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International Partnerships

Promoting youth leadership in an indigenous community in Peru

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The territory of the indigenous Wampis Nation is located in the municipal districts of Río Kanus (Santiago) and Río Kankaim (Morona) in the north western part of Peru. An initiative supported by the EU has implemented a leadership project for indigenous youth

The majority of the population in these two districts are members of the Wampis people, however the local municipalities in these districts do not consider nor apply an intercultural and participatory approach involving the Wampis people at municipality level. This is causing alienation and disengagement between the local government and the Wampis authorities.

The Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampis Nation (GTANW) was established in November 2015 to exercise the governance of its territory claiming the Wampis’ right to self-determination and the exercise of autonomy. Since then, several priorities have been identified to facilitate the implementation of territorial governance, which has resulted in a variety of projects, such as the production of a community radio programme.

Wampis youth showing the developed educational material - Copyright EU
I also want to follow my father's example to continue fighting and defending our territory. That is why the initiative of training community youth is very important. You learn a lot, and, in the future, it is us who will be the ones who will assume that path of struggle.
- Katse Lili Noningo Antich, 17 years old

The involvement of young people as a critical component in the future governance of the territory is being prioritized. Youth are taking up the mantle of leadership. Combined with the results of the reflections motivated by the Indigenous Navigator questionnaire that was applied in Wampis communities, a leadership project was developed, called “Sharian” Academy of Leaders.

The “Sharian” Academy of Leaders is an initiative of the Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampis Nation. The Academy has been established the support of the European Union through IWGIA under the Indigenous Navigator Initiative. The purpose of this pilot project is to strengthen the Wampis peoples’ traditional governance structure, institutions and leadership, and thereby strengthen their capacity to enter into dialogue with the municipal government and advocate for a more inclusive municipal administration, that includes a focus on the SDGs and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The 'Sharian' Academy of Leaders is named after Sharian, who was one of the last warrior leaders of the Wampis Nation. Sharian knew how to defend the rights of the Wampis Nation and then how to bring the Wampis together to establish meaningful peace.

The project is cultivating and promoting the development of young leaders of the Wampis Nation, founded on socio-cultural, indigenous and human rights. From that perspective, the Academy seeks to prepare leaders by instilling in them an integral, holistic and broad cultural understanding of their communities and a future vision of their people. Different activities have been implemented, including the development of a curriculum and content for students, development of knowledge of public policy, promoting the right to participation, the monitoring of municipal investment plans, consultation activities with local governments,

Katse Lili Noningo Antich, a 17-year-old woman, expresses that the Wampis leaders, including her own father, who defended the Wampis territory, are her inspiration for attending the academy: “I also want to follow my father's example to continue fighting and defending our territory. That is why the initiative of training community youth is very important. You learn a lot, and, in the future, it is us who will be the ones who will assume that path of struggle”.

Find out more about the Indigenous Navigator

Supported by the EU and implemented by the ILO, the Indigenous Navigator has been developed as a tool to monitor the recognition and implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples and their development status. It responds to the need for better data related to the development and rights of indigenous peoples. This data can be fed into existing human rights and sustainable development monitoring processes at local, national, regional and international levels.

The Indigenous Navigator helps:

  • Raise awareness of the rights of indigenous people;
  • Guide and orient indigenous peoples’ self-determined governance and development strategies;
  • Hold states accountable;
  • Deliver data on indigenous peoples’ human rights and development situation to UN agencies and mechanisms;
  • Provide evidence on whether states are complying with their commitments;
  • Guide and orient development policies;
  • Generate attention and action in relation to the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples’ rights.

It is a collaborative initiative of five organisations: Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Forest Peoples Programme, International Labour Organisation, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs and the Tebtebba Foundation.