9 - 11  SEPT 2019


The 2019 Summit, held at University College London from 7th - 11th September, provided a collaborative space where representatives of 17 different indigenous wisdom traditions, originating from all four directions of the world, came together to share their wisdom, ideas and strategies for addressing contemporary environmental challenges.  


Incorporating powerful speeches, stories, ceremony and workshops, participants were invited to deepen their awareness and understanding of their role and responsibility in creating places where diversity can flourish.


Sacred Lands explored the relationships between people and the lands they inhabit.


We learned from the guardians of diversity about their governance structures, natural resource management and resistance against extractive industry and industrial agriculture that homogenises environments and people.


A special focus was placed on Brazil.

“The planet is sick. It is an illness we cannot cure with medicine, because the illness is inside our minds and our desires.”


Benki Piyãko



Mother Earth day was devoted to delving into the systems that care, nurture and regenerate healthy, thriving communities and landscapes. We considered the vital importance of reinstating feminine principals to all approaches and global systems, through the understanding of Earth as a 'Mother' who has birthed the astonishing diversity of species on which earthly life depends.


We also explored the importance women hold at this time, whether as physical mothers or creators and leaders of projects and movements, in assuring the flourishing of diversity and human blossoming.

“When love leaves the planet, nothing works”


Luisah Teish




Exploring the role of partnerships, alliances and working with shared intentions to regenerate, protect, conserve and enhance Indigenous communities, their lands, food security and ecosystems.


Day 3 sought to generate collaborative networks and alliances to support Territories of Life, with the outcome to formally create and declare the United Indigenous Peoples Mother Earth World Government.



“What is it that brings us together at a time like this? The immediate word is ‘crisis’.”


Casey Camp Horinek



Living high up in Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, the profoundly spiritual Arhuaco people lived in seclusion for centuries. 

This is the first time they have sent a delegation of their Mamos (spiritual leaders) to Europe to speak to the Western world and share their messages and the practices needed to maintain balance.


Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook is the faith keeper and holder of the Afraid of Bear/American Horse Sundance Pipe. Fluent in Lakota, she serves as a Cultural Specialist on the board of The Paha Sapa Unity Alliance and The Black Hills Initiative whose mission is to return the sacred Black Hills to the Sioux Nation.


An initiated elder (Iyanifa) in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of the West African Diaspora, Luisah holds a chieftaincy title (Yeye’woro) from the Fatunmise Compound in Ile Ife, Nigeria. She is the former Chair of the World Orisha Congress Committee on Women’s Issues, the Director of Ile Orunmila Oshun and the School of Ancient Mysteries/Sacred Arts Center in Oakland, authour of several books on African and African American Spiritual Culture.


Benki Piyãko is a leader of the Ashaninka people and an ambassador of a paradigm change in cultural, environmental and peace activism.


His efforts have been instrumental in the replanting of over two million trees in the Amazon Forest in the last 25 years and in the creation of  socially-conscious projects that have made the Ashaninka protagonists of social change in the region.


Alexis Bunten, (Unangan/Yup’ik) co-directs the Bioneers Indigeneity Program that promotes Indigenous knowledge and approaches to solve the earth’s most pressing environmental and social issues through respectful dialogue.


Her academic work has received many prestigious awards and she has published a number of books about indigenous and environmental issues


Erena considers herself a daughter to the Whanagnui River since her river was given Human Rights 3 years ago 2016. It was her great great grandmother RereOmaki who signed the Treaty of Waitangi, in1840 for the Wanganui region, with the British crown Queen Victoria and other Maori chiefs of Aotearo, New Zealand


Jibi is a leader within his Idu Mishmi community. Educated in New Delhi, Jipi Pulu returned to his native Dibang Valley to re-establish connections with his cultural roots. He now runs a small ecotourism initiative, mentors national and international academics interested in different aspects of Dibang Valley’s anthropology and ecology, supports local youth in biodiversity conservation and was a prominent leader of the anti-dam movement.


Dedicated to creating global peace. One of the original conveners of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous 
Grandmothers. Founder of the Fountain.


Originating 500 years ago in the fragile Rajasthani Dessert the Bishnoi are followers of the 29 principles for environmentally sustainable communities.


In the 18th century 363 of them were killed embracing trees that were to be cut down, which is where the term 'tree-hugging' originates.


Mahesh will present the principles and talk about his community.


A representative of the Puyanawa people, a community living in Acre State/Brazil who number approximately 800. They have recently gone thorough a process of cultural revival after being stripped from their land, persecuted, enslaved and made almost extinct. In 2001 their land was officially titled with assistance by the Ashaninka people.


Eunice Kerexu is a leader of the Morro dos Cavalos Indigenous Land in Santa Catarina state. Currently, Eunice Kerexu is part of the Guarani Yvyrupa Commission (CGY) coordination and is one of the main female leaders of the National Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples in Brazil (APIB) – the biggest national indigenous movement.


Moisés Piyãko is a leader and shaman of the Ashaninka people who spearheaded the titling process of his community and faced a great struggle against logging extraction in their territory. Since their land titling, in 1992, Moisés has been leading efforts of environmental restoration and cultural strenghtening in his community and in the Upper Juruá river region, an endeavour that has given them the UN Equator Prize in 2017.


Jachuka is from Tekoa (community) Tamandua, located in Misiones, Argentina. She's worked internationally for many years as a teacher of Guarani Language and Culture and as territorial technician for the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs. She wishes to draw attention to: the Mbya’s deep knowledge and care for the Atlantic forest and its many inhabitants; the importance of intercultural projects to establish locally meaningful and enduring solutions to biodiversity preservation; and the role of Mbya women in intra-community and national affairs.


Kya-Xe’ Zelaya Dudney is Grandmother Flordemayo’s first born Granddaughter. She currently serves as an Ambassador and President of The Path, a non-profit founded by Flordemayo to preserve and protect sacred heirloom seeds.  Kya is a third-generation immigrant of Mayan descent.


Naba Sipa Melo is one of the most respected, powerful and experienced Idu shamans, having conducted many spiritually challenging ceremonies which involve harnessing the tiger’s spirit. Over the years, Sipa has shared this wisdom with several international and national scholars of animism and has a unique perspective on how to make Idu shamans relevant in the 21st Century.


Inhabiting the fragile Kalahari ecosystem for thousands of years as hunter-gatherers, the Juǀ'hoan San have established the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, the first internationally recognized land conservancy in Namibia.


​At Independence Mr.ǂOma Tsamkxao was elected the Juǀ'hoan Traditional Authority.

Deeply committed to egalitarian social processes, Mr. ǂOma has worked tirelessly to promote the institutions and environmental management principles on which the Nyae Nyae Conservancy is based. 


An elder and tribal councilwoman of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Casey is activist for her people, for the Rights of Mother Earth standing against oil pipelines, injection wells and fracking. She is a traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta Woman’s Scalp Dance Society as well as an Emmy award winning actress 


Marcos dos Santos Tupã is a leader of the Guarani people and lives on the coast of São Paulo State. Tupã was coordinator of the main organization of his people, the Guarani Yvyrupa Commission (CGY) and is a reference in the struggle for the titling of Guarani lands.


Tiago Karaí is a young leader of the Tenondé Porã Indigenous Land, situated in the south of São Paulo state's capital.


He is part of the Guarani Yvyrupa Commission (CGY) coordination and represents a new generation of Guarani leaders in the  struggle for land titling.


Xiye is a 17 year old Climate Justice Activist living in NYC. In September 2018, Xiye became leader of her school’s Environmental Club, where she mobilized 600 students in the first Global Climate Strike. Since then, Xiye has taken a citywide leadership role in organizing Climate Strikes and speaking out about Climate Justice issues in rallies and Town Halls. Xiye was born and raised in Mexico as part of the Otomi-Toltec indigenous peoples, which inspires much of her environmental justice advocacy work. in 2018, she was invited to the 9th UN World Urban Forum to speak about Indigenous Cosmology. Notably, Xiye received the “Spirit of the UN” award in 2018.


An Idu shaman and village headman, whilst he is relatively new to life as a shaman, he is already considered very powerful. In choosing shamanism as his way of life amidst rapid technological and socio-economic changes in Dibang Valley, he has had to reconcile modernity with traditional ways of understanding human-nature relations. 


Elin Teilus is a singer, yoiker and artist with her sámi roots in Udtja, Sápmi. She is like a force of nature with a voice of the sweetest well, the raw force of soil and playful as the northern light. With a rebel heart and a proverb for the innocent she yoiks the unseen and unspoken that is alive in all connection. Hearing her yoik is like sitting by the fire watching stories by the ancient ones come alive in the light of the future in a weaving with everyone present. 
Singing the wild, Elin invites you to remember the untouched, sacred connection with life that dwells in human. The inherent bond with nature, Life and spirit.


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