IPON Research Network

IPON participation at the Biennial UN Global Indigenous Youth Forum (UNGIYF)


Article by: Carol Zavaleta-Cortijo

IPON has attended the UN Global Indigenous Youth Forum, held between the 16 and 20 of October 2023 hosted by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in Rome, Italy. The Forum was a space for amplifying the voices of Indigenous Youths related to the “My food vision is” campaign, and to discuss policies affecting their food and knowledge systems in the context of climate and biodiversity action.

In this forum, IPON co-organised a side event working with Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), Keystone Foundation, La Red de Jóvenes Indígenas LAC [Indigenous Youth Network], Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia [Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University] and University of Leeds. The side event called “One Health: Building on the past, looking to the future: Sharing our stories of resilience” , open the space to the Indigenous Youth to discuss the impacts of climate change in their food and health system, and also to provide recommendations on how academic institutions can support the next generation of Indigenous researchers to respond to pressing global challenges.

Youth discussed the importance of using Intercultural Knowledge Dialogues (IKD) to transform institutions and to guarantee Indigenous People´s health rights, explained how climate change in the Arctic is affecting migration patterns of animals that are part of their food system and consequently affecting their access and availability to food, in the Peruvian Amazon extreme flooding has destroying plantain crops and affecting Shawi Indigenous mothers ability to feed their families, in Argentina part of the adaption to the reducing access to natural resources was to change their cultural identity and to migrate from rural to urban places with still little information about who are Indigenous people since there is not available census data at country level.

They mentioned the importance that academia and investigation take an active role in understanding other cultures to decrease the possibility of reproducing patterns of racism within the health system, and to avoid “white the mind” of Indigenous students that attend universities. At the same time Indigenous Youth did an invitation to celebrate and recognize Indigenous peoples as researchers, to fund their ideas, to provide mentorship, and to support their investigations for the benefit of their own communities.

PAHO have trained indigenous youth leaders to implement IKD in the America region and University of Leeds have supported the travel of two Indigenous youths in the UNGIYF. Please see the video below of Dr. Adrian Diaz from PAHO Ecuador presenting the IKD.

We thank to the following Youth Indigenous panelists for sharing their knowledge with us : Gabriel Cuatin (Colombia), Ayelen Granero (Argentina), Nerita Inuma (Peru), Natalie Noksana (Canada-Artic), Jeannie Gruben (Canada-Artic) Jessica Penney (Canada-Artic) and Mounthees Kuttan (India) ; and to the protector of the inner circle Pacha Kanchai We are glad that IPON had the opportunity and honour, to participate and support the UNGIYF.

In the picture Nerita Inuma Tangoa a Shawi Indigenous youth is sharing her experiences with climate change impacts in the farm of her mother in the Peruvian Amazon. Dra Carol Zavaleta and Pacha Kanchai are also in the picture.
In the picture Jessica Penney from the Arctic, is sharing her message to academic institutions to recognize Indigenous peoples as leaders and researchers. Natalie Noksana and Jeannie Gruben are also in the picture.
Ayelen Granero from Argentina, is sharing how Indigenous peoples have adapted to historical to socio environmental changes by losing their Indigenous identity to be able to study and work in urban places.
Gabriel Cuatin from Colombia, is sharing the power of using Intercultural Knowledge Dialogues (IKD) to transform institutions like health systems and academia