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Photo Credits (clockwise): Courtesy of Raven Two Feathers, Courtesy of Princess Daazhraii Johnson, 
Courtesy of Jennifer Angaiak Wood, Felipe Contreras. Header Image: Lazlo Mates.
Graphic Design by Cindy Chischilly and Joel Schomberg

CELEBRATION

Nia Tero Turns Four

Four years ago on June 14, 2017, Nia Tero started as an idea. Now, we’re an organization of 35 people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, working together to secure Indigenous guardianship of the world’s vital ecosystems. Thank you for being on this journey with us – past, present, and future.

Photo Credit: Michael McGarrell

REGION: AMAZONIA

Indigenous Peoples'  Representation in Guyana

By Sharon Austin


Guyana, where I come from, is a young country in the north of South America. Guyana was initially colonized by the Europeans, who brought enslaved Africans to work on their plantations in the 17th century. At the end of the 18th century, after several wars between the Dutch, French, and British, we ended up under British rule. Under British rule, indentured laborers and settlers from Northern India emigrated to Guyana. When Guyana finally got its independence in 1966, most of the population was of African and Indian descent. Throughout this history, the Indigenous population was decimated, as some of our lands were taken away from us and our customary systems were weakened.

Nowadays, the Amerindians from Guyana are grouped into nine nations: Arawak, Akawaio, Patamona, Arecuna, Wapishana, Macushi, Wai Wai, Caribs, Warrau and Arecuna; and they constitute the majority in the hinterland population. The constitutional and legislative provisions (Amerindian Act 2006) recognize our rights as Amerindians. Through this legislation, we got limited recognition of collective land rights.

The Amerindian Act also provides for the collective representation of Amerindians through the National Toshaos Council and the District Councils, which are the representative bodies of groups of Indigenous villages in Guyana that come together. However, in the last 15 years, the South Rupununi District Council is the only legally gazetted Council. The legal recognition of additional District Councils is important, as it will strengthen Indigenous peoples’ advocacy efforts for wider recognition and the protection of our rights.

In 2019, Nia Tero began extending support, through the Amerindian Peoples Association, to the District Councils of Upper Mazaruni and North Pakaraimas. The Upper Mazaruni and North Pakaraimas are some of the most remote areas of the country that are advocating for the protection of their customary, ancestral, collective lands from mining and other extractive activities. While the Upper Mazaruni and North Pakaraimas District Councils have existed for a long time, they are still yet to be legally recognized under the Amerindian Act of 2006. 

To date, these two District Councils have presented their requests for gazetting to the government. Once gazetted, the District Councils are expected to operate through agreed upon terms of references, mandates, and procedures. Therefore, Nia Tero is providing support for institutional strengthening processes in the development of the terms of reference, mandates and procedures, and institutional planning of the District Councils. In addition, Nia Tero has provided telecommunications support that has enabled the Upper Mazaruni District council to install three internet access points. These are expected to improve communication and collaboration among the villages and between their external partners and audiences/stakeholders.

The District Councils strengthen the collective voices and representation of the Indigenous peoples of Guyana. Therefore, Nia Tero is committed to supporting their efforts to get fully recognized.

Photo Credit: Douglas Pikacha

REGION: PASIFIKA

Announcing the Inaugural Pasifika Journalism Fellowship

Nia Tero is proud to announce the inaugural Pasifika Journalism Fellowship to support Native and Indigenous-led news reporting in the Pacific Islands. This fellowship will support 7 journalists who identify as a Pacific Islander (or pairs with a Pacific Islander lead) to cover stories about Pasifika peoples and their care of land and sea. Selected fellows/pairs will receive a $6000 USD stipend and attend 4 virtual gatherings. These virtual gatherings will include program facilitators and invited guests in the journalism industry to build the Fellows' networks within the industry and throughout the Pacific. 

Emerging journalists and students with at least 2 years of experience who identify as Indigenous or as a Native person from the Pacific Islands are encouraged to apply for this fellowship. Applicants will be asked to prepare a project proposal and budget on a story that features Pasifika peoples and their care of land and sea. This fellowship is open to all forms of journalism, which include, but are not limited to broadcast, written, print, online, video, and photojournalism.

Applications will be accepted online until July 20, 2021.
 

APPLY
Film by Nia Tero
FEATURE: PACIFIC NORTHWEST FELLOWSHIP

Meet Raven Two Feathers
(Cherokee/Seneca/Cayuga/Comanche)
 
"Make sure you are ready for the constant evolution of those you care about, because in the full embrace of those whom we love, in all of their truths and possibilities, we find our full selves.”
- Raven Two Feathers

Meet Two Spirit Cherokee/Seneca/Cayuga/Comanche filmmaker, poet, multidisciplinary storyteller, and Nia Tero 2020 Pacific Northwest Art Fellow Raven Two Feathers (he/they). 

In the film portrait above, join Raven on a creative journey through their adopted home of Seattle and an exploration of their work and artistic philosophy. 

Then read the latest Seedcast article for the South Seattle Emerald, as Raven shares what Pride Month means to him as someone at the intersection of Indigeneity and LGBTQIA+ identities. 

 
READ
Photo Credit: Ryan Redcorn
SEEDCAST: SEASON 1, EPISODE 5

Princess Daazhraii Johnson and the Generation Reclaiming Gwich'in

Princess Daazhraii Johnson (Neets'aii Gwich'in) is an Indigenous TV and film producer on a journey of learning, reclaiming, and revitalizing her ancestral language of Gwich’in, which is only spoken by a few hundred people. In this new episode of the Seedcast podcast, find out how Indigenous residential schools on Turtle Island contributed to this language crisis and how Princess is inspiring a whole new generation to be curious about Indigenous languages through her work as a screenwriter on the Peabody award-winning PBS Kids series Molly of Denali. Also, get a peek into the work Princess and fellow filmmaker Alicia Gilbert are doing with Nia Tero’s Reciprocity Project. Hosted by Jessica Ramirez; produced by Kavita Pillay; edited by Jenny Asarnow.
 
Subscribe today and leave us a review! 

 
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