Mar 29, 2016

Spring 2016 Report

Big Cat Alliance Jaguar Meetings

Maui, Hawaii

January, 2016


The Jaguar holds much spiritual significance in cultures throughout South America. This year begins with the power of the Jaguar.  Building on the meetings held in Oaxaca, Mexico in early 2015, where we met with scientists and Indigenous Cultural Practitioners (ICPs) who are working to conserve the Jaguar, we continued our efforts to build the network by bringing together two important Jaguar ICPs from different areas—one from the rainforests of Brazil, the other from Oaxaca, Mexico—both united in their love of and concern for the Jaguar, which is currently listed as “near threatened” status throughout South America.

Tashka Yawanawa, an ICP from a very remote part of Brazil, last met with the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network fourteen years ago. After that last meeting, he returned to his village as a young man to become the chief. During his tenure as chief, he initiated a number of innovative sustainability programs and he currently travels the world to discuss conservation initiatives that impact his people, the biodiversity of his region, and ultimately, the Jaguars which live and roam freely in the area his tribe, the Yawanawans, inhabit.  This was his first trip back to the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network and again, there is big change on the horizon for him—he is considering a run for elected office, representing the indigenous voice in his country.

We networked with him with Olmec and Mixteca ICP Ernesto Olmos, who is a Jaguar shaman, artist, and musician, who has dedicated much of his life to the preservation of the jaguar, including through a “jaguar of light” project. The meeting went very well and strong connections were made. 


These meetings facilitated by Worldwide Indigenous Science Network started important dialogues about future steps for Jaguar conservation. These ICPs conducted ceremony at sacred sites in Hawaii (where the meetings were held and where WISN is headquartered—images above). Following the meeting facilitated by WISN, Tashka and Ernesto made arrangements to meet in Oaxaca, where they visited sacred sites (images below of Jaguar Mountain and Monte Alban, jaguar temple in Oaxaca), prayed, and discussed ways in which they can collaborate in the future, including possibly hosting the next Global Big Cat Alliance networking meeting of conservationists and ICPs in 2017 at the Yawanawan Cultural Center. We are very excited and hopeful to see where this may lead in the next important steps for Jaguar conservation. 

We will send out a report next quarter with new updates. And as always, we are immensely grateful to you, our donors, who help make these important conversation meetings and connections possible. 




Tashka and Ernesto preparing for ceremony
Tashka and Ernesto preparing for ceremony
Tashka of the Yawanawa tribe
Tashka of the Yawanawa tribe
Jaguar Temple, Oaxaca, Mexico
Jaguar Temple, Oaxaca, Mexico
Jaguar Mountain, Oaxaca, Mexico
Jaguar Mountain, Oaxaca, Mexico
Dec 30, 2015

2015 comes to a roaring end! Thank you for your generous support!

Snow leopard in the wild
Snow leopard in the wild

The Worldwide Indigenous Science Network (WISN) has for the past 26 years worked to bring together the two ways of knowing—Indigenous Science and Western Science. 


“Earth Wisdom and Change” guides our activities in our overall mission of creating global healing for humanity and its relationship to embodied knowledge. In accordance with the issues and with respect to the forces of Mother Earth, we conduct cutting-edge research using our innovative indigenous science approaches and protocols. In all of the actions and programs, we strive to promote respect, understanding and empowerment that comes from knowing our true identities and relation to life in all of its forms. This includes our work with the Big Cats and the Global Alliance for Big Cat Conservation. 


In the last quarter of 2015, we worked closely with the Snow Leopard Conservancy to develop a methodologies matrix that demonstrates how these two ways of knowing can and should work together to create mutual understanding and respect. As far as we know, it is the first matrix of measures and indicators of its kind, and we believe it is critical to understanding how bridging the wisdom of the indigenous elders, big cat shamans, and Western conservationists can effectively (and qualitatively) work together.


As a result of our work this last quarter and along with our partners at the Snow Leopard Conservancy, we have received a grant from a large organization that specifically promotes big cat conservation. Together with the funding we have received from your generous donations, we will begin Phase II of the Central Asian Snow Leopard work (networking indigenous elders from Central Asia and conservationists) and we will continue our work with Jaguar shamans in South America, bringing together Jaguar shamans from the rainforest of Brazil and from Oaxaca, Mexico in January to discuss next phases of our work together.


Stay tuned! We will have photographs and and an update of these meetings to share with you in our next report. 


And as always, we are IMMENSELY grateful for your ongoing support to help preserve these sacred apex predators! We wish you all a very happy, healthy, safe new year! 

Oct 2, 2015

Snow Leopard Ceremonies

Thank you for your continued support of the Global Alliance for Big Cat Conservation. Your contributions have helped us to continue and expand this important work of brining indigenous and Western science for the purpose of big cat and sacred species conservation. 

We returned a few months ago from a trip to Siberia with the Snow Leopard Conservancy, where we were invited to participate in a Snow Leopard ceremony with the Buryat and Soyot peoples of this region. We submitted a report last quarter about the work and since then, have been busy preparing a video presentation of our time there to share with potential donors and funding organizations. 

In addition to the generous donations from each of you, we are working hard to raise additional funds for this important conservation work. Funds from individual donors and from donor organizations are critical to continuing this important conservation work, and we are very grateful for the ongoing support from you! 

We hope you enjoy and feel inspired by this glimpse into these sacred Snow Leopard lands, deep in the mountains of Siberia. 

Mahalo nui, 

The WISN team


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