More About Zápara
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.
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.
Developed jointly by the pair after experiencing first-hand the pressures faced by indigenous people in the Ecuadorian Amazon during 2015, the project was launched with the primary aim of raising international awareness of some of the key threats currently faced by the Sápara and Kichwa communities of Ecuador, specifically their long-running struggle to resist the imminent entry of oil companies onto their territory and efforts to preserve their culture in the face of globalization.
Last Wednesday Amazon Watch received a very disturbing call: the headquarters of CONFENIAE, the regional organization of eleven indigenous peoples which represents nearly 1,500 communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, was being taken by storm.
The Sioux fight is representative of other fights around the globe. If Standing Rock wins this, we will win other fights for social and environmental justice. We all need to work together to build this global justice movement around the globe.
"Whatever fine print comes out of the World Conservation Congress, Amazonian indigenous women will continue to protect our Living Forest." Paty Gualinga, the powerful spokeswoman from Ecuador's Kichwa indigenous community of Sarayaku, inspired the attendees at one of the world's largest gatherings of environmental organizations and governments.
With the recent centennial of the National Park Service, we've seen much publicity in favor of national parks within the United States. The idea of natural protected areas is viewed as a general good among popular opinion. Who could be opposed to the conservation of nature?
Historic Gathering of Indigenous Leaders Champion "No Go" Areas for Sacred Sites at IUCN World Conservation CongressAugust 24, 2016
A delegation of 25 powerful indigenous leaders from around the world will attend the quadrennial IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Honolulu, Hawai'i, from September 1 to 10. The WCC is the world's largest recurring conservation event attended by government, corporate, nonprofit and academic leaders, among its many influencers.
Ecuador is desperate to drill because it owes China billions as part of loan deals between the two countries that have Ecuador handing over much of its oil to China through 2024. The oil price crash has also exacerbated the issue, forcing Ecuador to deliver twice or three times the amount of crude to pay off the debt. Sound like a bad deal? It is. But not for everyone.