In partnership with Amplifier design lab, Nia Tero launched the Thriving Peoples. Thriving Places. campaign in 2021 on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, and expanded it on Indigenous Peoples' Day 2021, as a timely reflection and embodiment of the focus of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), when leadership from across the globe met with the purpose of collectively tackling climate change. This year, on Indigenous Peoples' Day 2022, we will continue to uplift Indigenous women leaders with new portraits and even more ways for you to get involved, see and share the artwork, and join us in celebrating Indigenous guardianship.
The Indigenous women activists, artists, and scholars at the heart of this campaign exemplify the ideals of guardianship, kinship, reciprocity, and wisdom. Their voices, work, and leadership benefit not only their own peoples and communities, but all of us who share this planet — which is why now, more than ever, we must celebrate them, listen to them, and most importantly, follow their lead.
This global campaign includes original portraits commissioned from Washington, D.C.-based artist and illustrator Tracie Ching (Kanaka Maoli), designed in collaboration with Cindy Chischilly (Diné). Download and share the portraits below.
Learn about the Indigenous women leaders featured in THRIVING PEOPLES. THRIVING PLACES., and how you can support their work.
Rosa Marina Flores Cruz is from Juchitán, Mexico, an Indigenous town in the state of Oaxaca. She is an activist empowering Indigenous Peoples, with a focus on women’s rights, land rights, agrarian rights, and environmental education.
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is a member of the Mbororo pastoralist people in Chad. She is an expert in the adaptation and mitigation of Indigenous Peoples to climate change. She serves as a Member of the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues and was one of 15 women highlighted for championing action on climate change by Time Magazine in 2019.
Flor Palmar is a leading figure in Venezuela’s effort to develop bilingual, multicultural education for the nation’s diverse Indigenous Peoples. She worked in Venezuela’s Ministry of Education as coordinator of Programs in the Office of Bilingual Intercultural Education, served as a member of the National Commission on Curriculum within the Ministry of Education, and has authored and co-authored international publications on the history and practice of Indigenous education. She is also a storyteller
Alisha "Diinashii" Carlson is a filmmaker and a mother of two that works to carry on Gwich'in song, dance and language through her films, and follows in the footsteps of her Ancestors’ creativity and imagination. She co-created a film in the Gwich'in language that uplifts her culture, ensuring that Gwich'in ways of being continue for future generations. She also works for the Arctic Village Tribal Council.
Pania Newton is a New Zealand lawyer and Māori land rights activist who organized the group Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) to protest the development of land at Ihumātao in south Auckland. Watch Pania’s TEDxAuckland on Recognising Indigenous heritage.
Célia Xakriabá is a Brazilian activist leading a new generation of female Indigenous leaders in the battle against the destruction of Brazil’s forests both in the Amazon and the lesser known Cerrado, a savannah that covers a fifth of the country. She was also recently elected to Brazil's Congress. Learn about the Indigenous struggle for land recognition.
Sônia Guajajara is an activist in Brazil and the first woman to lead the Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB - Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil), which brings together 305 ethnicities around the agenda of Indigenous rights. She was also recently elected to Brazil's Congress. Learn about the Indigenous struggle for land recognition.
Nara Baré is a Brazillian activist who was the first woman to assume the general coordination the largest Indigenous organization in the country, the Coalition of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB). Learn about the Indigenous struggle for land recognition.
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz is an activist who not only helped organize the Igorot student movement in Manila in the 1970s and the Indigenous Peoples’ Movement in the Cordillera, but actively participated in the drafting, negotiations, and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Read her opinion on conserving nature and protecting human rights.
Twa-le Abrahamson-Swan is an environmental activist and executive director, the River Warrior Society, a collective across the Coeur d’Alene, Colville, Kalispel, Nez Perce, and Spokane tribes; Abrahamson-Swan refocused the collective’s energies on providing pandemic and wildfire relief; daughter of Deb Abrahamson. Support the Indigenous Environmental Network.
Deb Abrahamson was an environmental activist and water protector who played a large part in the push to clean up the legacy of uranium mining on the Spokane Indian Reservation; Abrahamson died of cancer in January of 2020, attributing her illness to the very radioactive toxins that she had dedicated her life to saving others from. Support the Indigenous Environmental Network.
Natalie Ball (Black, Modoc, and Klamath) is a mixed-race Black, Modoc, and Klamath mama, artist, and land defender. She creates art influenced by the cultural objects from her Klamath homelands and showcases her work at art museums and galleries all over Turtle Island.
In 2020, in our first iteration of the Thriving Peoples. Thriving Places. campaign with Amplifier, Nia Tero developed this Indigenous Peoples’ Day Lesson Plan for Remote Learning to prompt deeper learning and conversation with youth in Turtle Island (what is now known as the United States). We welcome you to download this resource for your classrooms, where we invite youth to explore themes around creating a community of care, and the relationship between Indigenous and Black organizing and resistance in the United States. In this iterative learning cycle, youth will use a curated library of resources authored by Indigenous and Black leaders to begin to imagine the infinite possibilities of a land that has been restored. By honoring the past, a new way of being — one led by Indigenous futurisms — can emerge.
The Thriving Peoples. Thriving Places. campaign is being distributed as public art stunts in cities across the globe on October 10, 2022 for Indigenous Peoples' Day. The public can find the work as a mural and free art giveaway at the KEXP Gathering Space in Seattle, Washington; as a billboard in Manila in the Philippines; as a hand-painted mural in Mexico City. The artwork will be available as free community art giveaways in Washington D.C. at Busboys and Poets locations, in Topanga, California at WÜM Essential Elements, in both Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska at Native Movement, and at Patagonia’s Denver, Colorado location. The public can also find the artwork included in community street papers across the United States thanks to the International Network of Street Papers.
The Thriving Peoples. Thriving Places. campaign will also be on TikTok and on the radio! Indigenous influencers Lofanitani (Black, Klamath, Modoc, Tahlequah, and Tongan), Melemaikalani McAllister (Kanaka Māoli), and Laura Martinez (Lipan Apache) will be sharing the content, and there will be a radio playlist of music by Indigenous artists including The Halluci Nation (Mohawk & Cayuga), Mare Advertencia Lirika (Zapotec), Xiuhtezcatl (Mexica), Ruby Ibarra (Pinay), & Mia Kami (Tongan)! This playlist will be distributed to over 3,000 non-commercial radio stations across the U.S. and Canada.
Learn more about how you can honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day and International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.