Day of Indigenous Unity


“Confronting the Climate Crisis” + “Decolonization & Land Management”

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Artworks courtesy estate of Patrick Nagatani


Winnie Jeptoo SengwerStrong BuffaloMiriam Liempe

The central role of Indigenous Peoples as frontline defenders against climate change

October 12th, 2020 marks 528 years since Columbus first arrived on the American continent and sparked half a millennium of genocide, denial of human rights, theft and desecration of sacred land, and destruction of the natural environment. This day has been reclaimed as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the United States, raising awareness of the continued oppression of Native and Indigenous peoples in the continent, and celebrating their contributions to society and the world. 

To celebrate US Indigenous Peoples’ Day in this webinar we have invited members of Indigenous Communities from around the world to talk about work as frontline defenders against climate change and the central importance of indigenous knowledge of land management in the fight to limit its effects.

This is the second webinar in our series ‘Building Back Better’ which looks forward to the world after the COVID-19 pandemic and asks what we need to do to create a more peaceful, just, and sustainable future.

Miriam Liempe
Miriam Liempe, Secretary for relations with native peoples of the Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina Autónoma (CTA Autónoma Argentina). It works from that space in areas of strengthening indigenous, inter-institutional, interdisciplinary and intercultural rights, interacting with traditional authorities of communities and territorial political organizations, strengthening strategic alliances of workers and native peoples. Participate in dialogue tables for the resolution of territorial and environmental conflicts at the National and International levels. He is a member of the Parliament of the Plurinational Parliament of Indigenous Peoples of Argentina. Assistant to Latin American meetings on indigenous rights. Participate in leadership spaces for indigenous women.

Strong Buffalo
@Oyate Hotanin and World Uranium Mining
Tatanka Ohitika (Tah-ton-kah Oh-he-te-kah), Strong Buffalo, is a Dakota elder, artist, and Executive Director of Oyate Hotanin (Oh-yah-tay Hoe-Tah-nine). His past work includes serving as Indigenous Director - World Uranium Hearing, Director Indigenous Uranium Forum, Research Director International Indian Treaty Council-NGO, Director of Minneapolis AIM Chapter, tribal councilman, and president of Community College. He is an Enrolled member of Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, an active member of Veterans for Peace, a decorated and wounded Vietnam Marine Veteran, who resides in St. Paul Minnesota, father of many.
Winnie Jeptoo Sengwer
Human Rights Defender @Sengwer Center for Indigenous Rights
My name is Winnie Jeptoo Sengwer. I come from Sengwer Indigenous Community that resides in Embobut Forest in Kenya. I am a Human Rights Defender that is passionate about my community's land rights. This is because my community has been facing a lot of human rights violations that are caused by evictions from their ancestral home. I work with the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders also known as Defenders Coalition as an Advocacy Officer where we contribute to the enforcement of norms, policies, and institutional frameworks that enhance the security, work, and wellbeing of Human Rights Defenders. I am a board member of our community's organization known as Sengwer Center for Indigenous Rights.


Sunny DooleyLovely Umayam

A Talk with Sunny Dooley, Leatrice Lewis, Lovely Umayam, and Rebecca Irby

Join this spirited conversation about knowledge sharing with Indigenous and non-indigenous experts. We will be looking at ways of honoring the land & ourselves, the power of storytelling, and the importance of acknowledging non-Western stories and expertise.

Leatrice LewisRebecca Irby








Sunny Dooley
Sunny Dooley is a Dine' Navajo Storyteller from the Southwest Four-Corner region of the United States, North America. She is from the Dine' Navajo community of Chi Chil Tah - Where the Oaks Grow, New Mexico. Miss Dooley has been telling the Origin and Blessing Way Creation Stories of the Dine' People for the past 35 years for a variety of Universities, Colleges, Secondary/Primary educational systems & districts, theaters, conferences, seminars, organizations, museums, and festival throughout North America, West Africa and Europe. Having Dine' Navajo as her first language, Miss Dooley is one of the premier storytellers from the Navajo Nation to interpret her Nation's stories into English with all of its' rich cultural, traditional teachings and historical context. The stories that Miss Dooley recounts are the same stories that have been handed down from one generation to the next in her Saltwater Matrilineal Clan, her By the Water's Edg...Full bio:

Lovely Umayam
Lovely Umayam is the Founder of Bombshelltoe Policy x Arts Collective, a creative hub linking artists, community organizers, and nuclear experts to present nuclear policy in a compelling and impactful way to the greater public. Bombshelltoe was the first-prize winner of the US Department of State’s Innovation in Arms Control Challenge in 2013. Currently in development at Bombshelltoe is Ways of Knowing, a multimedia project in partnership with Navajo community members that showcases hope and resilience after decades of uranium mining in the US Southwest. Bombshelltoe recently completed the DC installation of The Color Curtain Project, an art book and culinary experience that examines the origins of the Non-Aligned Movement and the interplay between colonialism, racism, and nuclear weapons. Lovely is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Stimson Center, where she researches projects that bring governments, technology experts, and civil society...Full bio:
Leatrice Lewis
Leatrice Lewis is an enrolled member of the Zuni Tribe in New Mexico. She has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Hawaii with an emphasis in Health Education. She co-founded the Zuni Wellness Center and served as the Program Manager for 15 years. Leatrice is a tribal health and wellness consultant and provides health and wellness services to many tribal groups. A strong foundation of her work is to develop youth leadership and community self-determination through the use of cultural strength, tribal core values, experiential learning, and ancestral knowledge to promote holistic models of tribal wellness and community empowerment.

Opening, intermission, and blessings provided by

dblf-bell-hooks-1988-BWPhoto.jpgTy DefoeKen KoshioImage%2B30%2BJul%2B2020%2Bat%2B2.27%2BPM.jpg


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