May 12, 2017

Special Trip to the Amazon--Spring 2017 Report

Int'l Security expert welcomed by community
Int'l Security expert welcomed by community

Dear Donor,

As always we are immensely grateful to each of you who have supported our work, which is guided by the ancestors and the spirit of the Big Cats.  

 

The Yawanawans of Brazil is an intact indigenous community that still practices sacred ancestral jaguar ceremonies. Though the land and climate where their communities are located are not an ideal terrain for jaguars, they have among the highest populations of jaguars in Brazil. They have lived in balance with the rainforest and jaguars for thousands of years, but because of modernization, poaching, and land grabs in recent years, jaguars, the immense biodiversity around them, and even the Yawanawans themselves--all intrinsically connected--are under severe threat.

 

Last month, WISN sent an international security and anti-poaching expert to Yawanawan territories to work with the community, learn from them, and develop a strategy for best practices to help create a corridor of protection for Jaguars that would ultimately extend up through the rest of South and Central America. The meetings went well and the security expert has been able to prepare a plan for anti-poaching measures that would include patrol boats, a central anti-poaching station, and the training of community members for anti-poaching procedures.

 

The plan will require additional funding, so every bit helps. The security expert will be traveling back to Brazil in June to continue Phase I of the plan and will continue to meet with the Yawanawan tribal leaders to discuss more ways in which Western and Indigenous science can work together to preserve the sacred jaguar as well as the sacred lands on which they live.

 

This past quarter, WISN has also been working with Yawanawan Chief and Indigenous Cultural Practitioner Tashka Yawanawa and his wife Laura to network during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. We have been networking with conservation contacts at the Smithsonian Institute as well as with potential funders, including an organization that has a large conservation area for desert jaguars in the Sonoran Desert region of Mexico, and an organization with a conservation facility in Costa Rica. If the momentum continues, the Yawanawan dream to create a corridor of jaguar protection that extends from the rainforests of Brazil through Mexico and the SW United States may, in fact, become a reality.

 

We will continue to raise funds for this effort as well as our work with the other big cats, and report back to you on some of our other developments in our next report.

 

As always, we are immensely grateful to you, our donors, for all you have done to make this possible. Thank you! 

Feb 14, 2017

Continued Hope for the Bushmen--Winter 2017 Report

White sands
White sands

Mobile Addictions Treatment for the Khomani San Bushmen

Winter 2017 Project Update

 

Dear Donors,

We are very grateful for the ongoing and generous support we receive from you, making our work with the Bushmen possible. It has been a bit of an uphill battle and we still very much need your help. There is no infrastructure currently in place either domestically in South Africa or internationally to support Bushmen addictions recovery; we are actually creating this infrastructure through this project. If we don’t succeed, we stand to lose our oldest ancestors and their vast knowledge systems. They want to reclaim their health and identity—will you help?

Most of our work this past quarter has involved networking, raising funds through various sources, and identifying who will come forward for this inspirational charge.

In addition to regular distance meetings via Skype with some of our existing South African partners, we are also extending our reach to locate new partnerships. We have begun negotiations with the Council for the Advancement of African Canadians in Alberta (CAAC) operating as the Africa Centre. Last month, we submitted an MOU to this organization, which we hope will facilitate fund development as well as serve as a support for donations and support from Canada.

We have also located an organization who, though a program designed to help save indigenous languages from going extinct, may also be able to partner with us to bring in additional funds and resources. Discussions are ongoing and we hope to have a face-to-face meeting in the weeks ahead to discuss plans going forward. We are very excited by the possibilities opening up for this work.

We are also in discussions to bring a Native American Elder to the Kalahari to share his and his people’s story of recovery with the Bushmen, Though an interim step prior to the full 40-day Mobile Addictions Treatment program we plan to offer to the Bushmen, this will serve as a morale building mid point step to inspire the Bushmen who are working on their own recovery.

Finally, we would like to share some artwork and images from a full moon eclipse ceremony on Native American white sands in the United States. Doing ceremony under the full moon, we gathered some of the snow-white sands, which we plan to share with the Bushmen who consider their sands of the Kalahari to be most sacred. We hope that this exchange will create more inspiration and hope for the Bushmen.

We give much gratitude for your ongoing support, and thank you for sharing this with friends, colleagues, and family who might be interested in supporting this cause.

Sacred sands of the Kalahari
Sacred sands of the Kalahari
Khomani San Bushmen children
Khomani San Bushmen children

Links:


Attachments:
Feb 13, 2017

Jaguars Guiding Our Work--Winter 2017 Report

Yawanawan Elder who passed last month at age 103
Yawanawan Elder who passed last month at age 103

Global Alliance for Big Cat Conservation

Winter 2017 Project Update

 Jaguars—rulers of the underworld and the beings associated with helping humanity to face our fears according to mythology central to cultures of Central and South America—were at the forefront of our work this quarter. 

A Yawanawan Indian and Indigenous Cultural Practitioner met with the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network (WISN) this quarter to discuss his community’s plans to create a corridor of protection for jaguars from Brazil to Mexico. We worked side by side to develop a presentation for donors about these plans, which include networking elders from the Yawanawan community with Elders and scientists working in Oaxaca, Mexico. Through this network, these communities can share plans and conservation strategies to facilitate the creation of this corridor of protection. 

We also discussed the development of an app that can be used by community members in the Amazon to track not only Western conservation data (sightings, coordinates, incidents of poaching), but also more indigenous data such as tracking dreams, visions, and other data related to Yawanawan jaguar cosmovision. Through blending Western and Indigenous protocols, a new understanding and methodology will be created for jaguar conservation.

We have attached a link to the video we produced with two jaguar medicine men—a Mixteca/Olmeca from Oaxaca, and a Yawanawan—discussing their respective jaguar cosmovisions.

We will continue our work on the app in the months ahead, which we hope will serve as a prototype that can be applied and used by other indigenous populations connected to big cats in Central Asia, China, and Southern Africa. 

As always, we give great than to you, our donors and the ancestors. It is through your generosity that these programs are possible. We will continue to keep you apprised of our work moving forward.  Thank you!

Yawanawan children during jaguar festival
Yawanawan children during jaguar festival

Links:

 
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