spirituality

2022 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated globally on 9 August. It marks the date of the inaugural session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1982. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) is organizing a virtual commemoration of the International Day from 9 am to 11am (EST) on Tuesday, 9 August 2022, focusing on this year’s theme: “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge. ” Indigenous Peoples, Member States, UN entities, civil society, and the public are all invited.

Background:

Indigenous women are the backbone of indigenous peoples’ communities and play a crucial role in the preservation and transmission of traditional ancestral knowledge. They have an integral collective and community role as carers of natural resources and keepers of scientific knowledge. Many indigenous women are also taking the lead in the defence of lands and territories and advocating for indigenous peoples’ collective rights worldwide.

The significance of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge is widely acknowledged: “Long before the development of modern science, which is quite young, indigenous peoples have developed their ways of knowing how to survive and also of ideas about meanings, purposes and values.” As noted by the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, the term “scientific knowledge” is also used to underscore that traditional knowledge is contemporary and dynamic, and of equal value to other kinds of knowledge.

International consultations jointly facilitated by UNESCO and the Internal Council of Science (ICSU) states that “Traditional knowledge is a cumulative body of knowledge, know-how, practices and representations maintained and developed by peoples with extended histories of interaction with the natural environment. These sophisticated sets of understandings, interpretations and meanings are part and parcel of a cultural complex that encompasses language, naming and classification systems, resource use practices, ritual, spirituality and worldviews.”

However, despite the crucial role that indigenous women play in their communities as breadwinners, caretakers, knowledge keepers, leaders and human rights defenders, they often suffer from intersecting levels of discrimination on the basis of gender, class, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Their right to self-determination, self-governance and control of resources and ancestral lands have been violated over centuries.

Small but significant progress has been made by indigenous women in decision-making processes in some communities. They are leaders at local and national levels, and stand at the frontlines of defending their lands, their cultures, and their communities. The reality, however, remains that indigenous women are widely under-represented, disproportionately negatively affected by decisions made on their behalf, and are too frequently the victims of multiple expressions of discrimination and violence.

The Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) highlighted some of the major issues encountered by indigenous women, particularly noting the high levels of poverty; low levels of education and illiteracy; limitations in access to health, basic sanitation, credit and employment; limited participation in political life; and the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence.

Format:

The virtual commemoration will include an interactive dialogue segment with invited speakers, moderated by Ms. Rosemary Lane, Acting Chief of the Indigenous Peoples Development Branch – Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Speakers will share their expertise and experience from their indigenous communities in preserving, reviving, retaining, and transmitting the traditional ancestral knowledge in various fields of communal activities, including but not limited to effective and sustainable climate solutions, use of natural resources, protection of biodiversity, ensuring food security, promoting native languages and culture, and managing indigenous science and medicine. Questions to be discussed include:

  • What is the unique position of indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge?
  • What are some of the brightest examples of indigenous women-led processes in solving contemporary global issues through the effective application of traditional scientific knowledge?
  • How are indigenous languages crucial to the development, preservation, and transmission of indigenous cultural and knowledge systems? How are women leading the way in maintaining indigenous languages?
  • What was the effect of applying indigenous scientific knowledge and medicine in alleviating the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemiologic crisis?

Panel Speakers:

Archana Soreng (Kharia) – Member of UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

Aili Keskitalo (Sámi)  – Former President of the Sámi Parliament of Norway

Zakiyatou Oualet Halatine (Touareg) – Former Minister of Tourism & Handicrafts, Mali

Hannah McGlade (Noongar) – Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Commentary on Panel Discussion by His Excellency Ambassador Diego Pary Rodriguez(Quechua), Permanent Representative of Bolivia to the United Nations

 

More information about International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2022 available here: un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/international-day-of-the-worlds-indigenous-peoples-2022.html

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit  ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on Language and Languages, please email the co-chairs at fmhult@umbc.edu or tonkin@hartford.edu. 

Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN (CRNGO) Annual Membership Meeting

Venue: Online and Baha’i International Community (866 UN Plaza, Suite 120)

RSVP required: https://bic-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvf-uorDkuH9GvRCtVkcF-JfCsuk8EOTY5

As we emerge from a pandemic-induced hiatus during which the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN (CRNGO) largely carried out its activities through the CRNGO Climate Working Group, the CRNGO Bureau invites its members to come back together, in community, in a moment of reflection, to be together for its first Annual Membership Meeting in three years. 

The event will be hosted in a hybrid format in recognition of the fact that the pandemic is still ongoing, and each individual’s comfort level with gathering in physical space is different. 

The purpose and objective of the Annual Membership Meeting is to help foster community and facilitate learning and interaction among religious and spiritual NGOs working at the United Nations as well as those interested in engaging with the UN.

The Annual Membership Meeting will open with welcoming remarks by members of the Bureau, followed by a consultative process where participants are invited to reflect on how their organizations have successfully engaged with the UN in the past three years, and share their perspectives on some of the challenges to creating change at the UN.

At the meeting, annual membership dues will be collected, the results of the election of the new Bureau will be presented and it will launch a process to create our 2022 to 2024 programme of work, striving to deepen the Committee’s religious community engagement with the UN. 

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CoNGO Notes: The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Please join us on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 10:00am to 11:15am (Eastern) for a conversation about Freedom of Thought with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

On the occasion of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is hosting a conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to discuss his most recent report (presented to the Third Committee on October 19, 2021), which focuses on the Freedom of Thought. Dr. Shaheed will discuss what freedom of thought entails, how and where it is most in danger of being violated, the ways in which emerging technologies are threatening this right, how it connects with religious freedom and freedom of expression, and how it is impacted by social media, among other things.

Dr. Shaheed’s report on Freedom of Thought can be accessed here: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/A_76_380_AUV.docx

We will have time for Q+A, so please feel free to come with questions for Dr. Shaheed.

Please note: Registration is required by Monday, October 25, at 11:59pm. To register, please reply to this email with your name and organization. You will receive a Zoom link via email on the morning of the event.
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, one of many Substantive Committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Interfaith dialogue: Independent Dialogue on Faith and Food Systems

We welcome you to an Interfaith dialogue to engage global faith and indigenous communities with the Food Systems Summit process. This co-convened dialogue (UN and faith-based organizations) through shared experiences and learnings underlining shared values and principles, spirituality and beliefs, is an opportunity to promote solidarity and mutual accountability with local communities, stewardship of the environment and sustainability of food systems. Register here!

Discussants:

  • Rev. Nicta M. Lubaale, General Secretary, Organization of African Instituted Churches (Uganda/ Kenya)
  • Mrs. Wallapa van Willenswaard, Innovation Network International INI, International Network of Engaged Buddhists (Thailand)
  • Ms. Debra Boudreaux, Tzu Chi Foundation, (USA) 
  • Mr. Gopal Patel, Bhumi Global (India/ US)
  • Discussants from Indigenous communities

Convenor:  Mr. Andrew Schwartz, Director of Sustainability and Global Affairs, Center For Earth Ethics (USA)

Curator:  Ms. Angeline Munzara, Global Sector Leader, Livelihoods, Global Impact, World Vision International & Member of the Strategy Group- Food For Life Campaign- WCC-EAA (Zimbabwe/ South Africa)

Moderator: Rev. Eugene Cho, President and CEO of Bread for the World (USA)

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee on Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Yoga for Health, Healing, and Harmony

Namaste Dear Friends,

The International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN continues to count down to World Yoga Day and our special event which we’re celebrating this year on Saturday, June 19 at 4:30pm (NY-EST).  We are excited to be part of Unity Earth’s World Unity Week and it’s kick-off.  Joining us is special guest, Karuna, Founder Light on Kundalini.  We also have a couple of other surprise guests taking part so it will be a memorable time for us to embrace our inner nature, our heartfelt connection and the power of hope.  All are welcome.
Sending good wishes,
Denise Scotto, Esq
Chair, International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.

2021 Freedom of Religion or Belief Priorities at the United Nations

Join us on Friday, May 7th, from 1:15pm-2:45pm Eastern for a virtual event that will highlight various missions’ recent past and upcoming efforts to promote religious freedom and related rights in 2021 at the United Nations. The event will feature a panel of UN diplomats who will present on their mission’s specific priorities on this issue. Following the presentations, there will be ample time for Q+A.

Our expert panelists include: 

  • Madeeha Ashraf, Advisor, U.S. Mission to the UN
  • Timothy Sylvester, Second Secretary, U.K Mission to the UN 
  • Klas Nyman, Counsellor, EU Delegation to the UN

We anticipate the event will be insightful for our shared focus on promoting FoRB at and through the United Nations, and we hope that you will join us.

To register, please RSVP to info@unforb.org by 12pm on May 6. A Zoom link will be sent to you on the day of the event.

We look forward to your presence on May 7th.

Best regards,

Kelsey Zorzi, President, NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief – New York 

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

The Human Face of the Migration Crisis: A Faith-Based Response

The scale of human migration can be overwhelming—estimates are that more people are on the move in our time than at any time in human history. To each “number” there is a human face, a person made in the image of God.

How can people of faith respond to this crisis in tangible ways? How can the Bible inform our response? To look at these and other questions related to the migration crisis we will be joined by a panel from across North America with a variety of experiences and perspectives on migration.

Register here!

Speakers:

vănThanh Nguyễn, S.V.D., is the author of the new book What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants and Refugees?. Nguyễn came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam in 1975 and he is today Professor of New Testament Studies and the holder of the Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology at Catholic Theological Union.

Dannia and Aida Pena were born in San Salvador, El Salvador. In the 1990s they fled the Civil War in El Salvador and came to Los Angeles, California. Today, Dannia serves as an Accounting Manager at a Mental Health Center in San Antonio and Aida works just outside San Antonio in Bilingual Education. Both sisters are married with children and are active in the Focolare Movement.

Sean Ryan and Monica Nugent are university students living in Vancouver, British Columbia. As an outgrowth of their Catholic faith, both are both active in Dignity Inherent, a group working to raise awareness about human trafficking and Canada’s laws on prostitution.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Indigenous Healing Ways for Mental Health

The Indigenous Health Subcommittee is offering a side event during the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Indigenous practices for physical and mental healthcare have always been used in their communities and there are now attempts to revive and promote them in the mainstream, even in the COVID-19 era.This panel will feature US-based and global young indigenous mental health professionals who will discuss the current utilization of traditional healing practices for mental health based on their experiences, and current research on effectiveness of indigenous treatment outcomes. It will foster dialogue between mainstream and traditional medicine practices, and their integration as the best way forward for mental health care services in general.

Join us on April 29, 12-2PM for an important discussion with our NGO Committee Members, Rick Chavolla (as the discussant) and Rashmi Jaipal (as the moderator), and our incredible panel of young mental health professionals, featuring:

  • Maria Crouch, MS, PhD(c) – Doctoral Candidate in Psychology at the University of Alaska and Pre-Doc Fellow at Yale School of Medicine, of Deg Hit’an, Coahuiltecan, and Scandinavian origin
  • Stefanie Gillson, MD – Public Psychiatry Fellow at Yale School of Medicine and Institute Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, of Dakota/Mdewakanton and Swedish origin
  • Kyle Hill, MPH, PhD – Psychologist and Assistant Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health (Great Lakes Hub) and Bloomberg School of Public Health, of Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota origin
  • Ningsangrenla Longkumer, PhD – Assistant Professor (Psychology) and researcher at the North Eastern Christian University, Nagaland, India, of Naga origin

Hope you can join us! Register here: indigenoushealing-mentalhealth.eventbrite.com

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit  ngomentalhealth.org

The Doctrine of Discovery and the Indigenous Ministries of The Episcopal Church

Dear UN partners and participants at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20th session, you are cordially invited to a panel discussion with Episcopal Indigenous participants in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20.

At 2pm EST on Monday, April 26, join via Zoom:

https://zoom.us/j/99063295488?pwd=RERvMEptNTdoVE1tbFVlbTM0TVZxdz09

For more information, contact the Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff, Commissioner for Indigenous Ministries, The Episcopal Church, at bhauff@episcopalchurch.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience in the Dual Pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV

Dear colleagues & friends,

Greetings. I hope this email finds you safe and well. Kindly find below the relevant information of the upcoming webinar on Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience in the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV that UNAIDS is organizing with the coalition of partners from the Interfaith health platform, for your information and kind participation. Many thanks.

DRAFT AGENDA

Overview and Session 1 – Mental Health in the dual pandemics: what spirituality, resilience and a human rights-based approach have to offer?

  • Dainius Pūras, Director, Human Rights Monitoring Institute, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Vilnius university, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health: A human rights based approach to mental health
  • Ani Shakarishvili, Special Adviser, Programme Partnerships, UNAIDS: Mental health and HIV: An imperative and an opportunity for integrated people-centered and human rights-based programmes and services for better HIV and health outcomes and wellbeing
  • Rev. Sarah Lund, United Church of Christ Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice: Spiritual Care Tools for Community Mental Health
  • Sabrina T. Cherry, Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies Certificate, Assistant Professor, Public Health Faculty Fellow, UNCW Center For Social Impact: Impact of spirituality on resilience and coping during the COVID-19 crisis – A mixed-method approach investigating the impact on women

Best Practices & Lessons Learned Session: HIV & COVID-19

  • Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga, President of the Bolivian Network of People Living with HIV
  • Nkatha Njeru, Coordinator, Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP)
  • Applesta Da Costa, Program Lead, Psychosocial Support for interventions in mental health, Human Touch, Goa, India
  • Fr Rick Bauer, Director of Spiritual and Psychosocial Support for the Eastern Deanery AIDS Relief program in Nairobi, Kenya: Spirituality, Mental Health and Resilience during the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV: Understandings and practices from EDARP

5:30-7:30 am San Francisco / 8:30-10:30 am New York / 1:30-3:30 pm Dakar /
2:30-4:30 pm Geneva / 4:30-6:30 pm Nairobi / 7:00-9:00 pm Mumbai /
8:30-10:30 pm Bangkok

Register here. Virtual – UNAIDS Platform (Zoom) + YouTube |  Interpretation: English, French, Spanish

Warm regards,

Chuqiu Peng
Consultant
Inter-governmental Inter-Agency and Policy Dialogue Branch (IIPDB)
Policy and Strategy Division (PSD)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Email: peng@unfpa.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org

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