Today is International Day of Indigenous Peoples and I wanted to pause for a moment and honour our indigenous communities of growers.
As some of you know, I spent over 12 years living, working and studying with indigenous communities on the Galapagos islands, Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountains of Peru. I was blessed to have the opportunity to integrate and live with these communities and gain a deep insight into their culture, ecosystems and values.
This experience profoundly changed who I am as a person and the way I look at the world. It is these indigenous peoples who planted the seed for Nunaïa and my dream of creating more connection in our tribe in the west by sharing the ancestral wisdom of these communities.
As a sustainability consultant working for International Aid Agencies nearly all of my projects involved working with indigenous women. Indigenous women are the backbone of indigenous peoples’ communities and play a crucial role in the preservation and transmission of their traditional ancestral knowledge.
The women in these communities are the caretakers of unique natural resources and keepers of their medicinal knowledge. Many indigenous women also stand up and lead the defense of indigenous peoples’ lands and advocate for indigenous peoples’ rights.
However, despite the key role they play in their communities as breadwinners, caretakers, knowledge keepers, leaders and human rights defenders, I saw over and over again how they often suffer from discrimination on the basis of gender, class, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Many Indigenous women experience poverty, low levels of education and illiteracy with limited access to healthcare.
I saw these issues first hand and gained a deep respect for the integrity and wisdom of my heroes. As a result I became a passionate advocate of the UN Sustainable Development Goals of gender equality, elimination of poverty and protection of cultural and natural heritage which are the cornerstones of every decision we make at Nunaïa.
Nunaïa is our way of honouring these indigenous peoples and their indigenous ways of knowing. We work primarily with farmer growers in the Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountains of Peru that tirelessly work to care for their unique ecosystems and the preservation of their cultural heritage. We are in deep gratitude for their work and the loving way they care for and harvest our superfood actives.
Today we pause to honour indigenous peoples all over the world and express to them our deep gratitude for preserving and sharing their indigenous ways of knowing that carry so much medicine in these turbulent times.