INDIGENOUS PARTNERSHIPS                     FOR     SELF SUFFICIENCY    AN APIKAN/UNDP INITIATIVE  PRELIMINARY REPORT ON T...
TABLE OF CONTENTS1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................... 12. OBJECTIVE...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                    Page 1October 11, 19941. INTRODUCTIONThis ...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                   Page 2October 11, 1994countries. This was s...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                    Page 3October 11, 1994Tuesday, September 2...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                        Page 4October 11, 19944.3 GUATEMALAThe...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                       Page 5October 11, 19945. RESULTSThere w...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                       Page 6October 11, 19946. PRELIMINARY RE...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                       Page 7October 11, 1994conditions that p...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                      Page 8October 11, 1994Latin American Ind...
Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency                                      Page 9October 11, 19946.7 RECOMMENDATION...
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Indigenous partnerships For Self Sufficiency: Preliminary Report on the Central American Scoping Mission

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This is the first known report on the concept of business and economic collaboration between Indigenous Peoples in Canada and those in developing economies. It was written by Wayne Dunn, who was mission leader and principle architect of the concept, after an initial scoping mission to Latin America (Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama) as part of his work to help the UNDP develop new themes and approaches for the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The scoping mission was designed to test a thesis; that there is interest in and opportunities for North/South Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency. Meetings were held with 194 individuals, representing 78 organizations (57 Indigenous) during the 23 day mission. The report outlines the mission and makes a number of specific recommendations.


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Indigenous partnerships For Self Sufficiency: Preliminary Report on the Central American Scoping Mission

  1. 1. INDIGENOUS PARTNERSHIPS FOR SELF SUFFICIENCY AN APIKAN/UNDP INITIATIVE PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THECENTRAL AMERICAN SCOPING MISSION SEPT. 13 — OCT. 5, 1994 Date: October 11, 1994 Prepared by: Wayne Dunn Apikan Indigenous Network 154 Aylmer Ave. Ottawa, On. K1S 2Y4 CANADA Phone: (613) 733-6069 Fax: (613) 733-7816
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................... 12. OBJECTIVE .................................................................................. 13. METHODOLOGY .......................................................................... 14. CHRONOLOGY OF FIELD RESEARCH ....................................... 2 4.1 BELIZE.....................................................................................................................2 4.2 NICARAGUA ...........................................................................................................2 4.3 GUATEMALA .........................................................................................................4 4.4 PANAMA ..................................................................................................................45. RESULTS ...................................................................................... 56. PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................ 6 6.1 RECOMMENDATION ONE .................................................................................6 6.2 RECOMMENDATION TWO ................................................................................6 6.3 RECOMMENDATION THREE ............................................................................7 6.4 RECOMMENDATION FOUR...............................................................................7 6.5 RECOMMENDATION FIVE ................................................................................8 6.6 RECOMMENDATION SIX ...................................................................................8 6.7 RECOMMENDATION SEVEN.............................................................................9
  3. 3. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 1October 11, 19941. INTRODUCTIONThis is a preliminary discussion report on the findings of the UNDP/Apikan—IndigenousPartnerships for Self Sufficiency scoping mission to Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama(Sept. 13-Oct. 5/94). The material presented in this report is meant to stimulate and focusdiscussion. A more comprehensive report will follow; this was prepared very shortly after thecompletion of the scoping mission in order to be tabled at Apikan/UNDP Round Table onIndigenous Trade and Development being held in Washington, DC on October 11, 1994.The Apikan/UNDP scoping mission was designed to test a thesis; that there is interest in andopportunities for North/South Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency. With the logisticalsupport of the UNDP and Plenty Canada, field research was conducted in five countries; ElSalvador, Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama. Meetings were held with 194individuals, representing 78 organizations (57 Indigenous) during the 23 day mission.The project was financed by, Apikan Indigenous Network, Industry Canada—AboriginalBusiness Canada, Canadian International Development Agency and UNDP/Prodere. Themission was led by Wayne Dunn, with assistance from Gary Peters and Samuel Mercado, allof whom have extensive experience in Indigenous development. In country logistical supportfor the mission was provided by, UNDP, UNDP/Prodere, Pana Pana, Plenty CanadaAny groups, organizations or individuals wishing to comment on this report and its findings areinvited to submit comments to Apikan Indigenous Network at the address on the cover sheet.2. OBJECTIVEThe overall objective of the Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency project is to test anIndigenous Partnerships/Linkage model to bring together North/South Indigenous groups andprivate sector interests to develop Indigenous trade opportunities.The objectives of the Central American scoping mission were to determine;1. Are Central American Indigenous Groups interested in working with North American Indigenous groups on sustainable development projects?2. If the answer to question one is positive, Are the Central American Groups interested in a trade focus to these initiatives?3. Are there concrete project opportunities where these partnership models can be developed and tested?3. METHODOLOGYThe general methodology used to test the thesis, and determine project opportunities was bydirect contact with local, regional and national Indigenous groups in each of the targetApikan/UNDP—1994
  4. 4. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 2October 11, 1994countries. This was supplemented with meetings and interviews with UNDP staff and otherprofessionals and NGOs operating in the region.In total, 194 persons were met with, representing 78 organizations in 5 countries. Of these,most were local Indigenous persons, representing 57 different Indigenous organizations.Meetings and interviews were conducted under a variety of settings ranging from theNicaraguan National Assembly in Managua, to a coffee bean warehouse in the Guatemalanhighlands to high-rises in Panama City to an old overgrown cacao operation deep in therainforest of northern Nicaragua.The format for the meetings involved an introduction to the mission and a brief background onthe experiences of Canadian Indigenous groups. Following this introduction, three questionswere posed;1. Are you interested in working with North American Indigenous groups on sustainable development projects?2. Are you interested in a trade focus to these projects?3. Are there concrete project opportunities where these partnership models can be developed and tested?Note: when meeting with Indigenous individuals and groups, these questions were asked directly, when meeting with non-Indigenous individuals, they were asked for opinions as to the Indigenous response to the questions.4. CHRONOLOGY OF FIELD RESEARCHThe consultants began the mission September 13 & 14, 1994, with an initial briefing atUNDP/Prodere headquarters in San Salvador and a briefing with the UNDP country office.4.1 BELIZEFollowing the San Salvador briefing, field work began in Belize on September 15, with meetingswith UNDP staff, UNDP/Prodere staff, several NGOs and Indigenous groups in Belmopan,Belize City and San Jose Succotz. The Belize program was jointly organized byUNDP/Prodere and local Apikan Network contacts.4.2 NICARAGUAThe majority of the Nicaraguan program was organized by Samuel Mercado, Central AmericanProgram Officer with Plenty Canada.Field research began in Nicaragua on Monday, September 19, with a briefing session at theUNDP country office and meetings with Indigenous politicians and organizations in Managua.Apikan/UNDP—1994
  5. 5. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 3October 11, 1994Tuesday, September 20, the mission traveled to Puerto Cabezas in the North AutonomousRegion (RAAN), and met with the local Governor, Pana Pana (a local Indigenous NGO), thePresident of the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, local Indigenous political leaders andothers.Wednesday, Sept. 21, the group departed by land for the 4 hour (160km) trip to Waspan on theRio Coco, and from there traveled by boat up the Rio Coco approximately 80 miles, stopping atseveral remote Miskito communities and returning to spend the night in San Carlos. Thefollowing day, they returned to Waspan by boat and then to Puerto Cabezas by truck.During the Rio Coco trip, the group met with many local leaders and residents, and purchasedseveral Cacao bean samples as requested by Whole Earth Foods, a United Kingdom FairTrade Company. Also, during this portion of the mission, the group was exposed to thedestruction and total lack of infrastructure that is a result of the Civil War.Friday, September 23, the mission met with 3 Indigenous members of Parliament of theSouthern Autonomous Region prior to flying from Puerto Cabezas to Managua. In Managuathey met with Brooklyn Rivera, Minister of the Nicaraguan National Government in charge of theAutonomous Atlantic Regions. Following this meeting, a debriefing session on the week’sactivities was held with local UNDP staff.Saturday, September 24, the mission flew from Managua to Bluefields, where meetings wereheld with the local Proraas staff, the Executive of the Parliament for the Southern AutonomousRegion (RAAS), and the Executive of the Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University.Sunday, September 25, the mission flew from Bluefields to Managua to Guatemala City.Enroute from Bluefields to Managua an informal meeting was held with Dr. Harry BrautigamVice President—Central America, Bank of America. This meeting focused on the need forimproved, grassroots based mechanisms for the delivery of credit and capital in the $500 to $50000 range.Apikan/UNDP—1994
  6. 6. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 4October 11, 19944.3 GUATEMALAThe entire Guatemala program was organized by the local UNDP/Prodere office, and UNDPProdere staff assisted with and participated in all meetings.Monday September 26, the mission met with UNDP and UNDP Prodere staff in Guatemala City.As well, meetings were held with the Guatemalan Peace Project, Executives and Boardmembers from the National Peace Fund and the National Indigenous Development Fund.Following this, a meeting was held with representatives of several Indigenous Craft andDevelopment organizations.Tuesday, September 27, the mission flew to Sacapulas in the Guatemalan highlands and thendrove to Nabaj. Over the next two days meetings were held with various organizations andindividuals involved in development projects in the Prodere Ixil area project, prior to returning toGuatemala City late on Thursday September 29.Friday, September 30, the mission reviewed the results of the Nicaraguan research with localUNDP/Prodere staff. Following this debriefing and review, the remainder of Friday andSaturday, October 1 were used for administrative/organizational tasks. Also, on Friday, SamuelMercado left Guatemala City for Nicaragua to begin follow-up activities on project opportunitiesand priorities identified in that country.4.4 PANAMAThe entire program in Panama was organized by the Panamanian UNDP office. Local UNDPstaff were present at most meetings.Sunday, October 2, the mission flew from Guatemala to Panama CityMonday, October 3 there was an initial briefing session with UNDP Panama staff and ResidentRepresentative, followed by meetings with Panamanian government officials involved inIndigenous development and meetings with representatives of several local Indigenousorganizations.Tuesday October 4 meetings were held with additional Indigenous groups prior to a finaldebriefing with Mr. Mandeville, UNDP Resident Representative in PanamaApikan/UNDP—1994
  7. 7. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 5October 11, 19945. RESULTSThere was a unanimously positive response to the questions posed during the field research.When asked the questions;1. Are Central American Indigenous Groups interested in working with North American Indigenous groups on sustainable development projects?2. If the answer to question one is positive, Are the Central American Groups interested in a trade focus to these initiatives?3. Are there concrete project opportunities where these partnership models can be developed and tested?There was not one negative response. Every group, individual and organization interviewedresponded positively. In just three weeks of field research, over 35 Indigenous projectopportunities were identified as a result of the field research.At the time of this writing these projects opportunities have yet to be reviewed or prioritized. Itis expected that some will be combined and that some will not be recommended for pre-feasibility analysis. Despite this, the number of potential projects is much higher than expected,and development activity is already happening on several of them.In the weeks ahead, Apikan will work with the UNDP and other Indigenous interests to prioritizethe opportunities and prepare development action plans for the most promising opportunities.These will be tabled in a final report, along with other related developments.In addition to the verbal commitments, the mission received numerous letters of support andrequests to provide technical support and assistance on specific Indigenous projects.Apikan/UNDP—1994
  8. 8. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 6October 11, 19946. PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONSThe following recommendations are preliminary in nature, and are meant to stimulatediscussion. They are not intended to be comprehensive, but simply to provide a starting pointfor discussion. It is expected that, through discussion at the Round Table on Indigenous Tradeand Development, along with additional input from other sources, they will become morethorough and comprehensive prior to final publication. Persons or organizations withsuggestions or comments, should contact Apikan Indigenous Network at the address on thecover page.The following recommendations are presented in an entirely ad hoc order. No prioritizationshould be implied from the order of presentation.6.1 RECOMMENDATION ONEIt was repeatedly stated, by virtually every Indigenous group contacted, that trade and businessdevelopment is their most important priority. To synthesize the comments of all the Indigenouspeople interviewed; “Education and Health Care are important, but; if someone finances aschool for us this year, next year we will need assistance to hire teachers and operate theschool; if someone finances a health facility this year, next year we will need assistance to staffand operate it. But, if we are helped to develop profitable trading operations, soon we will havethe resources to build and operate our own schools and health facilities.” This sentiment wasechoed over and over, in virtually every meeting and contact made during the entire mission.Trading was a part of the Indigenous economy long before European contact. Columbusreported sighting large trading barges plying the Atlantic coast of Central America. It has beenproven that Indigenous people traded throughout the Americas, long before they were‘discovered’ by Columbus.Historically, trade development has not been a major focus of Indigenous development effortsin the region. Trade development has been identified as a top priority by Indigenous groups.Development practitioners and planners will need to learn new ways of focusing andimplementing projects to accommodate this desire. In order to ensure that, wherever possibleand practicable, there is a trade focus to development projects, it is recommended that;Indigenous Trade and Development should be addressed in every development projectplanned and undertaken in the Latin American and Caribbean region. If it is not possibleor feasible for the project to address Indigenous trade development, the reasons for thisshould be outlined in project documents.6.2 RECOMMENDATION TWOFair Trade aims to facilitate trade with third world producers. It does this by encouragingindustry and consumers to purchase third world goods that have been produced underApikan/UNDP—1994
  9. 9. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 7October 11, 1994conditions that protect the environment and guarantee a fair return to the people who madethem.The Fair Trade movement offers an excellent vehicle to develop profitable markets forIndigenous trade products. Based on the experience of existing Fair Trade businesses andproducts, there is growing market acceptance of these products. Noted author and futuristFaith Popcorn has identified trends that indicate huge growth potential for these types ofproducts. “There’s a tremendous political consciousness about how people are buying (and) 1who they want to buy from” . She goes on to note that “a Save our Society” trend is also bigwith consumers.Despite this, the Fair Trade movement is still relatively new and, especially in North America,does not enjoy a high degree of market recognition.It is expected that increased market recognition of the Fair Trade movement and its productswill result in increased consumer demand for Fair Trade products, which will result in more FairTrade products and more Fair Trade businesses, which will result in an increase in tradeopportunities for third world Indigenous groups.Therefore, it is recommended that,A public education and awareness campaign on Fair Trade and Indigenous people bedeveloped, financed and implemented.This will be done in association with existing Fair Trade organizations and private sectorinterests6.3 RECOMMENDATION THREEAs noted previously, the increasing focus on Indigenous trade and development is a relativelyrecent phenomenon. In addition to the wholehearted endorsement by the Indigenouscommunity (make note on how it relates to field work on this mission), the UNDP and otherorganizations such as the IDB, IAF, CIDA, USAID and others are showing increasing interest inIndigenous trade.In order to ensure a rational, and speedy approach to Indigenous trade development, it isrecommended that;An Indigenous Trade Development Strategy be prepared for each country in the LatinAmerican and Caribbean region.6.4 RECOMMENDATION FOURIndigenous trade and development needs to focus on both long and short term objectives.While there is an urgency to develop Indigenous linkages and trade opportunities in the shortterm, it is important to undertake initiatives that will lay the foundation for future initiatives.1Ottawa Citizen - August 17, 1994Apikan/UNDP—1994
  10. 10. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 8October 11, 1994Latin American Indigenous groups have indicated overwhelmingly that they want to link withCanadian Indigenous groups. Historically, Indigenous trading relationships have had asignificant cultural and social component. In order to stimulate long term social relationships,and the free exchange of ideas and contacts between North/South Indigenous groups, it isrecommended that;North/South Indigenous Schools Linkages project be initiated on a pilot basis.This initiative was suggested by Edmundo Javier Lopez Conzalez, Supervisor of Education forthe Nebaj—El Quiché district in Guatemala. Panamanian groups also expressed interest inparticipating in the pilot phase of this initiative.ááááááááááááááááá6.5 RECOMMENDATION FIVECanadian Indigenous groups have a wealth of successful experience in business andinstitutional development and program delivery. There are over 10,000 Indigenous NGOs inCanada, with activities ranging from child care to drug and alcohol programs to legal services tolocal school boards to business support organizations to program delivery groups. In addition,Canadian Indigenous groups and individuals own and operate businesses in every major sectorof the Canadian economy including; oil and gas, airlines, shipping companies, computerprogramming, construction, forestry, mining, legal services, etc.At the recent Indigenous Partnerships Conference (Belize City-April, 1994), Indigenous groupsfrom Canada and Latin America and the Caribbean expressed a desire to work together ondevelopment projects. This was a mutual desire, with explicit benefits for both groups. Thisfinding was confirmed by the findings of the scoping mission to Central America. Therefore, itis recommended that;Where desired by local Indigenous populations, Canadian Indigenous developmenttechnology and experience should be utilized as a model for Indigenous development.Note: This should not be construed as recommending use of Canadian groups in every project, or in all situations. The decision to use Canadian groups and Indigenous development technology needs to be made by local interests on a case by case basis.6.6 RECOMMENDATION SIXThe government of Panama has expressed a desire to the local UNDP office to examine newstrategies to maximize Indigenous participation in the Panamanian economy. The Indigenousgroups in Panama, that were contacted by this mission, expressed an overwhelming desire toparticipate more positively in the expanding Panamanian economy. This represents anexcellent opportunity to begin the process of preparing a Panamanian Indigenous TradeDevelopment Strategy. Therefore it is recommended that;The UNDP office in Panama organize a meeting with Panama’s Indigenous communityand the Panamanian Government to discuss Indigenous trade developmentopportunities.Apikan/UNDP—1994
  11. 11. Indigenous Partnerships for Self Sufficiency Page 9October 11, 19946.7 RECOMMENDATION SEVENVirtually every Indigenous group interviewed identified lack of financial resources and lack ofaccess to markets and development technology (i.e. how to participate more fully in theeconomy of the country and region) as major barriers to development.Indigenous trade development is a priority for local Indigenous groups. International agenciesoperating in the area have a responsibility to respond to this desire, and to address constraintsto trade development.Therefore it is recommended that;A concentrated effort be made by all stakeholders to assemble the financial and humanresources necessary to assist with the development of sustainable Indigenous tradeinitiatives.Apikan/UNDP—1994

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