Podcast on Eco-cultural pluralism, Extractivism, and the Kichwa people of Ecuadorian Amazonia

Katy Machoa & Paola Minoia
Katy Machoa & Paola Minoia.Photo: Tuija Veintie

Paola Minoia: “Together with Katy,
I have been interviewed by the Podcast series on Extractivism and Alternatives.” The series is part of different initiatives coordinated within the unit of Development Study of the university of Helsinki, among which the forthcoming Exalt Conference 2020 on “Concurrent crises and sustainable futures: global extractivism and alternatives” in October 2020.

“In this podcast, we talked about the project, how Katy and I met and started our collaboration, and why we think that intercultural knowledge is related to different forms of justice: from epistemic to environmental and territorial. Katy spoke of her lived experiences in the Ecuadorian Amazon and, in particular, of evictions and destruction of villages in the Nankints community due to new mining exploitations.”

The podcast is accessible through this link. There are three versions: one integral version including presentations in Spanish by Katy and translations by Paola, one in Spanish, and one in English only.

“I hope you enjoy this conversation, and please let us know what you think!”

Overview of the year 2019 and glimpse to the upcoming project activities

During the year 2019, fieldwork and data collection were the main activities of the project. The project team met during three periods of fieldwork in Ecuador. In January, Paola Minoia and Andrés Tapia interviewed and discussed with key actors, including professionals and experts in education, ancestral knowledges, decoloniality and interculturality, as well as with Indigenous leaders and representatives of NGOs, in Quito and Pastaza. In March-June and September-October, Tuija Veintie, Johanna Hohenthal, Andrés Tapia, Katy Machoa, Tito Madrid and students of the UEA visited the IBE upper secondary schools in Pastaza and interviewed directors, teachers, students and parents. Three schools were selected for more comprehensive field study: UEIB “Camilo Huatatoca” in Santa Clara, UEIB “Sarayaku” and UEIB “Kumay”. In these schools, we conducted a higher number of in-depth interviews with teachers and students, questionnaire surveys, classroom observation, as well as participatory mapping and photography with the students.

Upper secondary school students produced over 20 maps and hundreds of photographs illustrating their school journeys and culturally meaningful places in the Indigenous communities. Sometimes the drawing was a bit challenging. For example, during the thunderstorm in Kumay water dripped to the tables from the roof and there was very little light in the classroom even though it was morning (photo on the right). (Photos: Johanna Hohenthal 2019)

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Riikka Kaukonen, doing a master’s thesis within the project

(En español abajo)

My name is Riikka Kaukonen. I am 25 years old master’s degree student of development studies in the University of Helsinki. Born in Lapland, I have been interested in the issues of environment, indigenous knowledges and the fight against extractivist industries since my childhood. In this project I am conducting a study on the significance of place and territory in the context of decolonial education. My fieldwork included a three week journey through the Sapara territory and 2 month long period in the vicinity of Puyo, Pastaza, during which I visited multiple bilingual and intercultural schools. I am writing my master’s degree based on this fieldwork.

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Andrés Tapia se une al equipo de investigadores

(English version below)

En septiembre, nos complace dar la bienvenida a nuestro equipo de investigación a un nuevo investigador, Andrés Tapia. Andrés es licenciado en Ciencias Biológicas de la Universidad Central del Ecuador con una Maestría en Biodiversidad de Bosques Tropicales y su Conservación en la Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) de España. Tiene también una tecnología en Medios de Comunicación y Economía en el Instituto Popular Superior de Härnösand en Suecia. Actualmente es Dirigente de Comunicación, Promoción y Fortalecimiento Organizativo de la Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de la Amazonía Ecuatoriana (CONFENIAE), periodo 2016-2020, donde ha sido también parte del equipo técnico en temas de ambiente, territorio y biodiversidad desde el 2010. Ha sido parte del equipo técnico de la Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador (CONAIE) desde hace varios años. Ha liderado varias campañas en defensa de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y es fundador y líder de la red de comunicadores comunitarios “Lanceros Digitales”. Representante de base de la comunidad Unión Base, Comuna San Jacinto del Pindo de la Nacionalidad Kichwa de Pastaza.

En este proyecto, Andrés se enfocará en estudiar cómo el concepto de “territorio” podría contribuir a las políticas educativas públicas que reconocen el pluralismo ecocultural para la calidad del sistema educativo ecuatoriano.

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Importance and challenges of intercultural bilingual education: thoughts by Rosaura Gutiérrez

Text: Rosaura Gutiérrez & Johanna Hohenthal

What makes intercultural bilingual education so important in Ecuador and Pastaza and why is it celebrated? In general, intercultural bilingual education emphasizes equality, equity, parity, complementarity and exchange between different bodies of knowledge in a culturally diverse context [1].

Foto: Johanna Hohenthal

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