Center for World Indigenous Studies
A Think Tank of Activist Scholars
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WHAT WE DO
Global

2017

Action

CWIS commences a two-year study of the effects of elevated CO2 and other greenhouse gases on traditional plant-based and animal-based foods and medicines used by Fourth World communities.

2011

Action

CWIS is a contributor to the Nairobi Work Program (NWP), a subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Results

Submission of policy recommendations on farming soil reconstruction, and water preservation planning for Indigenous communities particularly in Sub Saharan Africa, and Western India.

2009

Action

CWIS participates in the United Nations Climate Change Treaty, International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change.

Results

Collaborating with participants around the globe led to the addition of language in protocols recognizing “traditional knowledge” as an integral necessity for mediating the adverse effects of climate change events.

 

2008

Action

CWIS leads the Quinault Tribal Delegation to the 15th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland.

Results

Facilitated Quinault Nation participation in the ICCFA Conference of Parties Session 14 in Poznan, Poland and two side events at the Conference.

2004

Action

CWIS convenes day-long dialogue with 15 thought leaders on “Protected Knowledge and Tribally Directed Research symposium”, Seattle.

Results

Agreement between tribal representatives that three levels of Protected Knowledge must be recognized in international and domestic forums: Personal Knowledge, Family Knowledge and Community Knowledge requiring different levels of protection.

1998-2000

Action

Definition of policies and actions regarding the effects of the Convention on Biodiversity on Indigenous Peoples.

Results

Presentation of new policies for indigenous peoples biodiversity protections at the International Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and changes in tribal policies in Canada regarding the implementation of wild plant and animal uses.

2001-present

Action

Launches “Nutrients for Natives”, a project along with “Project Access” that delivers pro bono physical and mental health care including traditional foods and nutritional supplementation for tribal elders with diabetes type 2.

2018

Action

Develops the “Ezidikhan Health and Trauma Recovery Project” to serve Ezidikhan families located in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps.

Results

The Ezidikhan government Health Ministry began planning to deploy the placement of health and trauma recovery teams and community health representatives in strategic locations to serve individuals, families and communities beginning in May 2018.

Facilitates the award of 33,000 USD by the government of India to address flooding and emergency housing for Yezidi refugees.

2011

Action

The Center for Traditional Medicine begins intensive year of delivering “Medical Massage Therapy for Indigenous Women of Cabo Corrientes Mexico”. Grant from the American Massage Therapy Association.

Results

Ongoing treatment of over 125 rural families who experienced stroke, polio and chronic pain, by team of 5 therapists.

2010

Action

CWIS co-sponsors with UNESCO, World Health Organization, Africa First, and moderates. The International Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Medicine. Accra, Ghana.

2008

Action

Presents “Traditional Medicine for the prevention and treatment of Diabetes”, at 2nd International Diabetes in Indigenous Peoples Forum: International Best Practices, Vancouver, British Columbia.

2004

Action

Conducted clinical policy research in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan about the intersection of culture and health funded by German Academic Exchange Services Outcome: “Tajik and Turkmen traditions of health in Uzbekistan” in Fourth World Journal.

Results

Attended by 350 participants, CWIS takes a delegation of 8 presenters who deliver a total of 10 talks and papers.

 

2000

Action

Convener of Panel on Globalization and Indigenous Peoples, National Network of Grantmakers Conference, “Community Trauma, Tourism and Cultural Revitalization”.

Results

Philanthropists made some adjustments in their planned giving to take into account the consequences of community trauma resulting from tourism and the need to enhance cultural revitalization.

2000

Action

Franklin College of Humanities (University of Georgia) State of the Art Conference.“The Crisis of Biocultural Diversity, Health and Traditional Medicine in the Comunidad Indigena de Chacala: Map and Flora presentation, and Women and Biodiversity.” Paper: “Community trauma and cultural renewal on the West Coast of Mexico: A community determined model”.

Results

Enhanced Academic and governmental responsiveness to traditional knowledge holders in particularly southern Mexico including Mayan people as the primary arbiters of traditional knowledge applications and whether commercial pharmaceutical, academic and government institutions may actively engage in use of their knowledge for profit.

2000

Action

Invited by The Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Georgia to convene 2 panels of “Patenting, Protection, and Property: Access to Cultural Property” and the Scientific Imperative at International Congress on Ethnobiology.

Results

CWIS facilitated the role of two Mayan communities in asserting a moratorium on academic research in their communities without their consent.

1997-2001

Action

CWIS begins a 4-year community based women’s trauma and traditional medicine project in rural Mexico to explore resilience and tourism. Trains local health providers, expands clinical services, hosts interns from medical schools, provide classes for children and elders. Additional results include research papers and community herbal medicine book disseminated throughout the community.

Results

Leading community women organized a new health and arts center to promote health, traditional medicines and foods via gatherings, training and book.

1997-2001

Action

Delivery of free traditional medicine care via a community clinic serving the indigenous peoples of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico. Yearly seminars to health professionals support pro bono delivery of services year round.

Results

Over 5000 clinical hours delivered to rural Cabo Corrientes for the treatment of acute and chronic physical and mental illness.

2018

Action

Developed a plan for the reestablishment of small schools for Ezidikhan villages with trained teachers providing education in the local language and preparing youth for contributing to Ezidikhan society.

Results

Facilitated the Government India to provide training to six Yezidi, Mandeans and Zoroastrians for a two month period to return to Ezidikhan to establish schools in separate villages.

A non-profit organization in India provided funding to support the schools for the first year.

2015

Action

Celebrates 25 years of indigenous education providing Certificate and Master’s Degrees.

Results

The CWIS 2 year Certificate and Master’s program enabled over twenty-five graduate students to obtain self designed certificates and Masters degrees in the fields Fourth World Studies, Negotiations, Traditional Medicine, Consciousness Studies, and over 500 interns.

2008

Action

Publishes “Cultural Connections, A Teacher’s Guide for cross-cultural education (K-12)” and distributed to schools in the United States, Canada and Australia.

2018

Action

CWIS and the International Committee for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (INCOMINDIOS) form an international Collaboration.

Results

Joint research and publication of reports on the situation of specific indigenous nations in the Americas, and planning for presentations before the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council sub-organizational bodies on the rights of indigenous peoples.

2018

Action

CWIS prepares the Ezidikhan Essiyan IDP Relocation Project to facilitate the movement of 2,740 Yezidi families (14,806 people) from a dangerously contaminated (caused by release of Hydrogen Sulfide from a nearby oil facility) Internally Displaced Persons’ camp in Kurdistan to their original villigates in Ezidikhan.

Results

Ezidikhan in collaboration with Kurdistan and the Iraqi government began moving by bus individuals and families from the Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp to village sites in Ezidikhan in May 2018.

2017-present

Action

Advisor to Yezidi indigenous people to form their government and establish alliances neighboring indigenous nations and with India and European Countries. Wrote policies and procedures and the Proclamation to Establish the Provisional Government of Ezidikhan as part of the Cultural Rights Project. In addition in recognition of the 2014 genocidal attacks on Yezidi and other neighboring indigenous communities perpetrated by the Islamic State CWIS developed a plan to organize and convene the International Criminal Tribunal on Genocide for Yezidi and Neighboring Peoples (ICTY).

Results

The Supreme Spiritual Council of the Yezidi proclaimed the “Proclamation on the Establishment of the Provisional Government of Ezidikhan (Yezidi Land)” providing for a twelve member Governing Council with a Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Foreign Minister, Justice Minister and others governing more than 1 million people. The Ezidikhan government began negotiations with the government of India for reconstruction aid and negotiations with the Iraqi government for reconstruction and formalizing political relations. The ITCY is under negotiation with indigenous and states governments.

2014

Action

Writes and submits the Joint Statement of Constitutional and Customary Indigenous Governments defining international protocols for implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) submitted to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and to all UN state missions.

Results

The Ezidikhan Government proposed an Intergovernmental Treaty with the Iraqi government to implement provisions of the UNDRIP to apply the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” required by the United Nations.

2013

Action

CWIS collaborates in the drafting of the “Statement of 72 Indigenous Nations and Ten Indigenous Organizations”, was signed and submitted to the Twelfth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

2011

Action

CWIS collaborates with the Southeast Indigenous Peoples Center on the Future Work of the UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

2004-2010

Action

CWIS is asked to develop the self-government charter with leaders of the Biafra Foundation to promote governing representation of Igbo throughout the southeastern portion of Nigeria.

Results

Following years of intensive work with the Igbo leadership in southern Nigeria, CWIS drafts the “Biafra Charter Preamble” for the conduct of governance of Biafra.

1999

Action

CWIS drafts recommended definitions and terms of reference for the Inter-American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through the Organization of American States in cooperation with tribal leaders.

1994

Action

Following 10-years of participation in the United Nations Working group on the rights of Indigenous peoples, CWIS drafts “The International Covenant on the Rights of Indigenous Nations”.

Results

Ratified by leading indigenous nations in South Sudan (Numba), Africa; Crimea (Tartar), Ukraine; West Papua, Indonesia; Confederacy of Treaty Six Nations and Apethesaht Nation, Canada in Geneva, Switzerland.

1986

Action

CWIS facilitates an agreement between the Chakma of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of eastern Bangladesh and Papuans of West Papua to strategize reversal of World Bank funding to the separate states supporting “transmigration programs”.

1985

Action

The National Congress of American Indians asks CWIS to advise the Miskito, Sumu and Rama Indian tribes during the peace negotiations to end the war in Nicaragua under and agreement between NCAI and MISURASATA.

Results

As part of a multi-member advisory team a temporary halt in the conflict between MISURASATA and the Nicaraguan government was achieved under the supervision of the Columbian Government. Mexico City, Mexico.

1980

Action

CWIS develops the strategy to establish agreements between the Indian governments and the United States recognizing each nation’s self-governance status.

Results

The establishment of Self governance compacts is enacted; a legally binding and mutually enforceable written agreement that affirms the government-to-government relationship between a Self-Governance Tribe and the United States.

2017-2018

Action

Ezidikhan Food, Nutrition & Agriculture Project. Restore 2,500 to 5,600 farms to restore the food and economic base of Ezidikhan. January 2018 submitted to the Government of India.

Ezidikhan Rebuild and Return Initiative: Reconstruction of the social, economic and political life in villages, towns – A Five Year Plan. October 2017.

2017-present

Action

Advisor to Yezidi indigenous people to form their government and establish alliances neighboring indigenous nations and with India and European Countries. Wrote policies and procedures and the Proclamation to Establish the Provisional Government of Ezidikhan as part of the Cultural Rights Project. Developed a plan to organize and convene the International Criminal Tribunal on Genocide for Yezidi and Neighboring Peoples (ICTY).

Results

The Supreme Spiritual Council of the Yezidi proclaimed the “Proclamation on the Establishment of the Provisional Government of Ezidikhan (Yezidi Land) providing for a twelve member Governing Council with a Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Foreign Minister, Justice Minister and others governing more than 1 million people. The Ezidikhan government began negotiations with the government of India for reconstruction aid and negotiations with the Iraqi government.

1999

Action

CWIS drafts recommended definitions and terms of reference for the Inter-American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through the Organization of American States in cooperation with tribal leaders.

1994

Action

Following 10-years of participation in the United Nations Working group on the rights of Indigenous peoples, CWIS, drafts “The International Covenant on the Rights of Indigenous Nations”.

Results

Ratified by leading indigenous nations in South Sudan (Numba), Africa; Crimea (Tartar), Ukraine; West Papua, Indonesia; Confederacy of Treaty Six Nations and Apethesaht Nation, Canada in Geneva, Switzerland.

1994

Action

Drafts and obtains Ratification of International Covenant on the Rights of Indigenous Nations.

1986-1994

Action

Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

2017

Action

CWIS staff publishes chapters in 2 seminal text books: “Fourth World Theory and Methods of Inquiry” in Handbook of Research on Theoretical Perspectives on Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Developing Countries and “Ways of Knowing” in Tribal Epistemologies.

2015

Action

CWIS hosts Uyghur scholars Dr. Sawut Pawan and Dr. Osmanjan Yakup from Xinjang University in East Turkistan (west China) to study indigenous knowledge for 3 months in the Pacific Northwest US.

2002

Action

CWIS facilitates “Moratorium on BioProspecting” among key indigenous participants in the Indigenous Forum on BioDiversity in Sevilla, Spain.

1999

Action

CWIS research team presents at the invitation by the Rockefeller Foundation on Ethnobio-prospecting and Benefits-sharing at International Congress on Ethnobiology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.