Good to see some positive news on this front. From Mark J. Plotkin, president of Amazon Conservation Team:
Today, in commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, we at ACT would like to honor some of these unsung heroes without whom our work would not be possible.
Examples of indigenous leaders with whom ACT proudly works in the Amazon:
José Narciso Jamioy Muchavisoy isa member of Colombia’s Kamtzá indigenous community who has served as governor of his people on two occasions. Having earned a Masters in Linguistics and an MBA, Narciso currently is working on a Ph.D. in Education in order to further improve his ability to promote ethno-education and the enforcement of indigenous rights in Colombia. He now is focused on raising awareness of the impact of the IIRSA San Francisco-Mocoa road construction, which divides Kamtzá ancestral territory as well as numerous mining concessions which pose serious threats to the well-being of the indigenous people of the Colombian Amazon.
Wuta Wajimuu is a Trio Indian cartographer and conservation leader. Wuta spearheaded ACT’s first ethnographic mapping initiative and served as the lead cartographer on indigenous mapping projects covering over 20 million acres of ancestral rainforests. Additionally, he played a key role in stopping an illegal diamond mining project on his tribal lands. Wuta focuses his current efforts on ensuring the transmission of tribal knowledge to new generations of Trio youth.
Wairanina Jacanamijoy Mutumbajoy is a leader of Colombia’s Ingano tribe. As Governor, Wairanina works tirelessly to implement the Ingano Life Plan, which seeks the strengthening of their cultural identity, their health, their education, and their lands. Through such robust leadership and vision, the Ingano have developed the first government-certified ethno-education center, where their youth receive instruction in both the standard curriculum and traditional subject matter, including language and agriculture. The Inganos’ steadfast and forceful quest to recover their sacred sites brought about the creation of Caqueta’s Alto Fragua Indi Wasi National Park and the subsequent establishment of connectivity between the Park and their indigenous reserves.
[Original message at ACT]