Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Wall Street’s Indians

Published: September 13, 2014, Author: JayTaber

With so much focus on the BINGOs and RINGOs promoting the climate week hoopla, their counterparts that comprise the indigenous wing of the non-profit industrial complex sometimes get overlooked. While not nearly as well-funded, foundation brokerages and money laundries that co-opt and corrupt indigenous activism — similar to the function played by TIDES for the BINGOs and RINGOs — also have a role to play in the three-ring circus September 19-26 in New York. Combined, the People’s Climate March, World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, and World Summit on Indigenous Philanthropy promise to be a dazzling display of the power of Wall Street to co-opt and corrupt international institutions, global markets and social networks. Much like Warren Buffett used 350 to herd the climateers into the KXL distraction so his oil-by-rail empire could develop, indigenous fronts for capital, too, have been busy interfering with authentic activism on behalf of Wall Street.

First Peoples Worldwide (FPW), funded in part by Shell Oil, and run by Rebecca Adamson, is big on promoting the Corporate Social Responsibility theme. As advocates for oil and refinery development in indigenous territories, FPW serves to undermine key concepts vital to indigenous sovereignty, thus furthering the neoliberal model of development that the Clinton, Gates and Ford foundations support through UN initiatives like the Millenium Development Goals. As FPW and its funders know, privatization of indigenous communal property rights is integral to destroying their cultural continuity.

Rebecca Adamson‘s value to energy extraction corporations is that of broker, helping multi-national corporations to corrupt tribal leadership through corporate buy-ins. By making grants to tribes through investments in Adamson’s international NGO, FPW, Shell Oil and other notorious corporations pave the way for industrial development in the Fourth World. While extortion might be too strong a word to use in describing Adamson’s quid pro quo in whitewashing corporate development, her entrepreneurial brokerage is nevertheless a form of poverty-pimping akin to what the Black elite did during the Civil Rights Movement.

While Buffett, Soros and Rockefeller are the deep pockets behind mostly white NGOs like 350, Ford Foundation is heavily involved in backing indigenous fronts for capital. As an ideological supporter of the World Bank (a mega co-developer of dams, mining and plantations on indigenous territories), and a UN Millenium Development Goals supporter, Ford’s co-opting of indigenous peoples is a key objective of neoliberal privatization that undermines the collective cultural and economic human rights of Fourth World nations. As indigenous nations and modern states prepare for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, corporations like Shell Oil and foundations like Ford are spreading money around to indigenous activists and NGOs, to ensure they will not challenge the capitalist system in anything but moral theatrics.

Indeed, some of the recipients of Ford Foundation money have already demonstrated a willingness to attack indigenous governing authorities in order to protect state-approved, foundation-funded, indigenous NGO privileges at the UN. Two of the Ford-funded brokerages are International Funders for Indigenous Peoples and the Seventh Generation Fund. What Ford tries to accomplish by this corruption is to shape public opinion in favor of neoliberalism; supporting capitalist-oriented humanitarianism is essential to that psychological warfare. No longer able to simply exterminate indigenous peoples with impunity, the UN and its member states now rely on instruments of Free Trade and market economics to alienate indigenous peoples property and to terminate indigenous nations. The devious schemes of philanthropic foundations — that fund opportunists, charlatans and troublemakers — help create the illusion of consensus where none exists.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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