Wampis nation establishes the first autonomous indigenous government in Peru

Source: Intercontinental Cry

For most Peruvians it was a Sunday like any other; but in the Wampis community of Soledad, it was a historic day. On November 29, the Wampis nation declared the formation of the first Autonomous Indigenous Government in Peru.

Spanning a 1.3 million hectare territory – a region the size of the State of Connecticut – the newly elected government brings together 100 Wampis communities representing some 10,613 people who continue to live a traditional subsistence way of life through hunting, fishing and small scale agriculture.

While the newly-formed government does not seek independence from Peru, its main role is to protect Wampis ancestral territory and promote a sustainable way of life that prioritizes well-being, food security and a healthy harmonious existence with the natural world.

This is no small task in today’s world; but it is nonetheless a necessary one, as Andres Noningo Sesen, Waimaku (Wampis Visionary), explains in a recent email to the New Internationalist. Due to the advance of mining and oil companies, illegal logging and palm oil plantations, the Wampis have found their livelihoods increasingly under threat.

Continue reading