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The jumia/jhumia are cultivators engaged in hillside agriculture which has been a traditional practice in Chittagong Hill Tracks in Bangladesh. Jum or shifting cultivation has been the  only  livelihood  means  for  around  50% of the marginal and  landless  farmers  living  in  the  remote  hills, which has been regarded by the  government and some sectors as a  harmful  practice. 

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The Waiapu catchment is the sacred ancestral river of the Māori people. The symbiotic relationship of the catchment and the indigenous people’s cultural wellbeing is of primary concern. When the  New Zealand government was established in  1853, and  subsequent  local  governments were formed, the management and decision making for the freshwater  and  natural  resources of  the river  was  taken  away  from the people.

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Sharing stories through traditional chants and dances is an important and meaningful interaction and learning process. The participants looked back with gratefulness at this project as they saw the relevance of these cultural forms breathed life to the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next.  In the island of Oahu in Hawaii, traditional practitioners nurture this, to aspire for “Ola a Laupaʻi,” or that which lives and continues to thrive and flourish. The hālau which is the traditional  Hawaiian  dance  school and the Hālau  I  Ka  Leo  Ola  O  Nā  Mamo or the  hula  school  of  the  living  language  of  the  descendants  are the centers where traditional  cultural  dance  experts build the capacity  of young  students as a means  to  preserve  traditional  ways  of  knowing. 

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In the spirit of this principle, the Tengri School of Spiritual Ecology and the “Experiment” Youth Initiative Group implemented a project to preserve the indigenous Altaian peoples’ sacred sites in Russia that they regard as markers of their ancestors’ holistic knowledge. The project’s initiators protected the integrity of the sites so that their spiritual and ecological significance could be appreciated by new generations.

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The Indigenous peoples or First Nations of the Northwest, particularly in British Columbia are renowned for their epic wood sculpture and carvings, notably their totem poles. This artistic tradition can be traced to their ancient ways of transmitting their genealogies, cultural knowledge and native science.  When a group of  Northwest Coast Artist / Knowledge Holders were presented with the opportunity to join the Native American Academy’s project to create a Sculpture Garden devoted to the study of Native Science, they did not hesitate.

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For a long time, the communities in Preah Vihear province of Cambodia were  completely  dependent  on  natural  resources  that  provided  them  sufficient  food and other needs. There was solidarity among the people. But in recent years, climate change caused drought, floods, storms, irregular rainfall and temperature throughout the year, severely affecting food production, cultural and livelihood activities. Food insecurity stalked six villages with around 500 indigenous Kui families.

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The partners of Pawanka Fund have been doing inspiring work in promoting, protecting and enhancing traditional knowledge as integral to indigenous peoples’ culture, ways of life and innovations. Each partner has a story to tell.

The Pawanka Calendar 2019 illustrates some of the work of its partners and indigenous wisdom and thoughts to draw inspirations from or to reflect upon as we advance the partnerships of indigenous peoples based on trust, solidarity and reciprocity.

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The Tara Bandu as a practice and traditional knowledge is transmitted to the younger generation for continuity. This intergenerational  transfer  of  knowledge is an educational experience for the entire community and awareness  raising  for the youth  and the  general  public. The active participation of the communities to secure and sustainably manage their resources was enhanced

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The spirits of indigenous peoples’ forebears who nurtured their lands for many generations in the three regions of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia  must be delighted that their descendants have shown determination in safeguarding the traditional territories or wilayah adat.  With its consistent advocacy for customary land rights, Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia  (Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia) or JOAS spearheaded a project on community mapping where indigenous peoples, particularly the youth, learned to trace and mark their territorial legacies, especially at a time of development threats. Initially, the matter of land mapping had to contend with blocks such as diverse understanding and interpretation of traditional land rights concepts, boundaries and delineation.

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If one were to google the indigenous group Dura, an interesting but alarming fact about them is the near extinction of their language. In fact, the Dura language is spoken by a few, or nearly none at all. Being a marginalized group in Nepal, the Duras not only have to contend with this threat to their culture, but more so, to face the challenge of revitalizing and promoting their traditional knowledge and customary practices as a means to protect their natural and forest resources which are their lifeblood.

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Gather indigenous youth with the fervour to learn and re-acquaint themselves to their indigenous roots, then let them listen to the words of wisdom of their elders. Give them the opportunity to travel and encounter fellow indigenous youth of other cultures and countries, and let them immerse in the issues and concerns of indigenous communities.

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Salante Leburkash, the Chairwoman of Merilosho Cultural Manyatta has lived through many droughts in her village in the vast North Kenyan pastoralist territory. In fact, this climatic disaster had wreaked havoc on planned activities in the community. But she and her village mates were determined to push through with the project. She rued, however, that many families were not there with them in these activities. They had moved in search of refuge and relief from the punishing drought. Those present will someday share the knowledge and skills gained in these workshops, she assured herself. 

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There is a great wave of concern for the future of the indigenous peoples of Marshall Islands in the vast Pacific waters because of their vulnerability to the impacts of climate  change and global warming. The inhabitants in the atolls have seen rising sea levels, inundation, severe weather patterns that cause extended drought and threaten the indigenous people’s food security, including their fresh water sources. The matter of the indigenous peoples’ survival including their traditional heritage, cultural and economic practices, possible obliteration of burial places and other historic sites had to be addressed through the project that contributed to the revival and strengthening of traditional practices to adapt to climate change and included vulnerable sectors like people with disabilities.

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After three years, it has indeed been a long journey. This was the same impression the indigenous youth who came from various nooks of the archipelago had when they first arrived in Bogor, West Java to take part in a series of trainings.    

The intense energy and inspiration to revive indigenous culture that translates to replicating the traditional ways of the ancestors was shared by indigenous girls and boys who came from 15 provinces in Indonesia. They had an extraordinary camping experience which included learning about documentation through text (writing), photos, and videos.

The Indigenous Youth Live-In camp was a ground breaking experience where indigenous youths were sent to the five regions of Maluku, Jambi, North Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and North Sumatera. Three weeks of community immersion exposed the youths to cultural diversity of indigenous life.

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Check out the highlights of the Indigenous Women Exchange Program joined by indigenous women's organization from Guatemala, Thailand and Kenya."As indigenous women, we have something unique that connects us around the world." "Women ...
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This video showcases the output of the 2018 Guiding Committee Annual Meeting held in Nicaragua. Some of the highlights were the following:Successes, challenges and lessons learned in Pawanka’s first three yearsAdvancements and lessons ...
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Pawanka Fund 3rd and 4th cycles.Innovative indigenous arts and performance. Traditional knowledge systems and climate change. Watch the video to know more. </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube">
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What meaningful change has been achieved? Watch what our local partners have to say. </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube">Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Learning.
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