Lourdes Inga (Peruvian of Quechua descent) of the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples talks to Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation about the importance of placing Indigenous perspectives centre-stage
Lourdes Inga: International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) has now run for 20 years and we wanted to use the special feature of this edition of Alliance both to share the work of our members, including the Ford Foundation, to support Indigenous people and to expand our influence and reach new audiences. So I’m delighted, Darren, that you agreed to do this interview. First of all, I noticed that among the pieces you’ve written since you became president of the Ford Foundation, and in your recent book, you talk about Indigenous Peoples and I wondered what has shaped your views and Ford’s decision to work with them?
Darren Walker: For years, Indigenous Peoples have tried to help governments and other institutions whose mission is development and social change to understand that we can’t have development and social progress without putting the people who are closest to the challenge at the centre of our work. And so for the Ford Foundation, it is a natural thing to see Indigenous people as essential to unlocking the solutions to the problems we are facing in the world.
In the Colombian Amazon, Indigenous women leaders came together for assembly of the Coordinating Body for the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon.