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TRIBAL LINK TO CO-SPONSOR SPECIAL SCREENING OF AVATAR; DIRECTOR JAMES CAMERON TO INTRODUCE THE FILM AND HOLD Q&A

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Erin Hinkle, 646-942-6224, hinkle.e@gmail.com

New York, NY (April 22, 2010) – As part of its program for the Ninth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII- April 19-30, 2010), Tribal Link Foundation in association with the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Conservation International, and UNDP/Global Environmental Facility’s Small Grants Programme will co-sponsor a special screening of James Cameron’s Academy Award-Winning film Avatar. Mr. Cameron will be present at the screening, which will be held on Saturday April 24, 2010 at New York City’s Director’s Guild Theater.

Mr. Cameron will introduce Avatar and hold a discussion with Permanent Forum Chairperson Carlos Mamani Condori and prominent indigenous journalists after the screening.  Attendees of the event will primarily consist of indigenous representatives from around the world who are participating in the PFII.

As reflected in a recent front-page article in the New York Times, Mr. Cameron has used Avatar as a platform to speak about vital environmental issues, as well as visit indigenous communities to learn about their experiences, many of which parallel the story told in his film.

“James Cameron is giving a high-profile voice to indigenous peoples as stewards of their ancestral lands—lands that greatly benefit the modern world,” says Pamela Kraft, executive director of Tribal Link.  “Preserving traditional knowledge of indigenous lands and their biodiversity is key to developing solutions to climate change and conservation issues.”

In addition to co-sponsoring the Avatar screening, Tribal Link funded nine indigenous participants to attend a Project Development and Fundraising Training Course (held April 14-16, 2010). The training is an advanced-level course for experienced participants in Project Access, an annual Tribal Link initiative that funds 15-20 indigenous representatives to travel to and attend the PFII, and prepares them to effectively participate at the event.

Each participant  in the training course will be highlighted in a video interview that will appear on the Tribal Link Web site (triballink.org) over a two-week period, starting on Earth Day, April 22. The interviews will feature nine participants discussing their work, communities, issues, and experiences working with Tribal Link for the past few years.

For more information about Tribal Link, please contact Pamela Kraft, executive director, at tribal.link@lycos.com or 212-564-3329.

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About Tribal Link

Tribal Link Foundation, Inc. matches the urgent needs of the world’s indigenous populations with the people and resources that can help them.  Tribal Link is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in association with the Department of Public Information (DPI) at the United Nations and in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Since 1993, Tribal Link has been working to support the world’s indigenous peoples by organizing events, forums and hospitality programs that provide enriching cross-cultural exchanges; mobilizing media professionals to publicize issues critical to traditional peoples; coordinating capacity building workshops focusing on indigenous peoples’ participation within the international system; and ensuring that the vital contribution of indigenous spiritual knowledge is included in major UN events.  To learn more, visit triballink.org.

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