Indigenous responses to climate injustice and pandemics in India and Amazonia

This dialogue/webinar will feature presentations about the connections between climate justice, oil & uranium extractivism and responses to COVID-19 based on Indigenous territorial knowledges.

About our speakers

Oswando Nenquimo (Opi) is a Waorani activist, political spokesperson for the Waorani Resistance, human rights and nature defender, and co-founder of Ceibo Alliance – a foundation conformed by people from the A’i Kofan, Siona, Siekopai and Waorani indigenous peoples, which works to defend their rights to land and natural resources in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.
He is currently studying to become the first Waorani lawyer. 

Marisol Rodríguez Pérez, M.A. is PhD student in Sociology at FLACSO Ecuador. She is an anthropologist specialized in the societies of tropical forests. Her doctoral thesis investigates the construction of political subjectivities of indigenous women and men. She is interested in doing research about conflicts and on the values and cosmologies of indigenous societies. She lived in the province of Orellana (Northern Ecuadorian Amazon), in extractive contexts, for five years, where she worked with indigenous peoples and mestizo communities. She has taught at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, and has worked as project coordinator and consultant on issues of gender, interculturality, development and environment. She is a member of the Collective of Anthropologists of Ecuador. 

Bah (Mr.) Donnie Kharumnuid at his clinic in Shillong, Meghalaya, being interviewed by the project's field team.
Bah Brodar Lyngdoh Marshillong, teaching his daughter, Iba Nonglang, how to make Khasi medicines.
Bah Boss Marthong, in his clinic in Nongstoin, explaining about his medicines.

Asynchronous Presentations

Waorani resistance against extractivism and COVID-19

In this short documentary, Oswando Nenquimo, a Waorani leader from the Ecuadorian Amazon, tells us about the importance of the Amazon Rainforest and the role of Indigenous organizations that he is part of: Alianza Ceibo and CONCONAWEP. He emphasizes on the challenges that oil extraction has posed for Indigenous peoples in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon and their resistance towards it. Finally, he tells us about the impacts of COVID-19 and how the Waorani nation has coordinated actions and revived Indigenous knowledges to respond to the pandemic. Find more videos about our partnership “Indigenous Resistance in Amazonia” here.

SACHA SAMAY docuseries- breath of life in pandemic times.

Chapter 5: "HAMBIK WARMI."

Sacha Samay is a collective research endeavor aimed at sustaining a dialogue amongst diverse women during the pandemic. We show how life, medicine and health are managed during times of emergency, along with the deepening of extractivism and violence in our territories.

Chapter 5 explains how plants are beings of power, they provide strength and energy, they teach us that health is not an individual but a collective problem which can be healed through medicinal reciprocity. Confronted with the state’s indolence, women prepare their own medicinal recipes, they offer them to us and tell us how they refuse to be defeated by the pandemic. In this episode, we invite you to learn about healing as emerging from the link between ancestral peoples and the jungle. Pagarachu.

Organizations involved: Women Defenders of the Jungle, Association of Ecuadorian Anthropologists, FLACSO Ecuador, Cine Disidente and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Collective research and production: Lisset Coba Mejía, Ivette Vallejo Real, Marisol Rodríguez Pérez, Natalia Valdivieso Kastner, Celeste Torres Soya, Nathaly Saritama Fernández, Luz Elena Pinzón Sanabria and Renata Mantilla Vásconez.

Indigenous Responses to Covid-19: Living Forests and Traditional Medicine in India’s Northeast

This engaged research presentation explores how indigenous communities in India’s northeast have evolved in their responses to the pandemic, drawing from ancestral medicinal knowledge and other creative resources. Khasi scholar Jane and her field team have been conducting interviews with village leaders around the question of “resilience,” to help us understand what tools indigenous communities may draw upon in the face of global pandemics and pressure to close their interactions with outsiders. Together with the village leaders, Jane’s group has also been spending time with and interviewing a traditional medicinal healer (nong ai dawai khasi) who tends forest lands and her own garden to ensure that her ancestors’ plants survive and that this ecological knowledge can be applied. 

Additional Media Resources