Sarayaku reaffirms their self-determination and dignity. Kawsari 2022
On July 26 and 27, 2022, the Kichwa Native People of Sarayaku held a Meeting of Knowledge for the Kawsak Sacha with the participation of more than 200 people representing peoples and nationalities from Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.
The event called Kawsari (which in the Kichwa language has a connotation similar to “awakening”, “reacting”) is a real exercise in self-determination and dignity by the Sarayaku in defense of life in their living spaces.
Kawsari became a space for debate, feedback and strengthening originating from the bases of our people that can be applied by other peoples in their territories, especially those who cling to the care of life.
Kawsari served as the platform for the official launch of the Autonomous Law on the exercise of the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku, which will be part of the regulations that will strengthen the self-determination of the people and that will be binding and mandatory in the territory of Sarayaku (province of Pastaza, in the Ecuadorian Amazon).
Likewise, during this event, a discussion was held on the initiatives in defense and governance of the territories of the original peoples from their own reality and the "Sarayaku 2022 Agreement" to strengthen the defense of the territories of the world's original peoples for the preservation and protection of the territories of life, within the framework of the rights of nature and self-determination.
For the Original People of Sarayaku, Kawsak Sacha (our living space) is a subject full of life and a subject of rights (according to the Constitution of Ecuador) and its legal recognition is an exercise in vindication of Territorial Law and the Pachamama that it is necessary and essential for the balance of the planet and the preservation of life in the face of common threats such as global warming and the climatic collapse in which we find ourselves.
Several activities complemented this first event that was held to coincide with the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Judgment by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the 4th anniversary of the public declaration to the territory of Sarayaku Kawsak Sacha, including exhibitions of documentary videos and from the feature film Helena de Sarayaku by local producer Eriberto Gualinga (Traya Muskui), traditional food and drinks as well as Amazonian jewelry and utilitarian art made by the women of the Sarayaku people.
For Tupac Viteri, current president of the Government Council of Sarayaku and whose highest authority is the Assembly, Kawsak Sacha becomes the "new way of doing peaceful, political and legal resistance in defense of our territories against extractivism"
Meanwhile, Angun Gualinga wonders, “how is it possible that if we are only a small part of the living jungle, we are the only ones who can be consulted?” and continues “in our vision it is necessary that the processes prior to the consent of the people (in the face of activities that threaten life in the territory) include that Kawsak Sacha (Living Jungle) also be consulted.
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