Indigenous women play a key role in land defense strategies around the world and are critical guardians of global biodiversity. Last May, Digital Democracy held an Earth Defenders Gathering in the Ecuadorian Amazon, bringing together women from Indigenous territories around the world. The time they spent together sharing their strategies, and the friendships they cultivated, are a reminder to us all of how important such real, human relationships and connections are as a response to the accelerating climate crisis.
In this video, Waorani, Wayana, Guajajara, and Secwepemc women share their testimonies and experiences of defending their territory from diverse – yet similar – threats such as the impacts of oil exploration, land invasions, illegal logging and poaching. They also testify how their ancestral knowledge nourishes their collective, local, and self-determined strategies for taking care of the land.
Dawn Morrison, Secwepemc founder of Indigenous Working Groups for Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) shared their work restoring the foodlands of Secwepemc territory in so-called-Canada; Jupta Itoewaki, Wayana co-chair of the Mulotok Foundation explains the process of developing the Wayana Consultation Protocol in Suriname; Marcilene Guajajara from the Women Warriors of the Forest and Sarawe Guajajara from the Guardians of the Forest, discuss their efforts and the risks they face when working to defend their Taru and Araribóia territories in Brazil, and Silvana Nihua, President of the OWAP, the Waorani Organization of Pastaza, shares how the Waorani have defended their land through mapping, which resulted in the high profile legal victory against the government Ecuador, protecting their land from oil exploration.
We are delighted to share this video: a window into some of the deep and powerful conversations that took place during the Gathering in Ecuador. Watch and share, and stay tuned for more to come!
This video was produced by La Comunidad, an audiovisual production house with an Amazonian vision.