A Brazil-based fund is pursuing an approach to funding Indigenous Peoples which is more attuned to their worldview
‘In Brazil... we still rely on foreign help, much like a charity case, which is subordinating and disrespectful of the integrity of the beneficiary.’ These are the words of Ailton Krenak, an Indigenous leader and coordinator of the Núcleo de Cultura Indígena (Indigenous Culture Centre) and council member of the Casa Socio-Environmental Fund, a fund started by activists to fund grassroots environmental defenders, including Indigenous Peoples.
He adds that funding for forest conservation programmes in the 1990s was also subject to the approval of the local government. ‘We fought against this so that we could have a voice, and the funding would go directly to the people, but our efforts were of no avail,’ he says. ‘Now the focus is back on the Amazon and climate control. What is the donor’s true motivation? Are they really concerned about the survival and well-being of those populations?’
A changing world for Indigenous communities