Indigenous Youth and Women of the Americas Unite their Voices

17 Feb 2020

The Indigenous Terra Madre Pueblos de América coming to Tlaola from February 21-24 will focus on the important role women and youth have in the future of indigenous communities, and the preservation of land and biodiversity for future generations.

The Americas hold 40% of the world’s biodiversity, much of which has been protected for centuries by the indigenous peoples who call this land home. Despite the exploitation and subjugation they have endured for hundreds of years, indigenous communities have demonstrated to the world their ancestral knowledge and harmony with nature is essential to the survival and flourishing of ecosystems. Around the world indigenous peoples hold 25% of the earth’s land and have managed to preserve 80% of the global biodiversity.

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Argentina
Photo credit Marco del Comune

“This gathering of indigenous delegates from communities around the Americas is a way to dignify our cultures and our identity. Our youth is being bombarded by the globalization of the world and the message from multinational companies telling us what to eat, how to think and act. However, our vision of the world is just as valid as any other one, and we want to reclaim our rights and our place in society,” said Dali Nolasco, Indigenous Terra Madre Network Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean.

This is a huge undertaking in a system that muffles their voices and doesn’t provide them with the right tools for the job. Governments at the local, national and international level don’t hear their voices as loud as the voices of big industry, creating a system that further pushes indigenous peoples from their land.

“The biggest obstacles we face are the lack of trust and support, there is still a culture that places women and the youth at a lower level. Also, we have zero access to economic resources to execute projects to improve the well-being of our communities, or political space to have a say in laws and decisions that directly impact our livelihood,” said Dali

Indigenous youth and women, and especially young women, don’t receive the credibility and respect needed to access funds and projects. They are seen as weak and inferior, or naive and unable to create change for the better of their communities. By focusing on them, Indigenous Terra Madre Pueblos de America is sending a clear message of support for the future of indigenous communities, their sovereignty over their land, and the respect for their culture and traditions.

 

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Gran Chaco Argentina Photo credit Marco Del Comune

 

“We, as communities, know what we want to achieve, and where we want to go. The goal during these days is to create a plan of action to develop projects and ideas we can implement in our local communities, then share information with other communities to continue to grow the network, and eventually have a strong force built with many voices,” said Dali.

During Indigenous Terra Madre Pueblos de América delegates from across the continent, from Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and the United States, will gather in Tlaola with delegates from different states in Mexico. These delegates represent their community and country, where they currently work on specific projects, protecting products or ancestral techniques. This gathering gives them the opportunity to meet and learn from each other. “I look forward to learning about other food and agricultural traditions, further my knowledge in agroecological techniques, and how to promote our food,” said Nely Roxana Tineo Yalli delegate from Peru.

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Llumchicancha Chanqui community Peru

Slow Food stands by Indigenous communities and their sovereignty over their territories and their culture. Our mission is to amplify their voices and support a good, clean, fair system for all.

 

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