Center for Civic Engagement

The Center for Civic Engagement, the Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice, and the Latin American Caribbean Studies Program, in collaboration with the Hofstra University Cultural Center presents:

Indigenous People’s Day:
Confronting Colonialism, Climate Change and Columbus

Monday, October 14, 2019
Room 211 - Breslin Hall except where marked

An all-day exploration of the global indigenous movement and its centuries-long struggle for the defense of territory, culture, and the environment. From Standing Rock to the Amazonian Rainforest, indigenous communities are at the forefront of today’s most important campaigns to confront extractive industries in order to protect sacred spaces and human rights. Today we will hear from some of the leading voices in these movements through interactive panels, video screenings and in-depth presentations.

11:15 a.m.-12:40p.m. - Why Columbus? A Panel Discussion about the History of Columbus Day and the Global Call to Change the Narrative  
Location: Studio A, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication
Hosted by Center for Civic Engagement Student Fellows

12:50-2:30p.m. - “Kawsak Sacha: The Living Forest”
Sarayaku is an indigenous Kichwa community from a remote part of Ecuador’s southern Amazon. In 2016, the community presented a bold proposal that aims not only to protect their own 135,000 hectares of pristine rainforest, but to protect indigenous territories worldwide.

In the proposal, the Kawsak Sacha Declaration seeks to promote the indigenous worldview, which sees nature as a living entity, to be respected and coexisted with. The Sarayaku believe that a shift towards this perspective could be the key to mitigating the unfolding global environmental crisis. The Kawsak Sacha Living Forest Declaration (LFD) is a counterproposal to the prevailing extractivist model that has already wrought untold damage in Ecuador’s northern Amazon and around the world. It describes the rainforest as a living entity with consciousness, constituted by all the beings within it, including those from the animal, vegetable, mineral, spiritual and cosmic worlds. Though it was born from the indigenous cosmovision, the Declaration is a concrete proposal based on existing national and international law. In this session, we will discuss this proposal and present the video documentary Kawsak Sacha: Canoe of Life, produced by Kichwa filmmaker Eriberto Gualinga, who will join us along with special guests at the session.

2:55-4:20p.m. - “For the Right to Communication”
The situation of Indigenous communication at the international, national and local level is of utmost concern, at a time when Indigenous territories are the frontlines of the battle for the protection of Mother Earth. The Latin American Coordinator of Cinema and Communication of Indigenous Peoples (CLACPI, founded in 1985) is the largest collective of Indigenous filmmakers in Latin America. In 2019, CLACPI commissioned a report entitled “The Situation of the Right to Communication with Emphasis on Indigenous and African-descendant Communicators of Latin America,” to raise awareness on existing national and international legal instruments for this struggle, and presenting findings derived from the communities, collectives, confederations and members of the CLACPI network. This presentation will offer key findings from this report and discuss recent cases of persecution of Indigenous communicators.

Presenter: Amalia Córdova PhD., (Santiago, Chile/Wallmapu), Latinx digital curator and acting Chair of Research and Education at the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She is a former Latin American specialist for the Film + Video Center of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and has taught courses on Indigenous film at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Her essays have appeared in From Filmmaker Warriors to Flash Drive Shamans: Indigenous Media Production and Engagement in Latin America (2018), The Routledge Companion to Latin American Cinema (2018), In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (2017), New Documentaries in Latin America (2014), Film Festival Yearbook 4: Film Festivals and Activism (2012), and Global Indigenous Media (2008). She holds an M.A. in performance studies and a PhD in cinema studies from NYU. She is from Santiago, Chile/Wallmapu.

4:30-5:55pm - Indigenous: Beyond the Meaning – A North-South Perspective
Join us for a conversation between Tiokasin Ghosthorse, a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota and an international speaker on Peace, Indigenous and Mother Earth perspective, and Kichwa filmmaker and activist Eriberto Gualinga. Tiokasin is a survivor of the “Reign of Terror” from 1972 to 1976 on the Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River and Rosebud Lakota Reservations in South Dakota and the US Bureau of Indian Affairs Boarding and Church Missionary School systems designed to “kill the Indian and save the man.” He has a long history of Indigenous activism and advocacy, focusing on the cosmology, diversity and perspectives on the relational/egalitarian vs. rational/hierarchal thinking processes of Western society. He is the long-time host of the weekly radio program First Voices, heard on over 80 public and community radio stations around the country. Moderated by Professor Mario A. Murillo, Vice Dean, the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.