By Nikki Sanchez

The streets of downtown Washington, DC were filled with medicine this weekend. On Friday morning, the fragrant smells of sage, copal and palo santo filled the air of the Nation’s Capital. The medicines were lit early in the morning on the steps of the Department of Interior Affairs, as a prayer service started off the inaugural Indigenous Peoples March; the largest inter-tribal gathering of Indigenous Nations in over 50 years. The march and rally warranted the attention of 10,000 attendees, including representatives from Australia, Samoa, Hawaii, Canada, Aotearoa, the Caribbean, the Congo, Papua New Guinea, Central, and South American tribes and even included the Buddhist community.

As the prayers and songs set the tone for the day, dozens of caravans, buses, and motorcycle convoys continued to arrive from various tribes as far as Arizona, North and South Dakota, Texas, and everywhere in between. Non-Indigenous allies and multi-faith representatives were also in attendance. Following an hour of prayer, the march toward the Lincoln Memorial began, marshaled by the Red Rum Motorcycle club, who stood formidable and proud in their American Indian Movement (AIM) style black and red leather jackets. I was invited to be there as one of nearly 100 speakers, performers and ceremonial practitioners who guided the day. Indigenous elders, community leaders, and activists shared the platform with well known-Indigenous and social justice leaders; including newly elected congresswoman Deb Haaland and Idaho House of Representatives Paulette Jordan (two of the first Native American women to be elected to their posts), National co-chairs of the Women’s March Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, former Miss Universe Ashley Callingbull and Standing Rock water protector father-daughter duo, Chase and Tokata Iron Eyes among others.

To review full article: Click here

The event was organized by the Indigenous Peoples Movement (IPM) – a grassroots coalition of organizers from across the globe at state and tribal levels dedicated to raising awareness on Indigenous issues and eliminating the division of Indigenous nations from working collectively in support of one another.

The event was organized by the Indigenous Peoples Movement (IPM) – a grassroots coalition of organizers from across the globe at state and tribal levels dedicated to raising awareness on Indigenous issues and eliminating the division of Indigenous nations from working collectively in support of one another.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro targets minorities on 1st day in office

Far-right leader curbs land rights for indigenous groups and removes LGBT issues from purview of human rights ministry


SAO PAULO (AP) — Newly installed President Jair Bolsonaro issued executive orders targeting Brazil’s indigenous groups, descendants of slaves and the LGBT community in the first hours of his administration, moving quickly after a campaign in which the far-right leader said he would radically overhaul many aspects of life in Latin America’s largest nation.

One of the orders issued late Tuesday, hours after his inauguration, likely will make it all but impossible for new lands to be identified and demarcated for indigenous communities. Areas set aside for “Quilombolas,” as descendants of former slaves are known, are also affected by the decision.

Another order removed the concerns of the LGBT community from consideration by the new human rights ministry.

Read the full story: Click here

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro holds a ceremony to present his cabinet members at the presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, on January 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro holds a ceremony to present his cabinet members at the presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, on January 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

COP24 in Katowice Concludes with Historic Victory and some Disappointments for Indigenous Peoples

"The most significant and positive victory for Indigenous Peoples at COP 24 was the formal establishment of the Facilitative Working Group (FWG) to develop a workplan for the “Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.” The Platform is intended to strengthen and exchange traditional knowledge for mitigating and adapting to Climate Change, based on operative paragraph 135 of the Paris Agreement. Difficult issues under debate over the past three years and up until the final negotiating session in Katowice included equal participation between States and Indigenous Peoples in the FWG, protection of Indigenous Peoples rights and traditional knowledge in this process, the definition and identity of “local communities” and the concerns of some States that their “territorial integrity” might somehow be impacted in these discussions regarding traditional knowledge and climate change." 

Review full article: Click here
Article Source: Cultural Survival

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‘We can do it’: Yalitza Aparicio’s Vogue cover hailed by indigenous women

The indigenous Mexican actor Yalitza Aparicio has made history by appearing on the cover of Vogue Mexico, in a first for a country where light-skinned people dominate the media landscape – despite an overwhelmingly mestizo and indigenous population.

Aparicio, who has won acclaim for her debut performance in Alfonso Cuarón’s new film Roma, wears a Gucci dress on the magazine’s December edition, next to the title “In tiu’n ntav’i” – “A star is born” – in the indigenous Mixtec language.

Article source: The Guardian

Roma actor’s Vogue Mexico cover is first for country where light-skinned people dominate media landscape

Roma actor’s Vogue Mexico cover is first for country where light-skinned people dominate media landscape

EGM: Conservation and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 23-25 January 2019 Nairobi, Kenya

Every year, the Indigenous Peoples in Development Branch within the Division of Inclusive Social Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs organizes an international expert group meeting (EGM) on a theme recommended by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and endorsed by the Economic and Social Council. In 2019, the expert group meeting will be held on the theme “Conservation and the rights of indigenous peoples” as recommended by the Permanent Forum at its 2018 annual session.

Indigenous peoples play a crucial role in the conservation of the environment. They make up around 5% of the global population and occupy, own or manage an estimated 20% to 25% of the Earth’s land surface. This land area holds 80% of the planet’s biodiversity and intersects with about 40% of all terrestrial protected areas and ecologically intact landscapes. While the expanse of protected areas nearly doubled from 8.7 million sq. km. to 16.1 million sq km. between 1980 and 2000, some estimates suggest that 50% of protected areas worldwide have been established on lands of indigenous peoples.  This proportion is even higher in the Americas, where it may exceed 90% in Central America. The lands of indigenous peoples are very valuable for conservation as about 65% of them have not been intensively developed, compared with 44% of other lands.

However, indigenous peoples’ custodianship of the environment and ecosystems, and their rights to land and housing are unrecognized.  They face the negative impacts of conservation programmes, which often have been based on the concept of protecting natural resources and biological diversity, while excluding human beings from these areas. Since the creation of the first State-designated protected area, Yellowstone Park, in the United States of America in 1872 and the subsequent Yosemite National Park in 1890 whereby the US government violently expelled Native Americans living in or dependent on the resources in the areas, conservation interventions around the world have far too often resulted in gross violations of the rights of indigenous peoples, in particular to their rights to land and housing. This includes forced displacement and evictions from their territories; criminalization and destruction of livelihoods; loss of rights to lands and resources and sacred sites; violence and extrajudicial killings of environmental human rights defenders which have spoken out on behalf of their own indigenous communities Millions  of indigenous persons have been dispossessed and displaced due to the exclusionary approach of protected-area management built on the premise that human activities are incompatible with conservation.  This approach is often referred to as ”fortress” conservation.

Learn more about the EGM: Conservation and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 23-25 January 2019 Nairobi, Kenya.

Article source: UNPFII

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Trump administration moves closer to opening Alaskan Arctic to drilling

The Trump administration has moved a step closer to opening the Alaskan Arctic to oil and gas drilling as soon as next year.

The interior department’s Bureau of Land Management has published its draft environmental impact study, following Congress voting in 2017 to allow drilling within the Arctic national wildlife refuge.

Leasing the long-protected Arctic area could be most problematic for indigenous populations, many of which rely on subsistence hunting and fishing, according to the government assessment.

Article Source: The Guardian

Native American leaders hold signs against drilling in the Arctic refuge outside the Capitol in Washington DC on 11 December. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Native American leaders hold signs against drilling in the Arctic refuge outside the Capitol in Washington DC on 11 December. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ resolution adopted by the 3rd committee

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly at its 73rd session adopted a new resolution on the “Rights of indigenous peoples”. The resolution reaffirmed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which addresses the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples.

It reaffirmed also the outcome document of the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, held in New York on 22 and 23 September 2014, 7 in which Heads of State and Government, ministers and representatives of Member States reiterated the important and continuing role of the United Nations in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, recalling the inclusive preparatory process for the high-level plenary meeting, including the comprehensive engagement of the representatives of indigenous peoples, and welcoming and reaffirming the commitments, measures and efforts undertaken by States, the United Nations system, indigenous peoples and other actors in its implementation.

Read the full resolution here: العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español

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Op-ed by Beto Marubo in Folha de S. Paulo: "Bolsonaro and the Isolated Indians"

{Tribal Link note: Beto Marubo is a member of the Marubo tribe as well as of the Union of the Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley (UNIVAJA). He attended Tribal Link’s Project Access Capacity Building Training Workshop for Indigenous Peoples preceding the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2018 and is an outspoken defender of the indigenous communities living in voluntary isolation in the Vale do Javari, where his peoples live.}

Folha de S. Paulo

Op-ed section

December 13, 2018

Bolsonaro and the Isolated Indians

Signs given so far threaten to generate conflict

By Beto Marubo

The news that is preceding the inauguration of the President-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, is creating a climate of insecurity regarding the preservation of the Amazonian environment, the indigenous question in general, and in particular the situation of isolated Indians. The President-elect still seems to be in campaign mode.

Now that the election is over, it's time to calm tempers down. The President shouldn’t be provoking juridical insecurity, as is happening at the moment in the Amazon, particularly in the States of Acre and Amazonas, where the largest number of isolated Indians from Brazil and the world is concentrated.

Statements that Bolsonaro will suspend all processes of demarcation of indigenous lands and change the constitutional status of FUNAI - from an organization defending indigenous rights to an institution subordinated to agricultural interests - have created serious instability in a system that is already fragile.

The signs given so far are aimed at generating conflicts like those that marked Brazil's recent past, with many deaths and even a case of genocide.

Ever since the candidate of the PSL proved viable in the electoral campaign, a great wave of deforestation has begun. Official surveys by satellite show that forest fires have reached pre-2008 levels.

On the ground, State officials and those from the Brazilian Army, Ibama, FUNAI, and Federal and State police, have been surprised by the speed of forest cutting, attacks on indigenous peoples, and the physical structures of the State.

One fact shows the rush to create a fait accompli, in order to serve as a basis for land grabbing: in the south of the State of Amazonas, even chestnut trees were knocked over and burned, on [Brazilian] Union lands. Chestnut trees are like the savings accounts of the jungle, producing guaranteed money in each season. Whoever cuts chestnut trees reveals haste and ignorance of the forest that he is destroying.

Brazil currently has 114 records of isolated indigenous peoples, with 28 confirmations of their existence. These ethnicities, all studies point out, live far from contact by choice, usually because of the trauma from previous massacres.

Therefore, in 1987, FUNAI, as a Brazilian state agency, adopted the so-called "no-contact policy:” the establishment of bases of vigilance and protection so that the isolated ones can live in their territories without being forced into the coexistence that they refuse.

But in recent years, the Brazilian government has weakened the protection of these groups. Consequently, the roaming areas of the Indians, even when demarcated, are not effective. Worse still is the situation of those groups in lands that have not yet been demarcated or approved. Some examples:

Last year, the international press reported a possible massacre of a tribe who some call “the people of the arrow,” committed by illegal gold miners. This would have occurred in the Valley of Javari [in the State of Amazonas], my land, as a direct consequence of the reduction of budgets destined for protection, which led to the closure of surveillance bases in the Amazon.

According to Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa, his land has been experiencing the biggest crisis in recent history. More than 5,000 gold prospectors have invaded it. There may also have been an attack on an isolated group.

Some relief has come since last August, thanks to an effective action of the Army and the official indigenous-allied organization. Also in the State of Rondonia, invasions of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory, with the support of local politicians, threaten groups without contact with the surrounding society.

That is why last April in New York we asked the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to assist us in having an official dialogue with our government in support of efforts to protect isolated peoples.

It is urgent that the Brazilian public opinion shows President Bolsonaro that it is necessary to make peace in the countryside and respect those ethnic groups that throughout history have shown the desire to live autonomously. We are a rare country on the planet that even has this opportunity. We can not waste it in the name of the ambition of a few opportunists.


  1. FUNAI, the National Indian Foundation, is the Brazilian government body under the Ministry of Justice that establishes and carries out policies relating to indigenous peoples. FUNAI is responsible for mapping out and protecting lands traditionally inhabited and used by these communities.

  2. PSL is the Social Liberal Party, the party of Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing conservative political party in Brazil.

  3. IBAMA is the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment's administrative arm. IBAMA implements laws against deforestation where the government ceases to implement and works to keep the forest from loggers, farming, agricultural farm grazing, and anything that would threaten the Amazon.

Reminder: Invitation for views on the preparation, scope and content of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

Date: 11 December 2018

From: Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity

To: CBD National Focal Points, CPB Focal Points, ABS Focal Points, indigenous peoples and local communities, relevant organizations.

Subject: Reminder: Invitation for views on the preparation, scope and content of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

Thematic area: Convention on Biological Diversity

Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-sharing

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety 

Ref.: SCBD/OES/DC/RH/KNM/87538



Dear Madam/Sir,

Further to notification 2018-063 ( I would like to remind you that the deadline for providing initial views on the aspects of the scope and content of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (including the resource mobilization component) is 15 December 2018. Initial views should be sent by e-mail to or fax to +1-514-288-6588.

A preliminary synthesis and analysis of the views submitted was made available for the information of the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties as document  CBD/COP/14/INF/16 ( Kindly note that all of the views received to date are accessible from

The text of this notification is also available on the CBD website at:

Please accept, Madam/Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.


Cristiana Paşca Palmer, PhD

Executive Secretary

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

United Nations Environment Programme

413 Saint-Jacques Street, Suite 800

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

H2Y 1N9

Tel: +1 514 288 2220

Fax: +1 514 288 6588



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UN General Assembly Informal Interactive Hearing with Indigenous Peoples

Call for applications: UN General Assembly Informal Interactive Hearing with Indigenous Peoples

Pursuant to General Assembly Resolution A/RES/71/321 which aims at enhancing the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in meetings of relevant United Nations bodies on issues affecting them, an Interactive hearings will take place at the margins of the 18th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) on 25 April from 3:00-6:00pm.

Applications for funding by the UNVFIP for participation at the interactive hearings are accepted until 18 January 2019.…/ipeopl…/pages/ipeoplesfundindex.aspx

UN Geneva

Advancing Human Rights: A Status Report on Human Rights in the United States, December 2018

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) is pleased to release its seventh annual report on the status of human rights in the United States on December 10th in honor of Human Rights Day. On this day 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) the first global expression of the rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled—was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948.

This human rights report is a tool to provide advocates on the ground in the United States with a human rights framework to address their issues in the front lines.

TL Note: Chapter on Indigenous Peoples, pp. 8-14

Download the full report - click here

Call for applications for four EMRIP members from four indigenous sociocultural regions

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is looking for new members. Apply by December 18, 2018. More info below.

Le Mécanisme d'experts sur les droits des peuples autochtones recherche de nouveaux membres. Appliquez avant le 18 décembre 2018. Plus d'infos ci-dessous.

El Mecanismo de expertos sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas está buscando nuevos miembros. Aplicar antes del 18 de diciembre de 2018. Más información abajo.…/HRBod…/HRC/SP/Pages/Nominations.aspx



Mission statement about Indigenous Peoples in Ecuador

United Nations Special Rapporteur UNSR Victoria Tauli-Corpuz has made a mission statement after visiting Ecuador the last couple of weeks.

“My main concern has been how to recover the path towards plurinationalism. I must conclude that there is no way to make the commitments in the Constitution true without the full recognition and implementation of indigenous peoples' rights in accordance with international human rights law. Protection of rights of nature cannot be achieved without protection of stewards. I am hopeful that definite steps towards this goal can be achieved through the ongoing open dialogue between the Ecuadorian State and indigenous peoples and nationalities.”

Read the full statement here…/stat…/267-end-mission-ecuador

Leerlo en español aquí…/decl…/267-end-mission-ecuador

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Urgent: Ramapough Court Support

This is a VERY important court hearing so please encourage your networks to come out and defend the Ramapough Lenape Nation in their continuing trial with the Polo Club. Court room 312. ***Please check this page for any updates and sign up for last minute text alerts by texting "95halifax" to 84483.

Arrive early and please wear RED (important)!

This will be an important court date related to the Ramapough's ongoing struggle against over $1million in fines for their prayer circle, altar and basic right to pray on their own land.


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On Giving Tuesday and Beyond: Please Support Tribal Link Foundation


This #GivingTuesday we are raising money for Tribal Link Foundation and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. And on Giving Tuesday Nov 27, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 Million in donations. Thank you for your support. Here is more information about Tribal Link Foundation: 

Tribal Link Foundation was founded on the principle that the world's indigenous peoples must survive, and that indigenous peoples should speak for themselves, not be spoken for, and in so doing, produce outcomes that are most relevant to their communities. 

Protecting indigenous lands and peoples are key to all of our survival. Today, #GivingTuesday, please consider supporting our work with Brazil’s indigenous leaders and their communities—the stewards of our world's largest and vital rainforest. 


With the rising threat of climate change and the Amazon rainforest in danger of further decimation due to a new Brazilian government hostile to indigenous communities, it’s more important than ever to stop agribusiness, mining, and logging in the world’s largest rainforests.

Recently, Brazilian President-Elect Jair Bolsonaro threatened to sell off major portions of the Amazon rainforest to agribusiness, mining, and hydro-power. He said minorities have to adapt to the majority or disappear, and that “If it were up to me, we would not have any more indigenous areas in the country.”

Of course, any large-scale deforestation of the Amazon, or genocide of its protectors—indigenous peoples—would have catastrophic consequences for the global climate.

Your generous contribution to Tribal Link will go toward supporting projects that strengthen indigenous peoples' leadership and bring them essential skills and tools, so they can more effectively protect their rights, territories, and resources. Concretely in the Amazon, we are partnering with Céline Cousteau's Tribes on the Edge campaign to organize a strategic meeting with the Union of the Indigenous Peoples of the Vale do Javari so they can determine their own plan for socio-economic development. We're also looking to have a specific focus for our annual capacity-building training for Indigenous Peoples, Project Access, on Brazil, in order to strengthen indigenous leaders coming to advocate at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

New app aims to connect Indigenous entrepreneurs

A new mobile application #thismymob aimed at connecting and supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs is set to be launched by the University of Technology Sydney in collaboration with the University of Melbourne. Creator Christopher Lawrence told Sky News a remaining 18-month study period will hone the app before young Indigenous people can effectively wield it to establish themselves as coders, programmers and entrepreneurs. The app is expected to officially launch in 2020. Image: YouTube / #thismymob UTS


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