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Tribal Link’s Year-end Newsletter Now Available

Some of the students, mentors, and trainers who a part of Tribal Link Foundation's Project Access Capacity Building Training Program for Indigenous Peoples in 2016

Some of the students, mentors, and trainers who were a part of Tribal Link Foundation’s Project Access Capacity Building Training Program for Indigenous Peoples in 2016

 

Dear Friends:

Reflecting on this past year, what comes to mind is the growing commitment and involvement of the many indigenous leaders and communities we’ve worked with, learned from, and will be able to continue to help thanks to your generous support. Without your contributions, Tribal Link could not have accomplished all that we did in 2016.

Please review our newsletter to learn more about our work this year.

Best Wishes,

Pamela Kraft,

Executive Director

Tribal Link Newsletter 2016

 

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In Victory For Protesters, Army Halts Construction On Dakota Pipeline

Protesters celebrate at Oceti Sakowin Camp earlier Sunday. The Army Corps of Engineers notified the Standing Rock Sioux that the current route for the Dakota Access Pipeline will be denied. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Protesters celebrate at Oceti Sakowin Camp earlier Sunday. The Army Corps of Engineers notified the Standing Rock Sioux that the current route for the Dakota Access Pipeline will be denied. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

 

The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, granting a major victory to protesters who have been demonstrating for months.

The decision essentially halts the construction on the 1,172-mile oil pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands of demonstrators from across the country had flocked to North Dakota in protest.

“Our prayers have been answered,” National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby said in a statement. “This isn’t over, but it is enormously good news. All tribal peoples have prayed from the beginning for a peaceful solution, and this puts us back on track.”

Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said after talking with tribal officials and hearing their concerns that the pipeline could affect the drinking water, it became “clear that there’s more work to do.”

“The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing,” Darcy said in a statement.

At the site of the protests, the news spread in excited whispers and statements of disbelief. Finally, one man at the Oceti Sakowin Camp finally yelled it: “The easement has been denied!”

Cheers and whoops erupted from the crowd nearby and continued for hours, as different parts of the sprawling camp heard about the federal government’s decision.

For Tom Shaving, of the Cheyenne River tribe, the news was exciting and a welcome relief. He has been camping in protest of the pipeline since August, watching his group of “water protectors” grow from dozens of people on the banks of the Cannonball River to a settlement of thousands.

In a statement, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said the tribe welcomed the decision, but he also sounded a note of caution saying he hoped the incoming Donald Trump administration would “respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point.”

Archambault II went on:

“When it comes to infrastructure development in Indian Country and with respect to treaty lands, we must strive to work together to reach decisions that reflect the multifaceted considerations of tribes. Treaties are paramount law and must be respected, and we welcome dialogue on how to continue to honor that moving forward. We are not opposed to energy independence, economic development, or national security concerns but we must ensure that these decisions are made with the considerations of our Indigenous peoples.”

Tom Shaving shares Archambault’s caution, and he fears that a President Trump could undo Sunday’s announcement. Like many at the camp, he isn’t planning to leave.

“We have to keep going,” he says. “We have to persevere. Trump’s right next in line.”

News Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/04/504354503/army-corps-denies-easement-for-dakota-access-pipeline-says-tribal-organization

 

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Questionnaire for Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations

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The Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues invites all Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations and institutions to complete the following questionnaire on any action, taken or planned, related to the recommendations of the 15th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 15th Session report of 2016 includes a number of recommendations within its mandated areas, some of which are addressed to indigenous peoples’ organizations and institutions. Responses will be compiled into one report for presentation during the 16th Session of the Permanent Forum which will take place from 24 April to 5 May 2017.

Please submit your completed questionnaire to indigenous_un@un.org and masaquiza@un.org by 1 January 2017.

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General Assembly adopts Third Committee resolution on the rights of Indigenous Peoples – Year of Indigenous Language

un-general-assemblyThe resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (A/C.3/71/L.17/Rev.1) was adopted without a vote on 22 November 2016 at the Third Committee”s 55th Meeting. The negotiations were chaired by Bolivia (Plurinational State of) and Ecuador.

Co-sponsors are Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Australia,  Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Canada, Central African Republic,  Chad, Chile, Ecuador,  Guatemala,  Mexico, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay,  Peru, Honduras, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).

To read the meeting coverage click here

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Land rights crucial to save tropical forests – UNDP

Researchers highlight importance of carbon-sucking forests alongside New York climate deal signing ceremony

Damar Forests of Indonesia (UN Photos)

Damar Forests of Indonesia (UN Photos)

By Alex Kirby

The world’s tropical forests are a key part of slowing climate change, and ensuring indigenous peoples have land rights is essential to protecting them, US-based researchers say.

A campaign group, Global Witness, puts the number of land and environment activists killed since the end of 2009 at around 650. It says most died fighting to protect remote land from development which had been approved by governments.

Speaking in New York as world leaders gathered there to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, the administrator of the UN Development Programme, Helen Clark, said: If we want to protect the worlds forests, we must safeguard the rights of the indigenous peoples and forest communities who have sustainably managed their forests for generations.

Clarifying local land rights and tenure security will be a crucial determinant of success for the new global frameworks on climate change and sustainable development.

She was speaking at an event organised jointly by the UNDP and the Ford Foundation to mark the signing of the Agreement.

Balancing emissions

Another speaker, Frances Seymour, of the Center for Global Development (CGD), said protecting the tropical forests of South America, Asia and Africa was one of the most cost-effective climate solutions available today: Stopping deforestation and allowing damaged forests to grow back could mitigate up to 30% of current global emissions.

A new analysis by the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) spells out what the forests do for the climate. If the world fails to protect them, it says, it will have to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use by 2035 in order to limit warming to 2C, the goal identified as vital for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change (though the Paris Agreement is aiming for a 1.5C limit).

Properly managed, the analysis says, the forests could provide 10-15 more years to end fossil fuel use while keeping global warming under 2C. It uses the 2015 Global Forest Resources Assessment produced by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in reaching its conclusions.

It is clear that it will be impossible to limit global warming to 2C at this point if we try to do it entirely by reducing fossil fuel use, said Dr. Phillip Duffy, WHRC’s executive director.

The Woods Hole analysis suggests that to keep global warming under 2C, while retaining the current level of land-based carbon emissions, fossil fuel use would have to be eliminated by 2035. But stopping tropical deforestation and expanding forest area by 500 million hectares could extend the deadline for reaching zero carbon emissions to 2049.

Money disappears, but the forests do not. The forests will be here for this generation; for our children’s generation and for all the generations to come. We will make sure of that1

The organisers of the New York event say indigenous environmental leaders are under growing threat for their opposition to projects that threaten their communities and their forests. A Cambodian activist, Phon Sopheak, remains in hospital after being attacked on 26 March by illegal loggers with axes during a patrol of the forest.

Earlier that month a well-known Honduran activist, Berta Cáceres, was murdered. In 2014 Edwin Chota, Jorge Ríos Pérez, and two other Ashaninka leaders in Peru were murdered, all, the organisers say,emblematic of the violence being perpetrated by industrial interests in the indigenous areas whose preservation is crucial to helping the world to achieve carbon neutrality.

Diana Rios, of Peru, whose father was one of the four Ashaninka leaders shot, said:Money disappears, but the forests do not. The forests will be here for this generation; for our children’s generation and for all the generations to come. We will make sure of that.

Little commitment

The WHRC analysis says there is significant evidence that forest peoples, if given land rights, are the best managers of tropical forests in retaining old growth and storing carbon. For example, it says, community and indigenous forests in Brazil store 36% more carbon per hectare and emit 27 times less CO2 from deforestation than forests not under community control.

Yet very few countries, with just 13% of the world’s tropical and subtropical forest area, are clearly committed to implementing community-based land tenure or natural resource management strategies, says the Rights and Resources Initiative. The world’s largest forest countries, including DRC, Brazil and Indonesia have not committed themselves.

The Woods Hole findings reinforce our dependence on the tropical forests, which hold a safe, natural, and proven technology to capture and store carbon, said Frances Seymour of CGD. It is called photosynthesis, and it needs to be part of the solution.

This article was produced by Climate News Network

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Danika Billie Littlechild appointed for 2nd term as Vice-President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Tribal Link Foundation pauses in its work to recognize and congratulate Project Access Alumni, Danika Billie Littlechild who was appointed for a second term as Vice-President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Danika Littlechild (photo : Kelly Bell)

Danika Littlechild (Photo : Kelly Bell)

See the story of her original appointment in 2014 here: http://canadacouncil.ca/council/news-room/news/2014/unesco-vp

See more on Tribal Link Foundation’s Project Access training program here: http://triballink.org/programs/project-access

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Victor Lopez Carmen receives two prestigious scholarships

Tribal Link Foundation pauses in its work to recognize and congratulate Project Access AlumniVictor Anthony Lopes-Carmen who recently received two prestigious scholarships, neither of which has been awarded to an Ithaca College student before.

Victor-Lopez-Carmen

See the full story at: http://theithacan.org/opinion/qa-student-receives-two-prestigious-scholarships/

See more on Tribal Link Foundation’s Project Access training program here: http://triballink.org/programs/project-access

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