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December 09, 2020

Join the fight for indigenous rights and Mother Earth

topic: Indigenous people
type: Campaign, Donation, NGO
by: Yair Oded

Across the world, indigenous populations experience the brunt of environmental destruction, which affects their lands, their livelihoods, their security, and their well-being. In North America, the noxious combination of extractive industries’ greed and meager governmental protections of indigenous territories result in the increasing annihilation of indigenous communities and the pollution of their lands.  

In standing up for their rights and lands, indigenous communities do not only set out to defend their own territories and way of life, but fight for the well being and survival of all forms of life on Planet Earth. 

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is a non-profit coalition of indigenous organisations working to promote environmental justice and protection of natural resources using indigenous knowledge. The organisation places its primary focus on indigenous communities throughout the US and Canada. 

Since its establishment in 1990, IEN has worked to unite different activists and tribal organisations (with a special emphasis on youth-led organisations) in an effort to defend the human and land rights on indigenous communities across North America from onslaughts by extractive companies and government agencies. It does so through education, campaigns, trainings, outreach missions, direct action, capacity building of tribes and communities to address environmental justice issues, and alliance building. 

“IEN has supported many communities with technical information, assisted in environmental campaign strategy, and has fulfilled its mandate to be a vehicle to provide a voice and to be the “eyes and ears” of tribal grassroots, traditional leadership and small disenfranchised tribes and Alaska villages on environmental justice issues,” the organisation’s website reads. 

Among IEN’s main campaigns are initiatives to promote a Green New Deal, advance a just transition to an environmentally just economy, keep natural resources in the ground, and provide mini-grants to indigenous communities threatened by mining. 

IEN has been vocal about environmental justice issues surrounding the 2020 elections, and has joined the fight to ensure that the incoming administration will respect indigenous land rights, stand up to mining companies, and take bold steps to protect Mother Earth. 

Please visit IEN’s website to access its resources, learn more about its mission and work, and make a donation to support its efforts. 

Image: Diane Greene Lent