07 Mar Panta Rhea Team Attends the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples Global Forum
In late February 2023, the Panta Rhea team was thrilled to attend the first in-person gathering of the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) in several years. The 17-year old IFIP is a funder affinity group dedicated to fostering Indigenous solutions and partnerships among Indigenous Peoples and funders around the globe.
We were delighted to attend rich and powerful keynotes and workshops, including getting a chance to hear from long-time Panta Rhea partners Cultural Conservancy share about their work in the Indigenous “land back” movement in the United States and their founding of a new center for food sovereignty and agroecology on their San Francisco Bay Area-based farm, Heron Shadow.
The team connected with partners from the Agroecology Fund, The Cultural Conservancy, Global Greengrants, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, Kindle Project, Fondo Acción Solidaria A.C, the Center for Cultural Power, and many more. Through local site visits in the city of Mérida and its outskirts, we got a deep dive in the exciting organizing efforts across the Yucatan peninsula to support Indigenous movements for agroecology, self-determination, cultural preservation and sustainable development. Farmer advocates with the newly launched Fondo Agroecológico Península de Yucatán (FAPY) provided an inspiring field visit, showcasing their biodiverse and thriving farms and beekeeping operations led by Indigenous community members. (Did you know that the Mayans were the first to domestic honeybees?)
We were incredibly inspired by the leadership of IFIP and by the growing efforts in Indigenous-led philanthropy, such as the Pawanka Fund and Fundo Podaali working in the Amazon. And, we were moved by the courageous frontline leaders who face incredible risks in their fight for Indigenous rights and the protection of our planet, in Mexico and beyond.
En route to the IFIP Conference, part of Panta Rhea’s staff team converged with Mexico City based partners including Casa Gallina, and deepened our understanding of the civil society landscape through conversations with groups like Alternativas y Capacidades. We attended the launch of RacismoMX, a UNESCO-Mexico campaign to combat racism and other forms of discrimination in Mexico. We truly look forward to future learning and partnership opportunities in Mexico on the horizon.