Ñumi & Kuujima'ña
“Without our culture, our language, who will we become? Other people, I think.”
Nemonte Nenquimo, Waorani.
Historically, efforts towards cultural recovery in the Amazon have been characterized by outsiders “leading the way,” by attempting to preserve cultural practices and languages in a pamphlet, a book, a video, or some other “product,” while other initiatives, mainly driven by local governments, fund indigenous themed festivals, beauty pageants, and competitions in which indigenous cultural practices are shared with, or are presented as entertainment for city-dwellers.
Our work stems from the belief that cultural pillars and keystone practices can only be identified by the indigenous people themselves. From there, we work to promote cultural practices by practicing them, we recover traditional plants by planting them, and we work to reconnect youth with the forest and its spirits through ceremonies that have served that very purpose for millennia.
We are supporting the struggles of indigenous families to ensure access to clean water and renewable energy.
We are supporting indigenous youth to tell their own stories in their own voices, keeping indigenous memories alive.
As a result of invasion, conquest and resource extraction, indigenous peoples of the Amazon have been struggling to protect their cultures from extinction.