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25 Years

Protecting Brazilian Indigenous Lands: A first-hand account from the Chief of the Yawanawá

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 6:00pm
Event Location: 
1210 Heller Hall

Chief Tashka Yawanawá will discuss steps that Indigenous communities like the Yawanawá have taken (and can take) to defend and sustain their lands, culture, and ways of life in the 21st century. Tashka’s leadership and tireless efforts have led to the reinvigoration of Yawanawá culture and the establishment of environmentally, economically and socially empowering alliances. Tashka Yawanawá is the Chief of the Yawanawá, an indigenous group residing in the Brazilian Amazon.

Since becoming Chief in 2001, Tashka has worked to reestablish and preserve his people’s traditional culture and sustain their ancestral lands. He is actively involved in t he Sociocultural Association of Yawanawá, which works to improve the socioeconomic status of the Yawanawá and to preserve their natural heritage. The organization has successfully resisted pressures from commercial logging and Tashka secured official title to over 150,000 hectares of Yawanawá ancestral rainforest where over 600 members of the Yawanawá community live. Tashka has also facilitated an ongoing partnership between the Yawanawá and Aveda, a manufacturer of botanically based personal care products, which involves the sale of locally harvested urucum seeds. He regularly speaks at UN international conferences.

This event is cosponsored by the Department of Sociology.