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Tunun Kayutukun: Words Have Power

hunters

Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff and Libby Roderick Contrary to most people in modern societies who see words simply as vehicles for conveying information or expressing thoughts and feelings, people in traditional Indigenous societies view words as entities that carry great power; therefore, they must be chosen and used with utmost care. Most non-Indigenous people don’t view

Listening to Our Ancestors: Biocultural Diversity through the Indigenous Lens

Evenk reindeer herder

Text by Jon Waterhouse Photos by Mary Marshall We are now living in the digital era, when practically every component of our lives appears to be moving at an ever-increasing, unstoppable pace. In many instances it is clear that we humans are not capable of keeping up with the technology we are creating, even as

Drawing the Line at the Black Line: The Indigenous Sages and Stewards of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

Community meeting

Guillermo Rodríguez Navarro “Imagine a pyramid standing alone by the sea, each side a hundred miles long. It’s a mountain nearly four miles high. In its folds imagine every different climate on earth. This is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and the people hidden here call the Sierra the Heart of the World and

Creating Spaces for Indigenous Voices: Q&A with Nigel Crawhall of UNESCO

Since Terralingua’s founding in 1996, our mission has been to promote the understanding and appreciation of biocultural diversity (diversity in nature, culture, and language), and to serve as a platform for amplifying Indigenous voices. Over the years, we’ve been privileged to form productive working relationships with likeminded colleagues, including Nigel Crawhall—sociolinguist and Chief of Section,

No Word for Goodbye: Reclaiming Abalone’s Home on the California Coast

Ross feature image

Jacquelyn Ross The moon glows overhead, brushing the waves with silver as they roll into shore. Down, under the surface, a soft cloud is released into the water. And, close by, another cloud. And then, as the wisps of eggs and sperm from female and male meet and mingle, a baby abalone starts its life.

Pura Vida: Costa Rican Peasants Fight for a World That Contains Many Worlds

harlequin toad

Felipe Montoya-Greenheck Southern Costa Rica is one of the country’s most biodiverse regions, with ecosystems ranging from the highest tropical alpine peaks and glacial lakes in the Talamanca mountain range, to the lowland rainforests and Pacific mangroves, with an endless network of streams and rivers forming the Great Terraba River watershed. The region is home

The Gift: Healing Mother Earth with Indigenous Women’s Wisdom

Broken Glass

Barbara Derrick About the Artwork In my artwork, I depict Tsilhqot’in stories, myths, beliefs, and culture as they are, life as it is for my people. I was born an artist, a dreamer, and a storyteller. The grandmothers say that women hold the genetic ties to the DNA of our mother’s mother. I am my

The Frontline of Ideology on Mauna Kea: Kapu Aloha’s Example for the World

biocultural diversity

Harvy King At 4,207 meters above sea level, where the hot sun burns and harsh winds blister and have a tendency to scrape the soul, stands the summit of Mauna Kea, a mountain on Hawai‘i Island (a.k.a. the “Big Island”) that is sacred to Native Hawaiians. That summit has become a “frontline of ideology”—the site

Locking Horns to Save the Sacred Cow: India’s Indigenous Pastoralists Fight for Their Livelihoods and Cultural Traditions

Kanna K. Siripurapu The sacredness of the cow in India, especially to the vast majority of Hindus, hardly needs an introduction. According to the Hindu scriptures, all cows are descendants of the mythical cow Kamadhenu (also known as Surabhi). Born of an ocean of milk, Kamadhenu generously provides good things to anyone who asks. Her

Is the Environment for Taking From or for Giving To? A Young Indigenous Economist Finds Answers in His Own Culture

Prafulla Kalokar with Kanna K. Siripurapu I am Prafulla Kalokar, 29 years old and a member of the Indigenous Nanda-Gaoli people, a semi-nomadic pastoralist community native to the Indian state of Maharashtra. I am a doctoral student in modern economics, perhaps one of the few from my community to have come this far. As an