This sphere of alternatives refers to the mobilizations of groups with shared values and goals trying to obtain awareness regarding certain issues. Most of the movements mentioned below are centring Indigenous perspectives, Nature and Life.
By Culture Hack Labs
Published November 16, 2023
This is a sub-category under which the focus is protection of nature itself from extractivist industries, projects and systems.
Futuros Indigenas is a collective movement which developed as a response to the climate crisis which unites Indigenous representatives from over 20 Indigenous peoples to address the threats to to their lives and territories. It is a coalition of resistance narratives born from the urgency to to confront environmental emergencies, with aims to “reforest minds and indigenize hearts.” Futuros Indigenas views the current climate crisis as a culmination of historical colonization, which has undermined Indigenous sovereignty and imposed destructive capitalist values. The movement considers that these crises are the symptoms of the long-standing systemic ills of oppression, including racism and patriarchy. The collective action they call for involves a profound cultural and ecological revival, encompassing community management of resources, Indigenous governance, and the restoration of linguistic diversity and identity. Their goal is to ensure that all lives can exist with dignity on Earth, advocating for a return to a way of life in harmony with nature rather than a mere recovery from crisis. Milpamérica represents a profound connection with Mother Earth, a biodiverse territory rich in culture and natural wealth, where indigenous peoples have cultivated maize and coexisted with the land for centuries. It’s a symbol of resistance against colonization, environmental exploitation, and the erasure of indigenous identities. They highlight the disproportionate impact of climate change on indigenous communities, stressing that true climate justice must address structural inequalities. Milpamérica calls for a collective rise in defense of the Earth, urging unity across diversities to honor ancestral wisdom and counteract the climate crisis with sustainable, respectful practices.
Rights of Nature is a legal and jurisprudential theory that describes the inherent rights of Nature (such as ecosystems and species) as a living entity. The Rights of Nature rests on the idea of balancing human needs with what is good for other living creatures. Rights of Nature posit that Nature is not something to be owned and has the right to exist, persist and maintain/regenerate its life cycles. Its social media presence is quite small and localized to the global north predominantly, (US, UK, Ireland, Canada and Italy). Actors situated here are mainly lawyers, activists, policymakers and organizations.
The NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization committed to establishing Indigenous power. Their goal is to exercise their right to self-determination, while facilitating a world constructed on the backbone of justice and equality for all people. They operate through the defending of people, communities and nations against extractivism that destroys the environment. NDN Collective is also focusing on regenerative community development, renewable energy investments and social enterprise development. NDN Collective also brings attention to the importance of decolonization, rejuvenation of Indigenous ceremonies, culture, language and identity.
Fridays For Future (FFF) is a global climate movement started by youth and driven by their passion for change. It all began in August 2018 when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg took a stand against climate inaction by striking from school. Positioned outside the Swedish Parliament leading up to the national elections, she voiced her frustration at society’s apathy towards the escalating climate crisis. Initially a lone warrior, Greta’s dedication soon drew supporters. By September 8th, she and her fellow strikers resolved to continue their advocacy until Sweden’s policies aligned with the Paris Agreement, aiming for a temperature increase well below 2°C. Adopting the hashtag #FridaysForFuture, they ignited a global youth-led movement, urging peers worldwide to join. This simple act of defiance evolved into a global phenomenon, with students and advocates worldwide rallying outside governmental buildings. As part of this groundbreaking wave, Fridays For Future has galvanized millions to address the climate crisis.
Ecocidio is a large and growing movement predominantly based in the global South. It utilizes a legal framework to defend Nature and is being used by International lawyers, diplomats and policymakers to make ecocide an internationally recognised crime. There is not currently an International legal definition or consensus for what constitutes ecocide. The main concept here is that Nature is life and land is life. Affiliated organizations include Stop Ecocide International and previously, the European Law Institute. The Ecocidio conversation has a large online presence and is mainly situated in Mexico and Venezuela with some lesser interaction in the United States.
Stop Ecocide International (SEI) is a global organization formed in 2017 and made up of lawyers, diplomats, and various civil society actors with the mission of making ecocide an international crime. The core team of SEI is located internationally but is managed in the UK by Stop Ecocide International Ltd. They also run a charity organization called the Stop Ecocide Foundation which was formed in 2019.
Earth Justice is a nonprofit justice organization founded in 1971 with the intention to protect and preserve precious natural resources, protect people, places and wildlife utilizing an environmental law framework. Operating under the belief that “the earth needs a good lawyer,” Earthjustice has been pivotal in securing vital environmental victories, from preserving pristine lands to setting pollution limits. With a robust team of over 200 seasoned lawyers, complemented by researchers, scientists, and policy experts, Earthjustice has a track record of success in courts across the nation. Their reach, with 15 offices nationwide, extends from Alaska’s drilling sites to Florida’s algae blooms, ensuring they’re present wherever environmental battles arise. Supported by generous donors and guided by a dedicated board, Earthjustice remains a beacon of hope for the environment, proving time and again that the law is a formidable tool for change.
APIB is an Indigenous resistance movement which was created in 2005 at Camp Terra Livre (ATL). ATL is APIB’s annual national mobilization that aims to increase visibility regarding Indigenous rights and claim from the Brazilian government the fulfuilment of its demands. APIB was created as a collective movement aimed at bringing together various Indigenous regional organizations in order to bolster the solidarity between Indigenous people, and between different Indigenous regions and organizations in the country.
Some of the goals of APIB include:
Promote mobilizations and permanent articulation of the Indigenous Movement, in different regions and at the national level.
Formulate and implement a Training Program for indigenous leaders and organizations.
Assess and focus on the construction and implementation of specific and differentiated Public Policies aimed at indigenous peoples, in the different areas of interest: health, education, land, environment, legislation, sustainability, human rights and social participation and control.
Build and strengthen alliances with the international indigenous movement and other social movements, as well as partnerships with institutions and networks of solidarity and support for social causes, especially that of indigenous peoples.
Guarantee the institutional and organizational infrastructure as well as the maintenance of the political and technical team necessary for the implementation of the APIB action plan.
Demarcaçao Ja is a response by Indigenous groups in Brazil to the inaction and perceived rollback of Indigenous land rights by the Brazilian government. It is a call to resistance against the failure to officially demarcate Indigenous territories officially, this is not only crucial for Indigenous cultural preservation but also for the conservation of Brazil’s ecosystems, in particular, the Amazon rainforest. Indigenous groups are prepared to resist any threats to their land and maintain a strong stance for their rights, despite facing hostilities and the daunting prospect of their efforts being nullified by governmental decisions. This movement exemplifies a fervent determination to preserve their heritage and the environment against encroachment and exploitation.
These movements differentiate themselves by seeking justice for displaced Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike via formal and informal organization and solidarity. Some of these movements and organizations have gained global attention.
The Indian Land Tenure Foundation is a national locally organized foundation tending to Indigenous American nations and people seeking reclamation and stewardship of their motherland. The ILTF originated in the 1990s when a group of concerned Indian landowners, land rights advocates, and tribal leaders converged to do something about the issues affecting Indian land tenure – the terms and conditions by which Indians hold land. The ILTF is governed by an 11-member board made up of Indian landowners, tribal representatives, and those with a lifelong commitment to Indian land issues and rights. The ILFT endorses education to cultivate cultural awareness, job creation, and the reformation of legal and administrative systems which create barriers to Indigenous peoples reservation land ownership and stewardship. The ILFT accepts endorsement and sponsorship from the public to support its grantmaking and programs.
The West Berkeley Shellmound is believed to be a part of a series of ancient village sites located around the San Francisco Bay Area. Shellmounds are essentially ancient habitation sites and are characterized by the accumulation of shells, bones, and other artifacts. The campaign to Save West Berkeley Shellmound began in 2018 in an endeavor to protect one of the oldest sacred sites of the Ohlone people in the Bay Area of California from demolition and desecration. Among some of the involved organizations protesting this endeavor are Indian People Organizing for Change (IPOC). The Ohlone people, along with other supporters, rallied to prevent this development, emphasizing the site’s cultural, historical, and spiritual significance.
Real Rent Duwamish is an organization calling for people who work and live in Seattle to provide rental payments to the Duwamish tribe who were the original stewards of Seattle after whom their Duwamish Chief Seattle, was named. The tribe has yet to be compensated for their land, resources and livelihood. The Duwamish tribe do not have just access to the resources of their land and after decades still remain unacknowledged by the federal state and local governments. “In 1971, 1,000 Duwamish members were paid $64 dollars each for their land, this is equal to $64,000 for 54,000 acres of land. $64,000 adjusted for inflation today would maybe buy a single 1,000 square foot tiny home.” Thus, the Real Rent organization is calling for Seattle citizens to work together to account for this and other inequities.
Easy Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (EB PREC) is a community-focused development cooperative, democratically managed by People of Color. They aim to transform housing by extracting properties from the speculative market, ensuring they remain permanently affordable and community-controlled. By reimagining a housing system marred by racial and class disparities, their goal is to foster wealth for the most marginalized. They ultimately enable BIPOC and allied groups to collaboratively finance, acquire, and manage properties, ensuring they’re forever removed from speculative markets. Their mission is to transition from an extractive capitalist approach to one that nurtures ecological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, and economic restoration and regeneration.
Land back started as a social media trend but it has since grown into a powerful mantra which has captured the call for reparations and Indigenous sovereignty. Land Back is a decentralized Indigenous-led movement that has been in existence for many generations. It is led by Indigenous Americans mainly situated in the United States, Canada and Mesoamerica. Land back is a massive conversation online. It is also gaining in traction in relation to the Ukraine and Palestinian wars. The majority of actors found here are Indigenous people, activists and NGOs. It is mainly situated in the global north (the United States, the UK, Canada) with some fringe conversation in India and South Africa.
The Land Loss Prevention Project founded in 1982, by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to prevent the loss of Black owned land in North Carolina. Established in 1983 in North Carolina, the Land Loss Prevention Project expanded its mission in 1993 to offer legal aid to financially struggling farmers and landowners in the state. The organization operates in three main areas: litigation (often involving debt restructuring), public policy monitoring concerning small family farmers, and the promotion of sustainable, eco-friendly agricultural practices. They collaborate with various coalitions at state, regional, and national levels to champion sustainable agriculture and policy innovations, seamlessly integrating policy efforts with litigation topics.
The Earthseed Land Collective is an alliance of Black and Brown people who have created a transitional space in response to the capitalist system. Based in Durham, North Carolina, and started in 2016, the collective currently stewards 48 acres of land. Their aim is to close the racial wealth gap via co-ownership of land and resources. The organization’s mission is to establish a center for community resilience for collective healing, cultural arts, food justice, food sovereignty, and cooperative learning. “We cultivate these spaces and practice centering relationships and culture–a requirement for transforming systems. We catalyze our members, our partners in resistance, and our broader communities: to grow food, to grow jobs, to grow movements, to grow spirit and mind; to hold ceremony, to hold our differences, and to hold our common liberation.” Earthseed is connected to a number of interdependent projects such as: -Tierra Negra Farm – a collective of farmers, educators and cultural workers, striving to model a community-controlled food system that is just and sustainable.
ETR Services, LLC – a small, HUB-certified business offering various services to improve educational outcomes, workforce participation, and social conditions for communities in need. -Libélula Consulting – an organization providing inspiration, instigation and support for projects focused on equity, social justice, and authentic community engagement.
Durham Angoleirx – a capoeira angola cooperative committed to sharing in the practice of this afro-brazilian martial art.