Indigenous Peoples

Zainab's Struggle to Save the Indus and her People

“The contractor even determines who our daughters will get married to!” said Zainab bibi. “That is how much we are in bondage to these contractors. Are we not human? Do our children not have dreams of education? Don’t we have hopes for them?

Accomplishments from 2012 - A sample of inroads for global justice

Grassroots International supports hands-on solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges: hunger, violations of human rights, climate change and environmental degradation, and economic disparity. During the last year, Grassroots International and our global partners and allies – including small farmers, indigenous peoples and human rights activists – achieved some victories in their struggle to secure the human right to land, water and food for all. Below are just some of the highlights.

Wind Farm Mega-Project in Oaxaca sparks resistance, repression

Local residents from San Dionisio del Mar (Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico) are protesting the construction of a huge wind farm in their community.  Their prolonged and energetic resistance has been met with violent repression and even death threats made against several opposition leaders.
 
To take action in support of the community, click here

Vaikuntha's Vision -- Bangsa Mandringa for all Savaaras (and all Adivasis)

Vaikuntha is a young Savaara (an indigenous tribe from east central India) man I met in Bhimaavaram village in East Godavari district of India's Andhra Pradesh (AP) state on a site visit with Yakshi (a Grassroots grantee). 
 
Thirteen years ago, he finished 10th grade and went back to his village in Srikakulam district. The school he was in was in a different area, and he didn’t like the fact that they made him and his other Savaara friends take more Hindu sounding names like Vaikuntha or Mahesh.
 
There were a lot of young people back in his village. They had many questions about what kinds of development serves people.

Bhoodevi's Journey for Manchi Jeevitham

 Bhoodevi (second from left) is a young Savaara woman from Srikakulam district (county) in Andhra Pradesh (AP) state in India. Her name means Earth Goddess or Mother Earth. The Savaaras are an Adivasi (ɑːdɪˈvɑːsi/ literally, earliest inhabitants) indigenous group that straddle the forests and hills in the border regions of modern day AP and Odisha states in east-central India. In Srikakulam they along with the Jataapus form the core of the indigenous population.

People Power versus Hydropower

A massive, very active social movement against the loss of land and ecosystems caused by hydro-electric dams is making headway in Brazil.  The movement is little known in North America so far, but that’s changing. And it’s on the brink of spreading across the world wherever large dams are being built and waterways threatened.  

But what’s all the fuss, some may ask.  Doesn’t it usually only affect isolated communities, and isn’t hydropower a much more environmentally friendly source of cheap energy, especially compared with nuclear, coal, or oil? Are these anti-dam activists clinging to a kind of prosaic, but impractical pastoral way of life, or just trying to push the dams into somebody else’s backyard?

Indigenous Kaiowá in Brazil Pledge ‘Collective Death’ to Defend Ancestral Territory

Leaders of the Guarani Kaiowá boldly announced that the entire community would rather die in their land defending from businesses and corporations. Their assertion is more than a war declaration. For us, the buyers of “clean energy,” their pronouncement is a jarring wake-up call that the “Green Economy” actually promotes genocide of indigenous people and Afro-descendent communities –whether in the form of a slow die off of disposed peoples or a quicker resistance.