2015 – Bring the Kamayura Chief to the United Nations

BRING THE KAMAYURA CHIEF KOTOK TO THE UNITED NATIONS IN APRIL

This collective effort will enable the participation – for the FIRST TIME – of a Kamayura chief to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). This is a high-level advisorybody that deals with Indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights. Without your generosity Kotok Kamayura’s presence at the UN and in NYC will not be possible and the true voices of Indigenous Peoples and their communities will not be he

This fundraiser aims to bring the Kamayura chief, Kotok Kamayura, to New York, to attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and to help him forge alliances with potential supporters – foundations, universities etc.

Why it is important for the chief to take this trip:

It is very important the Kamayura chief attends the UNPFII in NYC.  This would be the first time a Kamayura chief would come and speak at the UN, an important milestone in the history of Xingu. The trip will help him understand the rights the Kamayura have as Indigenous People, he will learn about the international mechanisms in place that can aid in his struggles.  Entire communities will benefit as the chief will share his acquired knowledge and experience in New York. It will bring empowerment to the Kamayura and strengthen their voice and fulfil their right of participation in the decisions that affect their lives and their future.

In November 2014 INTI (International Native Traditional Interchange), a small but big hearted organization with consultative status with ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council), has applied for a scholarship for Kotok Kamayura to attend the UNPFII.  Unfortunately, the chief was not selected.  Instead, the UN chose to sponsor a 24 year old Brazilian student, of white mother and Indigenous father, who does not live in indigenous territory, but in a city. This is a sad fact, however, it reflects the reality of the world we live in.

Respected Indigenous leaders that live on their ancestral territory, in their villages, who are decision makers, should be able to attend the UN Forum. Kotok Kamayura is such a leader, however he was not given the chance to come… still, through our collective effort, we can bring him here! How else can the Kamayura fulfil their right to participate? Ironically, they have the right – in theory – but nobody offers them the (financial) means to fulfil it.

Kotok Kamayura comes from a line of great leaders in Xingu. His father was one of the greatest chiefs and also the greatest shaman Xingu ever knew, he was the one that secured the territory which is now known as Xingu Indigenous Park for his people, right after contact in 1950s. Chief Kotok is well known and respected, and, along the other Xingu chiefs, he is an important decision maker.

The chief will attend the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where he will bring important messages from Xingu, will exchange experiences with other leaders and will learn first-hand about mechanisms and tools Indigenous Peoples have to defend their human rights, traditional knowledge and their territories. He will forge alliances with foundations and universities in the hope this will open doors for the Kamayura to receive much needed support .The chief will raise awareness on the incredibly well preserved Kamayura culture and territory (which they want to keep intact for as long as they can, a most difficult job due to aggressive penetration of outside economic interest and western cultural elements).

Unfortunately, the only way for many Indigenous Peoples to learn about the tools and mechanisms available for them at international level is to take long, demanding trips far away from their village, all the way to New York City, and attend events like the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.