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Empowerment and Capacity Building

IWGIA believes that necessary changes will only occur if indigenous peoples themselves assert and push for the recognition of and respect for their rights at national, regional and international levels. One of the major challenges facing indigenous peoples is, however, the lack of institutional and professional capacity to address the problems they are confronted with.

Supporting self-organizing of indigenous communities and capacity enhancement of indigenous organizations is therefore one of IWGIA’s priorities. All projects supported are conceived, designed and implemented directly by our indigenous partner organizations to ensure that the support given is in line with the needs and aspirations of indigenous peoples themselves and to secure long terms sustainability of the support given.

Below you find examples of projects supported by IWGIA:

Capacity building unites indigenous youth in Russia

Capacity building is an important element of IWGIA’s support to indigenous peoples in Russia. We support technical capacity-building seminars on indigenous peoples’ legal rights in Russian legislation and on relevant international processes, mechanisms and instruments and their use - some especially targeting indigenous youth who want to learn how to better engage in and make their voices heard through political work.

An indigenous youth movement has been gaining momentum through e.g. youth conferences, organized by the indigenous information centers, active involvement in social networks and increased vertical communication and networks among the regions in Siberia, the European North and the Far East. One of the most visible expressions of this process was the first Indigenous Youth Congress, which was held in Moscow in November 2010 with support from IWGIA a.o.

Leadership strengthening in Asia

Indigenous peoples’ organizations in Asia have identified strengthening of their leaders as one of their most urgent needs. IWGIA thus supports the regional program “Indigenous Learning Institute for Com-munity Empowerment” (ILI) – a program jointly developed by IWGIA and its key strategic partners AIPP, PACOS in Malaysia and CPA in the Philippines. It aims to empower indigenous communities through an extensive training program on leadership and community organizing, which also includes an exchange of experiences and skills among indigenous organizations within the region.

Evaluations of the program show that it has increased the capacity of indigenous community leaders to address the various challenges they are confronted with and is thus contributing to the empowerment and selforganizing of indigenous communities and their organizations.