Tribal Link was founded on the principle that we must respond to the urgent needs of indigenous communities before that moment of urgency is lost. Twenty years later we remain deeply committed to that philosophy, which has helped shape our work with education, entrepreneurship, and capacity building for communities worldwide.
The first time I responded to indigenous peoples’ needs was in 1992. I met a group of indigenous delegates at the UN and I felt strongly that I should ask them what I could do to help them. They articulated the need for adequate documentation of Kari Oka, a convergence of 700 indigenous leaders taking place before the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that year. I put together a team of photo, video and audio professionals and traveled to Brazil to do just that. There I committed to helping the world’s indigenous peoples however I could. Since then, Tribal Link has continuously provided access to the resources indigenous communities need to take their work to the next level, regardless of region or issue.
In June, Tribal Link returned to Brazil for Rio+20, the follow up conference to the Earth Summit. There, we followed the work of the indigenous delegates to witness their contributions and concerns. It was a privilege to attend Kari Oka 2 and the Rio+20 International Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Self-Determination and Sustainable Development (ICIP), which produced declarations that clearly outlined the enormous stakes for indigenous communities concerning sustainable development. In an historic moment on June 21, hundreds of delegates marched from Kari Oca 2 to the high-level session to hand-deliver their declaration for the protection of Mother Earth.
Other Tribal Link activities in support of indigenous peoples at Rio+20 included a side event (Indigenous and Local Communities and the Private Sector), partnership with UNDP Equator Initiative’s Community Aldeia (a ten-day community dialogue space that brought together winners of their Equator Prize, and other civil society leaders), and funding Ghazali Ohorella’s participation in a panel discussion on food sovereignty entitled Standing Together for our Food Sovereignty, Traditional Cultures, and Ways of Life.
It was also at Rio+20 that we invited Tuwe Huni Kuin to be the recipient of our first Indigenous Fellowship, which aims to assist indigenous peoples from around the world in fulfilling their educational and cultural/capacity building needs by enabling them to pursue training in their field of interest with the ultimate goal of improving life in their community
Your support is essential to the continuation of our work. Contributions can be made at TribalLink.Org/Donate and are tax deductible.
Best wishes for the holidays,
Pamela Kraft, Executive Director