Emerging Indigenous leaders from the Amazon region have come together as the second cohort of Nia Tero's Leadership Fellows Program in Amazonia for 2023.
They come from different parts of the Amazon and nurture their own Indigenous traditions, knowledge, and lifeways. But they are all bound together by the aspiration for a better future for their communities, the ecosystems they inhabit, and Mother Earth.
The primary objective of Nia Tero's twelve-month program is to enhance leadership development and succession, as well as uplift ancestral knowledge and traditional forms of governance. The program aims at reinforcing Indigenous guardianship by having fellows connect with their local leadership.
This year's cohort includes 1 Wayana and 1 Tiriyo fellow from Brazil, 4 Achuar fellows from Ecuador, 1 Arecuna and 3 Patamona fellows from Guyana, and 4 Wayana fellows from Suriname. They recently completed their initial six-month training period, which involved three learning sessions in key territories of the Amazon region.
Grounded in Indigenous teaching methods, the fellowship aims to empower new Indigenous generations to assume essential roles within their territories, rooted in ancestral knowledge passed down through their communities.
The program has been thoughtfully structured to address the needs of both the fellows and their communities, promoting the preservation of Indigenous culture and spirituality, while also facilitating meaningful intergenerational and intercultural exchanges.