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How One Indigenous Nation is Reclaiming their Food System—One Breakfast at a Time

For the Wampis Nation in the Peruvian Amazon, protecting their territory and living well go hand in hand with reclaiming and strengthening their own ancestral knowledge, wisdom, practices and customs.

For many indigenous peoples across the Peruvian Amazon, living well – ‘tarimat pujut’ in Wampis – is intimately connected to the twin tasks of advancing self-government and strengthening collective social and territorial governance. They must do this amidst multiple threats to their forests, lands and rivers from the State and a plethora of extractive companies. A powerful expression of this movement in defence of territory and life are the Wampis in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon, who in late 2015 recognized themselves as the Wampis Nation and declared the creation of their own Autonomous Territorial Government (GTANW, by its Spanish acronym).

The Wampis locate the genesis of their Territorial Government within a 7,000 year history of inhabiting their ancestral lands and struggling against successive external forces – from the Iwa to the modern-day Peruvian State – to defend their territory and freely decide their own futures.

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The GTANW recognizes the profound connection between the health of their territory and the health of Wampis families by ensuring a nutritious food supply. “Food, above all if it is natural, is the basis of life. Our knowledge of food has been passed down through generations by Nunkui,” explains Shapiom Noningo Sesen, Wampis leader and Technical Secretary for the GTANW.

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Tags: #food, #indigenouspeoples, #peru
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