Cultural Survival has more than 48 years of experience partnering with Indigenous communities and works closely with a trusted network of Indigenous partners and international human rights advocates across the globe. We engage opportunities to leverage our experience and leadership in advocacy, media, public education, programs, and in providing platforms to amplify and empower the voices of Indigenous Peoples as they work to claim their rights to self-determination, their lands, cultures, and precious ecosystems that are essential to the whole planet.
Cultural Survival advocates for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience.
Cultural Survival envisions a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples' inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance.
Through our grant-making programs, Cultural Survival provides opportunities for Indigenous radio stations to strengthen their broadcast infrastructure, trains community radio journalists, and supports Indigenous Peoples’ community advocacy and development projects.
Our programs work to inform, create resources for, support access to information, bolster freedom of expression, and assist Indigenous communities to organize and shape their futures in ways consistent with their traditions, languages, cultures. Through our grant-making programs, Cultural Survival provides opportunities for Indigenous radio stations to strengthen their broadcast infrastructure, trains community radio journalists, and supports Indigenous Peoples’ community advocacy and development projects.
Indigenous Peoples rights, self-determination, Free Prior and Informed Consent
Since 1972, Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous Peoples' rights and cultures worldwide.
Cultural Survival has curated a robust network of partnerships with Indigenous communities spanning over 70 countries on 6 continents. Our work is predicated on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) where we work to empower Indigenous Peoples as they strive to assert their rights to self-determination and sustain their lands, cultures and vital ecosystems that are essential to the health of our planet and all living things. We support grassroots Indigenous solutions to protect, respect and fulfill the rights of Indigenous communitieis and our approach centers traditional knowledge to restore balance in the natural world.
We are dedicated to supporting and developing Indigenous women's and youth leadership. We publicize Indigenous Peoples' issues through our award-winning Cultural Survival Quarterly; we mount on the ground campaigns and other advocacy efforts to stop environmental destruction and abuses of Indigenous Peoples' rights, always at the community’s invitation. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we have staff based in Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nepal, Canada, and South Africa. Cultural Survival also holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic Social and Cultural Council since 2005.
Our Keepers of the Earth Fund has launched an emergency grant-making process that provides small grants for urgent, community-centered projects. As of May 2020, 17 grants were distributed. Through our Community Media Grants Project, we provided grants to 21 radio stations that are urgently creating and distributing radio programs about COVID-19 prevention, food sovereignty, community health, social aid, economy and entrepreneurship. We produced 376 Public Service Announcements on COVID prevention in more than 120 Indigenous languages. Also preventions manuals for Indigenous Radio Stations in 73 Indigenous languages, launched a COVID-19 mapping project through Google technologies.
Size and/or structure
The organization was founded in 1972, and since then many staff members and board members have joined and others have stepped down. The organization has grown. Currently the organization is based in Cambridge, MA, but staff members are based in 9 different countries. The majority of staff members are Indigenous and women.