Indigenous leaders empowering communities through social enterprise
Monday, April 14, 2014
In the late 1960s, Tashka Yawanawá’s father, from the Yawanawá Amazonian indigenous group, was in the first generation of his people to make contact with the outside world. They wanted to assert their rights to their land, prevent deforestation, and continue living ecologically.
“Twenty years later my dad taught me English and sent me to university in America, so that I could be part of the next generation empowered to protect the forests,” says Tashka. “We have now grown in number and have a variety of income streams which help to protect ourselves and the land.”
The indigenous chief spoke at the Skoll World Forum earlier this week, along with other indigenous leaders from Brazil, about their social entrepreneurship. His entrepreneurial spirit saw him link with natural toiletries company Aveda while in the US at university. The company still uses a natural dye from the forest in their products and buys rights to use the Yawanawá’s image, providing a valuable income.