More About Kichwa
Nahko has long been connecting his own indigenous roots – he is of Apache descent, as well Puerto Rican, and Filipino and Guam heritage – with indigenous peoples and social movements across North America and beyond wherever the band tours, linking struggles to defend the sacred, protect water, and life.
Nahko visits Ecuador's remote Amazon rainforest to use music and cultural exchange to connect indigenous resistance movements from Mount Shasta to Standing Rock to the AmazonMarch 23, 2017
Nahko, the musician and frontman of Medicine for the People, and his bandmate Patricio Zuñiga Labarca have just returned to the U.S. after a week in Ecuador, where they visited the pristine rainforests of the Ecuadorian Amazon and met with indigenous leaders and communities to hear first hand about local efforts to protect their rights, forests, and cultures, and shared stories and empowerment through music.
Last week thousands of indigenous activists and allies traveled to Washington, DC for the Native Nations Rise march, convened by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and grassroots indigenous leaders. It was an important moment to bring the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline to the doorstep of the White House, stating unequivocally that far from being over, the North America-wide struggle for indigenous self-determination is kicking into an even higher gear.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in deep in the Amazon visiting our indigenous partners the Sápara and the Kichwa of Sarayaku with a small group of Amazon Watch supporters. I am so grateful for this opportunity and want to share some of my reflections with you on why we rise and resist for the Amazon.
Sentimos una tristeza profunda en Amazon Watch al ver el desalojo y la quema de los campamentos solidarios en Standing Rock. Como muchos de ustedes, los habíamos visitado y habíamos rezado, manifestado, y alzado la voz en apoyo a su territorio y su agua.
At Amazon Watch, we felt a profound sadness last Wednesday when the protests camps at Standing Rock were fully evacuated and destroyed. But the Standing Rock struggle, and the movement of indigenous peoples across the continent to defend their land and the environment, is nowhere near over.
The impacts of new drilling in the Amazon rainforest have been dire both for its world-renowned biodiversity and its indigenous peoples, many of whom have long rejected controversial drilling plans on their lands.
From attempts to close Ecuador's leading environmental rights NGO to megaprojects on indigenous lands, Rafael Correa's government continues to criminalize and threaten environmental activists and indigenous peopleJanuary 26, 2017NACLA
Despite its professed commitment to protection of Mother Earth and to placing sustainable living over profits, Ecuador under Correa has pursued a resource extraction strategy that prioritizes short-term revenue generation over environmental protection and indigenous territorial rights.
Decisive victory for Acción Ecológica, but repression continues of indigenous communities protesting mining on their territoriesJanuary 13, 2017
"We believe that justice has been done, and we will continue to work with the same courage and strength to defend the rights of nature and the rights of the people as we have been doing for 30 years," said Alexandra Almeida, the group's president.
Ecuador's Yasuní National Park may be the world's richest rainforest. What will become of it now that oil extraction has begun?January 10, 2017bioGraphic
Just this past spring, in a move that shocked the international conservation community, Ecuador began trucking the first barrels of crude out of Yasuní. Is this the beginning of the end for one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems?