Cultural Survival’s Indigenous Rights Radio Project comprises radio interviews from recent conferences including the Alta Outcome Document for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, the World Conference on Indigenous Women, and the Cumbre Continental en Oaxaca, as well as our initial radio series on the Indigenous right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent  (FPIC) and a series on the strategies to overcome oil exploitation and contamination on Indigenous homes by the Quechua peoples in Andoas, Peru.

Building on Cultural Survival’s successful community radio program in Guatemala, we are producing and distributing a series of radio programs worldwide on topics related to Indigenous rights in order to inform Indigenous listeners about their freedoms. These radio programs will also assist communities in developing their own guidelines, based on their unique experiences and cultural perspectives, in order to build capacity, reinforce self-determination, and facilitate proactive community engagement in defense of their rights.

To date, many legal documents such as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are not widely known or well understood in many Indigenous communities. Indigenous leaders from around the world emphasize the importance of educating themselves about these rights so that they are best equipped to claim them. We established our program in an effort to inform Indigenous communities of their rights in the voices of Indigenous Peoples. Our radio producers are Indigenous themselves and include Rosy Gonzalez (Maya Kaqchikel), Kaimana Barcarse (Kanaka Hawai’i), and Cesar Gomez (Pocomam).

Informed Indigenous communities not only have knowledge of their rights but more specifically, they know what they need to learn about externally proposed development projects such as mines, oil development, and agro-industry in order to evaluate this information accurately. This is crucial, because with this knowledge, Indigenous communities are able to construct procedures to challenge development projects in their earlier stages, before a conflict arises. One important and trusted means for Indigenous communities to develop these procedures, is to learn from each other how best to exercise their fundamental rights, and apply these lessons within the context and settings of their own socio-political, economic, and cultural frameworks.

Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) is the principle that a community has the right to give or withhold consent to proposed projects that may affect their lands, resources, livelihoods, and communities. This principle is protected by international human rights law as “all peoples have the right to self-determination” and “all peoples have the right to freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.”  It is enshrined in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). We have produced a series of brief programs which explain key elements of this right.

The Alta Outcome Document is the resulting document from the high level plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, which took place in Alta, Norway on September 2014. On behalf of the Indigenous Global Coordinating Group, Cultural Survival produced this series in English, Spanish, French, and Russian.

The World Conference on Indigenous Women took place in October of 2013 in Lima, Peru. Over 200 women from around the world gathered to discuss the need for greater prominence of Indigenous women at every level of decision making, and called upon governments to dedicate funding to attend to the specific needs of Indigenous women.

The Cumbre Continental en Oaxaca is a Spanish series of interviews on Indigenous themes recorded with participants at The Second Continental Summit of Indigenous Communication, which took place in Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca, Mexico in October 2013.

In November 2013, a team from Cultural Survival visited a community in Nuveo Andoas, Peru to learn about the effects of oil exploitation in the region including the severe contamination of the environment. In these Spanish programs, you can hear from the community and the Quechua leaders of the region who will explain the contamination problems brought about because of a lack of honest consultation with the people, as well as the strategies which this community are implementing, based on ancestral traditions, to fight for the land, territories, rights, cultures and lives of the Indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon.


4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello,
    I received a link to your ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent’ initiative through a indigenous grad student newsletter at UBC in Vancouver. Our radio station is located on the campus and serves the wider community. We are non-for-profit and provide alternative programming that more directly involves and reflects our communities. We are interested in rebroadcasting some of the content from your site and would also like to reach out in other ways. For instance, we have a program here called ‘Language to Language’ which is about connecting various peoples around the world. It is hosted by Kawaan Sangaa of the Haida Nation and Gunargie O’Sullivan of the Tlowitsis tribe, and it would be good if we could make a connection.
    Please contact me at your earliest convenience.
    Thank you.
    Robin Alam

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