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Indigenous ‘Idle No More’ Movement Sweeps Across US – January 14, 2013

Over 80 actions held in support of Canadian First Nation’s demand for rights and environmental justice

On Friday, January 11, nearly 50 residents from the Washington, D.C. metro area stood at the steps of the Canadian Embassy and slathered themselves with chocolate syrup. Smudged across faces and clothing, the sticky, sweet syrup began to take on a sinister look.

As rain, fog, and dusk settled over the Capitol, the chocolate-covered demonstrators who were participating in the Idle No More Global Day of Action appeared to be soaked in oil.

Idle no more protest Photo by Lauren JohnsonIn Washington DC, protestors gathered at the US Embassy and decried the environmental
damage by tar sands oil extraction in Alberta, Canada.

“Across… more

by: Lauren Johnson

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Ecuador’s Indigenous Leaders Oppose New Oil Exploration Plans in Amazon Region – November 13, 2012

Country set to open 11th licensing round of oil exploration in 10 million acres of pristine, undeveloped rainforest

“The Sapara do not believe in cemeteries,” said Rosa Dahua, an Indigenous leader from the Ecuadorean Amazon. She was seated on a wooden stool with an anaconda carved into its base, and she leaned forward as she spoke, her dark hair falling in waves over her shoulders.

Amazon oil spillPhoto by Caroline Bennett / Rainforest Action NetworkA 2010 image of an open toxic pool in the Ecuadorean Amazon rainforest near Lago Agrio that was
abandoned by Texaco (now Chevron) after oil drilling operations ended in 1990. Indigenous leaders
worry more drilling would spell disaster for their communities.

Dahua is the vice president of the Association of… more

by: Lauren Johnson

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Court Favors Indigenous Community in Decade-Long Struggle Against Oil-drilling in Ecuador – July 31, 2012

Inter-American Human Rights Court finds Ecuadorean govt guilty of violating physical and cultural wellbeing of the Sarayaku people

Cristina Gualinga remembers when she first saw helicopters spiral above the canopy of the Amazon.  It was in the late 80’s, and the US-owned oil company ARCO/Oriente was attempting to operate in the ancestral territory of the Kichwa Indigenous community of Sarayaku, in the south central region of the Ecuadorean Amazon. 

Sarayaku leaders Photo by Lauren JohnsonYesterday (July 30) Sarayaku and Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador leaders
announced that they would remain in “a state of permanent alert” despite the favorable
Sarayaku sentence.

Gualinga and other leaders of the community (that also goes by the name Sarayaku) had heard stories about Texaco’s work in… more

by: Lauren Johnson

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South American Indigenous Nations in Rio to Press their Demands during UN Summit – June 18, 2012

First Nations Say They Must Approve Resource Extraction Projects Before they Begin

“We are going to sing together,” said Miguel Hereveri Pakarati, an Indigenous elder from the island of Rapa Nui – commonly known as Easter Island.

While rolling through the balmy, Brazilian countryside in the back of a passenger bus, Pakarati taught a group of Chilean youth a traditional song from his island. “E nua e koro ta ta takure tanji tanji,” the people on the bus sang. One person strummed a guitar and the others chanted the lyrics to a song that, according to Pakarati, is 500-years-old.

On Saturday, Pakarati and 50 Indigenous delegates from across South America completed a two-week bus journey from Ecuador to Rio de Janeiro,… more

by: Lauren Johnson

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Ecuadorians Protest Mining Plans in the Amazon – March 26, 2012

President Correa Faces Criticism for Violating Rights of Nature Enshrined in Country’s New Constitution

This month, dozens of pro-government billboards began to dot the scenery off Ecuador’s Pan-American Highway. “The people are with you now more than ever,” read several signs that feature a beaming President Rafael Correa waving the Ecuadorean flag. As the highway winds closer to Quito, the country’s capital, so does the frequency of these billboards rising from the rolling Andean terrain. Last week, tens of thousands of Ecuadorians marched into Quito past these billboards of praise, protesting the Correa administration’s policies.

Dozens clutched at the corners and edges of a large, rainbow striped wipala flag — the Andean symbol that represents indigenous nationalities — as the demonstration approached Quito’s center. Thousands… more

by: Lauren Johnson

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