a law they say violates the rights of indigenous people, after the country’s top court ruled that a group of Karen evicted from a national park had no legal right over the land.

It is the latest case of indigenous people being evicted from land they consider theirs by birthright, with the rush to develop - or protect green space - leading to clashes worldwide over who owns land when deeds are unclear.

Authorities had removed nearly 400 Karen from the Kaeng Krachan National Park, saying they were encroachers. When some returned, officials burned down their shelters.

Six of the Karen people - led by their spiritual leader, who is said to be 106 years old - filed suit in 2012, claiming compensation, and asserting their right to land they say belonged to their ancestors.

A lower court held that authorities had acted within the law, while ordering compensation of 10,000 baht ($302) to each of the plaintiffs. The Karen - a hill tribe people thought to number about 1 million in Thailand - appealed the verdict.

Author: Rina Chandran

See full story here: 

Mysterious and spiritual: Indigenous Peoples day offers opportunity to explore ancient cave

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Some of the earliest evidence of human activity in North America can be found in northern B.C.

One of North America's most important and mysterious archeological sites sits a short drive north of Fort St. John, B.C., and the little-known cave may become more familiar on National Indigenous Peoples day Thursday.

T'se'K'wa, formerly known as Charlie Lake Cave, holds some of the oldest evidence of human activity in North America, dating back 12,000 years.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, the First Nations who now own the land around it are inviting the public to come view the site and hear from elders why it is still an important and sacred space.

See full story:

Source: CBC News

Calls to prioritise indigenous peoples health

New Zealand is calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) and governments to prioritise health improvements for indigenous people worldwide. Health professionals say poor data and resources for cancer diagnosis and treatment for indigenous communities is impacting on survival rates. 

Research conducted by the University of Otago shows poorer Māori cancer survival rates to non-Māori. A situation that's also reflected around the world.

Bridget Robson, Associate Dean Māori at the University of Otago, says, "If we want a Tino Rangatiratanga approach across all nations, indigenous peoples have to have their own data to find out what's going on for them and what the Government's are doing to support them or not."

Over 150 cancer experts and indigenous health experts across the Tasman and the Pacific have now published an open letter calling on the WHO and governments to take heed of the issue. 

Author: Moana Makapelu Lee 

See full story here: 


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Eleventh session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The dates for the Expert Mechanism's eleventh session are 9 to 13 July 2018. The session will take place in Room XX of the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.

Provisional agenda


Documentation for the eleventh session will become available in June 2018.


According to paragraph 9 of resolution 6/36 and paragraph 13 of resolution 33/25, the meetings of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples shall be open to the participation of observers through an open and transparent accreditation procedure in accordance with the rules of the Human Rights Council.

Registration is open to:

  • Representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations;
  • Representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC);
  • Representatives of NGOs not in consultative status with ECOSOC;
  • Academics and experts on indigenous peoples;
  • National Human Rights Institutions

Accreditation for the 11th session will be carried out through Indico, the online registration platform of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Accreditation is now open. Please follow the instructions below:

  • Click here to access the EMRIP 11th session registration page
  • Click on “Register now”
  • Create an INDICO account if you have not previously used the system
  • Log in to the system with your username (e-mail address) and password and fill in the registration form.

Please note that each individual participant will have to register themselves.

For questions regarding accreditation, please contact

More information in English
Más información en español
Informations additionnelles en français

UN Committee on NGOs Meets 21-30 MAY in NY

The UN Committee on NGOs will meet at the UN from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM on 21-30 May to discuss new and deferred NGO applications for ECOSOC status. These meetings are open to people with ECOSOC UN badges.

NGO representatives are encouraged to attend. 


Google UN Committee on NGOs for the schedule and a list of NGOs that are being considered. The meetings will be webcast.

Indigenous Peoples Recover Native Languages in Mexico

May 18 (IPS) - Ángel Santiago is a Mexican teenager who speaks one of the variations of the Zapotec language that exists in the state of Oaxaca, in the southwest of Mexico. Standing next to the presidential candidate who is the favorite for the July elections, he calls for an educational curriculum that "respects our culture and our languages." 

Juan José García Ortiz, a teacher who is also mayor of Guelatao, a small town in this southwestern state, speaks in Zapotec and Spanish about the problems of education in Mexico, and ends with a message: "Never again can there be a Mexico without indigenous peoples."

So does the poet Irma Pineda López, who reads the commitments drafted by the country's best-organised teachers' union, from Oaxaca, the state with the largest indigenous population in Mexico and where 418 of the 570 municipalities have a majority indigenous population and are governed by native customs.

The presidential candidate, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, nods. Next to him is Susana Harp, a prominent international singer of traditional Zapotec music, who is a candidate for the Senate for the presidential candidate's party, Morena.

Behind them is Esteban Moctezuma, who López Obrador plans to appoint as minister of education if he wins the Jul. 1 elections.

This scene took place on May 12 in the town where the only indigenous president of Mexico, Benito Juárez (1858–1872), was born. On this occasion, López Obrador presented his proposal to reform education in the country and, remarkably, all the participants spoke first in their native mother tongue and then in Spanish.

See full article here:

 Indigenous children from the mountains of Oaxaca, in the southwest of Mexico listen in the town of Guelatao to the education reform proposal of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the presidential frontrunner according to the polls, who announced that, if he wins, he will institute bilingual schools in the indigenous regions. Credit: Danilo Rodríguez / IPS  Article Source: Inter Press Service Author: Daniela Pastrana

Indigenous children from the mountains of Oaxaca, in the southwest of Mexico listen in the town of Guelatao to the education reform proposal of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the presidential frontrunner according to the polls, who announced that, if he wins, he will institute bilingual schools in the indigenous regions. Credit: Danilo Rodríguez / IPS

Article Source: Inter Press Service
Author: Daniela Pastrana


THE PORTENIER HUMAN RIGHTS BURSARY competition for 2018 is now open for applications. It provides an opportunity for independent journalists and documentary-makers of any nationality working on significant human rights projects that may place them in danger to obtain hostile environment training. 

The bursary provides $3,000 (CAD) to help the winner attend a hostile environment and first aid training (HEFAT) course run by open of our approved course providers. These courses are currently available in Canada, the USA, Britain, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere. Potential applicants should first read the competition rules. An on-line application form can be accessed from a link at the bottom of the rules page until the end of June 15, Eastern time (11:59 pm New York/Toronto)

Read more at:

UNPFII Chair at the 27th Session on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, intervened today via video message at the 27th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

See video here:

For more information on the session click here:

Source: UNPFII News

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The Game-Changers: 5 Inspiring Women You Need To Know Now

Mikaela Jade

Over the last ten years, the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award have celebrated some of the most inspiring women in Australia. This year, founder and CEO of technology company Indigital, Mikaela Jade, took out the prestigious Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award (at an event hosted by Freida Pinto none-the-less!), which recognises the success and vision of up-and-coming entrepreneurial women – specifically those under 40 years old.

Jade was spurred to develop the first-of-its-kind app, Indigital Storytelling, after discovering she had Indigenous heritage at the age of 29. From there, she focused on bringing to life the cultural stories, places and artworks of the elders through the use of technology, effectively bridging the gap between generations.

The Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award given to Jade is a nod to the brand’s founder, Madame Clicquot, who took over the company’s reins at the tender age of 27, and went on to invent Rose Champagne blend in 1818 through the use of pioneering techniques that are still used today.

In May 2018, Jade was also awarded the Creative Visionary accolade and overall Judge’s Award at the InStyle and Audi Women Of Style awards.

Read full article here:

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NJ Town Hauled Into Court by Ramapough Nation

NEWARK, N.J. (CN) – A Native American tribe brought a federal complaint Monday that accuses a New Jersey town and homeowner’s association of levying illegal fines and trying to intimidate them into stopping open-air prayers on ceremonial grounds.

Represented by attorney Valeria Gheorghiu in the lawsuit, the Ramapough Lenape Nation claims town officials have used zoning ordinances and nearly $500,000 in fines to force it off private property on 95 Halifax Road in Mahwah, N.J.

The land is “a sacred site of immense importance to the Ramapoughs,” and is used for religious ceremonies involving Mesingw masks, pipe ceremonies and sweat-lodge sessions, the complaint states.

At the behest of a homeowner’s association, the complaint says the Ramapoughs have faced a “historical pattern and practice of harassment” from Mahwah intended to drive them off the land.

For the past several weeks, according to the complaint, the Ramapoughs have faced daily fines of up to $12,500 per day for using the land for open-air prayer, carving the Mesingws masks into tree trunks, and erecting a stone altar.

“The Ramapough Lenape Nation is being attacked by the town of Mahway and the Polo Club,” the 46-page lawsuit states.

The Ramapough tribe, sometimes referred to disparagingly as “Jackson Whites,” has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits over the last couple years with Mahwah over the site, as well as skirmishes with state officials over a proposed pipeline through their land.

The tribe claims it acquired the rights to the land in 1995 as a private gift from developer Charles Elmes, and its members have conducted prayers and ceremonies on it for decades.

Starting in the 1990s, however, Mahwah allegedly began using various tactics to push the tribe off the land, including condemning homes occupied by tribe members and issuing several zoning infractions.

According to the suit, a member of the Polo Club told tribal Chief Dwaine Perry that, if the tribe did not sell the land, “unnamed members of the Polo Club were prepared to attack the Ramapough Lenape Nation.”

Other club members and town officials have allegedly said they wanted “something done” to remove the prayer rocks on the sacred sites. The complaint quotes town attorney Brian Chewcaskie as asking during a council meeting: “Do we go in and take the rocks down ourselves?”

Since then the tribe says they have heard gunshots at night, suffered slashed tires and tents, and faced other incidents of vandalism. The Polo Club has also allegedly hired a public relations firm to smear the tribe in the media and has called police several times following complaints from neighbors to intimidate the tribe.

“We’re willing to talk to them in good faith, but we’re not going to give up our rights,” Steven Smith, a member of and adviser to the tribe, said in an interview. “We are the decedents of the original people of Manhattan. This land is part of what little we have left and they want to take that.”

Smith denied that tribe members are breaking the law when they pray on the land, saying town officials are rewriting laws so that they drive the tribe off the land.

“This isn’t law, this is Jim Crow,” he said.

In 2018, according to the suit, the town attorney said the town would issues rules to prohibit prayer on the site and to remove the tribe’s sacred alter from the site. A Bergen County judge denied a proposed injunction by the town and Polo Club in December to destroy the sacred sites and prevent religious ceremonies on the land.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against removal of the tribe’s sacred altar and prayer circle, as well as to prevent the fines.

Mahwah has clashed with other groups, including a group of Orthodox Jews whom the town had tried to prevent from setting up religious boundaries known as eruvs. The town backed down from its ordinance prohibiting the eruvs and settled earlier this year with the group.

An email to Chewcaskie seeking comment was not immediately returned. A representative for the Mahwah mayor’s office declined to comment on the suit.

Gheorghiu, an attorney for the tribe, did not immediately return an email seeking comment, and her voicemail box was full.


Questionnaire: Business and Human rights - Inter-American Standards

The Special Rapporteurship on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (SRESCER) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) initiates a public consultation in order to receive information for the preparation of the thematic report on "Business and Human Rights: Inter-American Standards".

Download Questionnaire here:

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UN Climate Change Launches First-Ever Annual Report

UN Climate Change News, 30 April 2018 – UN Climate Change today launched its first-ever Annual Report, laying out the key 2017 achievements and pointing to the future of the climate change process.

"Climate Change is the single biggest threat to life, security and prosperity on Earth," said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. “This annual report shows how UN Climate Change is doing everything it can to support, encourage and build on the global response to climate change.”

The report covers many areas of the 2017 work of UN Climate Change, which includes the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, as well as their bodies, institutional arrangements, organs and the secretariat.

For example, at the UN Climate Change conference (COP23) presided over by Fiji last November, almost 30,000 people from all levels came together in Bonn, Germany, to drive action on climate change. The conference saw financial commitments amounting to almost USD 1 billion to tackle climate change.

Governments took key decisions, among them launching the Talanoa Dialogue, the first-ever Gender Action Plan, a platform for indigenous peoples and local communities, and an agreement on agriculture.

Throughout 2017, UN Climate Change continued to deliver on its core tasks: supporting the intergovernmental process, bringing transparency to climate commitments, supporting Parties in building resilience and adapting to climate change, facilitating the mobilization of finance and diffusion of technology, and fostering cooperation with non-Party stakeholders to realize the Paris Agreement’s potential.

The report also looks at the outlook for the year ahead, including increasing the number of ratifications of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol so it can enter into force, the Talanoa Dialogue which will inform and inspire Parties as they increase their commitments, and adopting the outcomes of the work programme of the Paris Agreement at the end of 2018.

“Throughout 2018 and beyond, let us do all in our power, together, to accelerate action,” said Ms. Espinosa. “Only by doing so can we succeed in protecting our planet from climate change and securing a low-carbon, sustainable future.”

Countries are now gathered in Bonn focused on critical interim work leading to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, including preparation of the Paris Agreement Work Programme, which will guide implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Read the full UN Climate Change Annual Report 2017.