A Message Of Indigenous Resistance And Inspiration From The Amazon


Published:

Nemonte Nenquimo with Waorani elders

© Jeronimo Zuñiga, Amazon Frontlines

The following piece is quoted directly from the keynote address of Ceibo Alliance co-founder Nemonte Nenquimo, who traveled from her home in the remote Ecuadorian Amazon to present to a live audience at this year’s Bioneers conference in Marin, California. This article is part of the Profiles in Community Action series, sourced from the resistance struggles of Community Action Grant recipients by Rainforest Action Network.

“I have flown here like a scarlet macaw from a forest, far away

“This is not a strange land to me because we are all connected.

“Because the forest connects us—you and me.”

I am Nemonte Nenquimo. My name means Many Stars. My people are the Waorani and our forest is our home. I am a Waorani woman and a mother.

I have a three-year-old daughter who is learning how to sing our songs. Songs that our ancestors sang for thousands of years. Songs about living. About growing food and hunting. Medicine songs. War songs. Joking songs.

After my daughter sings, she always asks me: “Now I am Waorani, right, Mama?”

Our songs, just like our forest, we inherited from our ancestors. As a mother, I feel the responsibility inside of me to pass down our songs and our forest to our children and grandchildren. But I am afraid for my people now.

Participatory mapping of Waorani cultural territory. Photo by Mitch Anderson, Amazon Frontlines.Our ancestors defended our way of life for generations with spears. But the threats we face now cannot be confronted with spears alone.

Two moons from now, the government plans to auction our territory to the oil companies. If we do not stop them, the company will get a foothold in our lands. They will bring money, sickness and contamination. They will try to divide our families and change our way of thinking.

So, I am here now as a Waorani woman and as a mother. To tell you that our fight is not just a fight about oil. This is a fight about different ways of living. One that protects life and one that destroys life.

When we started Ceibo Alliance, the Kofan, Siona and Siekopai nations invited my people to visit their territories. (See also the English language website of Ceibo’s sister organization Amazon Frontlines.) We traveled from far away by canoe and jungle trail and we learned about all the problems that come with oil.

More than anything, we learned that the company doesn’t see the forest. They don’t see us. They see what they want to see. They see oil wells where we see gardens. They see money where we see life.

How can we defend our way of life and our forests? That was our question.

We decided to make a map of our territory that shows all of the creeks and trails. Our medicinal gardens, our hunting grounds, our sacred sites. Mapping our lands brought our people together. Our youth and elders trekked our territory, like the old days. Not with spears, but with GPS, video cameras and camera traps.

Now, the government wants to sell our land to the oil companies. But we are united. Our land is not for sale. In the coming weeks, we will take the government to court demanding that they respect our right to decide what happens in our territory.

By working together in the Ceibo Alliance, our people are stronger than ever before. We are supporting each other’s battles. Our Kofan friends have already won a big fight against gold miners, and us Waorani were there supporting them.

Ceibo Alliance representatives addressing the 2018 Bioneers Conference. Photo by Ayse Gursoz, Rainforest Action Network.And the Siona are taking their battle to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demanding the Colombian government respect their rights. And the Siekopai are titling ancestral lands in Peru that were stolen from them during the rubber boom.

I know that the Waorani will win our fight to protect our forests. Because we are not alone. We are fighting together.

And now, as a woman, as a mother, as a water protector and a forest defender, I want you to join us in our fight to defend our way of life, our forests and our planet.

Nemonte Nenquimo, raised in the traditional Waorani community of Nemonpare in Ecuador, is one of the founding members of the indigenous organization Ceibo Alliance, which works to defend Indigenous peoples’ lands and rights in the Ecuadorian Amazon region. Nemonte is also passionately engaged in the struggle to uplift Indigenous women across the Amazon.

This article was produced by Earth | Food | Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute, and was originally published by Common Dreams.

See also:
Amazon Tribes Resist US Anthropologists’ Attempt To Forcibly Contact The Uncontacted
Amazon Tribe Creates 500-page Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

September 22, 2019

Shortly after midnight the Moon settles into her home base, Cancer. The quiet pleasures of familiar places is accented, although a late morning lunar sextile to Uranus may bring unexpected messages or surprise visitors. An informal gathering of close…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

September 2019

It’s time for a workshop!  One plus one always equals two. In a similar fashion EFT plus Law of Attraction always equals effective and positive change. Teaching Emotional Freedom...

Cost: $40

Where:
21 Wiles Farm Road
Northboro, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Medicine My Way
Telephone: 508-523-7132
Website »

More information

In this 90 minute workshop you will find clarity in what brings you joy. You will create your personal vision statement that will help guide you to living a more satisfied, balanced life. This...

Cost: $25 early-bird till 9/20 ($30 after)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

Witness the healing power of mediumship! Join New England's own trusted spirit medium Raylene Sousa and top UK medium Dominic Boag from Scotland for an afternoon of spirit messages. If...

Cost: $40

Where:
The Little Meetinghouse
723 Roosevelt Trail
Windham, ME  04062
View map »


Sponsor: Raylene Sousa Medium LLC
Telephone: 207-956-0220
Contact Name: Raylene Sousa
Website »

More information

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

2nd and 4th Monday of every month This psychic message circle is for anyone wishing to raise their connection using their psychic centers known as the “clairs.” Learn how to use...

Cost: $20

Where:
Messages From Heaven Healing and Learning Center
646 Central Street
Suite 3
Leominster, MA
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Members of the Reflexology Association of NH will be offering “mini” hand or foot reflexology sessions at the Salt Cave within Bien Soigne in honor of World Reflexology Week.

Cost: Donations suggested $15 - $20

Where:
Bien Soigne Salt Cave
350 North Broadway
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: Reflexology Association of NH
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

September 25–October 29, 2019 Expert Tai Chi instructor and Qigong Master Instructor Terry Dunn will be giving a total of four five-day intensive workshops in October 2019 at Eastover...

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
View map »


Telephone: 866-264-5139
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

September 26–29 This training at the Center for Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) uses mindfulness meditation and cognitive therapy to break the cycle of...

Cost: $1,390

Where:
Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
1035 Cambridge St, Suite 21A
Cambridge, MA  02141
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
Telephone: 617-591-6132
Contact Name: Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
Website »

More information

Come detox, relax and renew yourself for the fall in our sanctuary! We have an intimate gathering of great readers and healers providing services at sampler rates to enjoy their services while...

Cost: $60: 3 Pack Service Special; $25: Single Service

Where:
Healing Power Of Flowers—Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Mirabai Starr was an adjunct professor of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years. Her emphasis has always been on making connections between the perennial...

Cost: $20

Where:
First Parish in Lexington
7 Harrington Road
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: Lexington Community Education
Telephone: 781-862-8043
Contact Name: Craig Hall
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Maryellen Labelle, David Sholemson and Steve Cunningham are excited to announce Qigong for Inner Peace teacher training fall term 2019. This 50 hour certification training is appropriate for a wide...

Cost: $1100 / $800 early registration

Where:
Yoga Depot
17 Depot Square
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: Qigong for Inner Peace
Telephone: 617-721-7215
Contact Name: Maryellen Labelle / David Sholemson
Website »

More information

Join life coach Cheryl Richardson and her husband, Michael Gerrish, a psychotherapist and gifted intuitive, for a special evening designed to help you upgrade your life! During this event,...

Cost: $35

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

This Dating Program is the follow-up to Kerri Morrison's workshop, Deliberate Dating: 5 Keys to Successful Online Romance; held Friday, August 16th, 2019 from 6:30-7:30pm. View that event...

Cost: $199

Where:
Awaken Holistic Counseling Services
2 Liberty St., Unit 2L
Newburyport, MA  01950
View map »


Sponsor: Awaken Holistic Counseling Services, LLC
Telephone: 978-255-7893
Contact Name: Kerri Morrison
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn Reiki—revitalizing self-care and healing in the palm of your hands. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (master teacher.) This one-day class covers the...

Cost: $150

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

With Laura Haley, IET Master Instructor Trainer  This class provides you with everything you need to conduct a powerful Integrated Energy Therapy session on yourself or others (either in...

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
Methuen, MA


Telephone: (978) 474-8010
Website »

More information

Learn the benefits of yoga for families as well as how to develop character in children to get them more focused, respectful, and confident before returning back to school this fall! This class...

Cost: $45 early bird till 9/25 (includes child and a parent), $50 after

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

September 28–29 Saturday 10 am Registration; 10 am–5 pm  Sunday 10 am–5 pm This practitioner training takes place over 2 days and offers students the opportunity to...

Cost: Course Fee: $450; Recalibration Appointment: $333

Where:
The Hampton Inn Coventry Warwick
850 Centre Of New England Boulevard
Coventry, RI
View map »


Telephone: 617-366-6042
Website »

More information

September 28–29 Learn hands-on techniques for the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, as well as the sacrum, psoas and ilium. Leave with tools you can use right away. Coming in...

Where:
Downeast School of Massage
Waldoboro, ME


Telephone: (617) 678-8920
Website »

More information

Learn to overcome spinal tensions through therapeutic postures, designed to decompress your spine and relieve pain. Taught by a certified yoga therapist, classes bring you through poses...

Cost: 5/$50

Where:
Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice O'Brien
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags