Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism
For the period January 1 to December 1, 2003
Program Outreach Activities
The Director was invited to attend the 9th Nuclear Free And Independent
Pacific Conference, in Nuku’alofa, Tonga in January 18–24,
2003. She gave a presentation to the plenary body on biopiracy
issues with an emphasis on the Pacific Region, and participated
in the globalization working group. NFIP Board representation
from the Canada/US region rotates between the two countries every
four years. The regional caucus nominated Debra Harry to serve
as the regional representative to the NFIP board for the next
On Feb 12, 2003 IPCB board member Jonathan Marks gave the annual
Linnaeus Lecture at Uppsala University, Sweden.
IPCB’s Director, nominated by Mililani Trask, Pacific
Representative to the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous
Issues, was invited to participate in a small Ad Hoc Technical
Expert Group Meeting On The Potential impacts Of Genetic Use Restriction
Technologies On Smallholder Farmers, Indigenous And Local Communities
And Farmers’ Rights at the CBD offices in Montreal on February
19-21, 2003. The Ad Hoc group, consisting of representatives from
industry, UN bodies, and NGOs, developed a set of recommendations
regarding GURTs technologies, more commonly known as “terminator
technology” and the final report will be presented to the
next Scientific Advisory Group meeting and eventually to the next
Conference of the Parties.
The Director was invited to participate in the Miami convening
of The Globalizing Civil Society project which brought together
activists from community organizations, based primarily in low-income
communities of color, to consider how globalization is impacting
their work. The project, coordinated by the Center for Justice,
Tolerance, and Community of UC Santa Cruz and the Inter-American
Forum of the Collins Center in Miami, was structured around two
weekend convenings that took place during the fall of 2002 in
Santa Cruz and Miami, respectively. Follow-up included sponsorship
of a delegation to the January 2003 World Social Forum and a meeting
with a select number of the activists to consider next steps held
in New York City in March 2003. In addition to participation in
the strategy meeting in NYC, the Director served as a resource
person at a meeting of the “Funders Network on Trade and
Globalization: Local-Global Working Group”, organized by
the Ford Foundation and held on March 7, 2003.
The Project Director participated as a speaker at a national
gathering of Indigenous Peoples organized by Tonatierra and the
Seventh Generation Fund in Phoenix, and made a general presentation
on biocolonialism, and a special briefing for participants on
the International Genome Consortium, newly based and operating
in Phoenix, AZ.
The Director was a featured speaker on March 12, 2003 at an evening
forum during Women’s Week at UC-Boulder sponsored by the
Native American Committee. On Mar 14-15, board member Jonathan
Marks spoke to the Native American Studies Department at St Thomas
University in New Brunswick, Canada.
The Project Director attended the briefing on nanotechnology
organized by the ETC Group in Chicago, IL on March 20-21, 2003.
The Director served as a guest lecturer for a class in the Rural
Development and Sociology Department at Cornell University on
April 8, 2003. The Native American Program also hosted a screening
of the IPCB/Yeast Directions new film, “The Leech and the
Earthworm,” on the evening of April 7, 2003.
On May 12-15, the Director participated in the Second Session
of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, held from 12 to 23
May 2003 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. She assisted
in drafting a joint statement titled “Collective Statement
of Indigenous Peoples addressing Biopiracy” for Agenda Item
4(b): Environment. The submitting organizations included: IPCB,
Ka Koa Ikaika o Ka Lahui Hawai`i, Waikiki Hawaiian Civic Club,
Rapa Nui Parliament, Korohu`a (Rapa Nui Elders), Pacific Concerns
Resource Center (PCRC), Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP),
and Dewan Adat Papua.
On Tuesday, May 13, the Director held a screening of the film
“The Leech and the Earthworm,” at UN headquarters,
Studio 4, for the Permanent Forum participants, and distributed
IPCB educational materials and approximately 100 review copies
of the film to the PF participants consisting of Indigenous peoples
from around the world. During the week of May 26--30, 2003 the
Director served as an invited resource person specifically on
IPR and TRIPS issues for the “Pacific Gender and Trade Workshop”
sponsored by the Pacific Concerns Resource Council and held in
Nadi, Fiji. The workshop involved representatives of Pacific women's
non-government organizations, churches and scholars of tertiary
institutions. Participants came from Tonga, Kiribati, New Caledonia,
Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Federated States
of Micronesia, Fiji and the two Suva-based regional institutions
of the University of the South Pacific and Pacific Theological
College. In addition to gaining understanding of the key regional
multi-lateral trading system agreements (such as Pacific Island
Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), Pacific Agreement on Closer
Economic Relations (PACER), Economic Partnership Agreement/Cotonou
Agreement) and the World Trade Organization and its instruments
like GATS and TRIPS), the group developed a Pacific Gender and
Trade network focusing on trade literacy, research and advocacy
activities in the Pacific region. The film was also shown to the
During the month of May board member Jonathan Marks served as
a consultant to the PBS series: “Race - the Power of an
During the first week of June, the Director did a series of film
screenings and presentations at several locations throughout the
North Island in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and in Suva, Fiji. The
film screenings were widely attended because of the strong Maori
presence in the film, and because the GE debate is heating up
again nationwide with the lifting of the national moratorium on
field trials of GE crops in October 03. Approximately 100 review
copies of the film were distributed in Aotearoa.
The Director served as a panelist for the Native American Journalists
Association (NAJA) annual conference for a workshop titled “Protecting
Mother Earth/Sacred Sites” on June 19. She also did a film
screening for the NAJA participants. On June 21, she also did
a film screening for the Oneida Nation community sponsored by
the Oneida Nation Media Program.
Board member Stuart Newman was featured in the PBS documentary
“Bloodlines: Technology Hits Home” (www.backbonemedia.org/bloodlines/)
which dealt with the threat to human identity of new genetic technologies.
He also discussed these issues on a segment of NPR’s All
Things Considered. Dr. Newman also appeared in the Discovery Channel
documentary “Humanzee,” which dealt with the social
meaning of biological boundaries.
The Director was an invited to participate in a workshop sponsored
by Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for
Policy Research and Education) together with the Third World Network
and GRAIN on “Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge and Rights
of Indigenous Peoples: Threats and Challenges.” The workshop
was held on 3-5 July 2003 at the World Council of Churches at
Geneva, Switzerland. The film was also screened at the WCC by
the workshop participants. The participants of the workshop made
substantial written contributions for a final report and conclusions
of the workshop discussions.
The Director was invited to serve as a resource person to the
2nd Annual Wild Rice Convening, July 22, 2003 held at the Lac
Courte Oreilles reservation in Hayward, Wisconsin. The Convening,
organized by Winona LaDuke’s organization, the White Earth
Land Recovery Project, allowed for updates and strategy discussion
on the current issues related to the patenting and genetic sequencing
work on Wild Rice. The film was also screened for participants
at the meeting. On July 24th, Kristin Dawkins at the Institute
for Agriculture and Trade Policy, organized a screening of the
film for IATP’s global issues group in Minneapolis. The
screening was attended by approximately 25 individuals and was
followed by a discussion period.
The Director participated in the Fall 2003 Retreat of the Positive
Futures Network by to be held at the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo,
MI. The retreat will be the ninth in the State of the Possible
series that began in 1999. The retreat brings together diverse
social change leaders to explore the opportunities for shifting
our society to a more just, sustainable and compassionate path.
The theme of the Fall retreat will be "The Language of Empowerment."
The Director participated in a small dialogue on Oct. 15th,
with the President-Dominique Consiel, and other representatives
of the Aveda Corporation, regarding indigenous peoples concerns
on their trademarked “Indigenous” product line. The
Director was instrumental in persuading the Mr. Consiel to agree
to legally withdraw the trademark on the word “Indigenous”
and to discontinue the “Indigenous” product line.
The Director worked with Aveda staff to draft a press release,
and within two weeks of the meeting, the Aveda Corporation publicly
issued the announcement to withdraw the trademark and product
line and to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in our
efforts to stop the infringement of IPRs over our cultural and
On Oct. 16th, the Director made a presentation to the Heifer
International annual meeting regarding with work of the IPCB in
regards to the protection of biological resources and sustainable
development. Further discussions focused on areas of possible
collaboration between the Heifer International Native Nations
Program, the IPCB, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the
International Indian Treaty Council. We are discussion ways of
sharing IPCB materials and expertise with projects supported by
the Native Nations program.
“The Leech and the Earthworm” was accepted for screening
at the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival at Cornell and
Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY on Oct. 6-7 and at the Imaginative
Film Festival in Toronto during the week of Oct 22-26, time and
date TBA. The Director was in attendance for Q&A’s at
On Nov. 4, IPCB board chair Judy Gobert, spoke at the “Earth
Politics and Law Program” at Colorado University, Denver.
She also screened the film for the symposium participants.
On Nov. 11-15, the Director was invited to attend the Forty-fourth
Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs held
on Kaua'i, Hawai'i. During the week-long event, the Director participated
in several venues, including as a presenter for a workshop on
bioprospecting and intellectual property rights sponsored by the
Association's Bioprospecting Task Force; as a resource person
to the Health Committee regarding an Association resolution relating
to genetic research on Native Hawaiians and the patenting and
licensing of their genome; and facilitating discussion on biopiracy
and it's impact on the Native Hawaiian peoples after the film
showing of The Leech and the Earthworm.
On Nov. 22-24, 2003 the Director participated in an experts
workshop held in Como, Italy to develop recommendations on access
and benefit sharing to be input into the CBD workshops on 8(j),
ABS to take place in December in Montreal, and further to the
COP7 to be held in Malaysia in February, 2004.
The Director attended the annual general meeting of the Call
of the Earth Initiative, an international working group of indigenous
peoples organized to analyze issues related to the protection
of Indigenous Knowledge. The second meeting of the Call of the
Earth initiative will be held Nov. 24-28 in Bellagio, Italy.
On Dec. 3-13, the Director will participate in the CBD’s
Access and Benefit Sharing and 8(j) Working Group meetings in
Montreal. The purpose of the workshops is to explore and make
recommendations regarding the establishment of an international
regime on access and benefit sharing. The Bonn Guidelines are
considered a stepping stone toward an international binding regime.
The director will work with other indigenous peoples to try to
insure relevant text protecting the rights of indigenous peoples
is forwarded to the COP7.
IPCB/Yeast Directions Film Project
The film titled “The Leech and the Earthworm” was
completed in April. We completed filming in November, 2002, and
began the editing process in December 02. Since April, we’ve
shared review copies with a wide network of interested individuals
and organizations, and have done screenings to share the film
with audiences in different parts of the world, including:
April 7, Cornell University Robert Purcell Auditorium, Ithaca
April 19, New College Theatre, San Francisco, CA
May 13, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, UN Bldg, NY
May 29, Pacific Gender and Trade Workshop, Nadi, Fiji
May 30, The Biozone - ASEED’s neighborhood at the G8 protests,
June 4, Riverside Studios, London
June 5, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland
June 6, Parihaka Marae, Taranaki
June 8, Whanganui Community Centre, Whanganui
June 9, TPK Maori Ministers of Parliament, Wellington
June 9, Green Party, Wellington
June 11, JJ’s Convention Centre,Suva, Fiji
June 17, International Art festival Break 2.2, Ljubljana, Slovenia
June 19. Native American Journalists Association, Green Bay, WI
June 21, Oneida Nation Media Program, Green Bay, WI
July 4, Workshop on Protecting Indigenous Knowledge, World Council
of Churches, Geneva
July 9, Zanzibar International Film Festival, Zanzibar
July 24, IATP Global Issues Group, Minneapolis, MN.
Oct. 6-7, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Ithaca, NY
Oct 22-26, ImagineNative Film Festival, Toronto, ON
Nov. 6, Camosun College, Victoria, BC
Nov. 7, University of Victoria, BC
Nov. 7-8, Docomania Film Festival, New Plymouth, Aotearoa (New
Nov. 27, Call of the Earth annual meeting, Bellagio, Italy
The film is now available for purchase from the IPCB website
for both personal home and institutional use. We plan to develop
a DVD version and and study guide. A non-exclusive agreement has
been developed with Journeyman for global broadcast distribution.
The print-quality color poster and video cover designs were designed
by Gabe Shaw. The poster design and information about the film
can be seen at: http://ipcb.org/publications/video/files/film_project.html
March 12, Interview for Native America radio program in Boulder,
April 9, 2003 The director did an interview with Jonathan Miller
for an NPR program about the effects of globalization on indigenous
May 7, 2003 The Director edited an interview that will be a contribution
to a new book on Globalization by David Solnit.
July 11, 2003 The Director did an interview with filmmaker Joe
Gray for a new film on human genetic technologies. His previous
work includes “Green Blood, Red Tears” (cinestream.org)
on the economic, social, and biochemical causes which link farming
July 17, 2003 The director did an interview with Giovanna DiChiro,
based at Mt. Holyoke College, for a new book on women’s
leadership in the environmental justice work.
September, 2003 The director did an interview with Trace DeMeyer
for a review of the film which was published in the September
issue of the Pequot Times.
October, 2003 The director did an interview for a news segment
for the national news program of the Aboriginal Peoples Television
Network shown throughout Canada.
October, 2003 the Director did a radio interview with Dan Smoke
for his weekly program Smoke Signals in London, Ontario.
October, 2003 The director did a 20 min. live radio interview
for Aboriginal Voices radio in Victoria, BC.
October, 2003 the director did an interview with Jeff Shaw for
an article on biopiracy published on Nov. 26, 2003 in “In
These Times” http://www.inthesetimes.com/comments.php?id-467_0_1_0_C.
T he IPCB has been an active and effective advocacy organization
that fills a unique niche by bringing quality resources on complex
issues to Indigenous peoples. Even though we are a small organization,
our efforts reach indigenous communities around the world. This
work would not have been possible without the support of our funders
who continue to invest in and support our efforts. We are deeply
grateful for their generous support.