Landback for Indigenous Amazonian Communities!

My name is Martina Paloheimo, and I am a fourth-year Ph.D. Student working with families of the Indigenous Shuar community of the Ecuadorian Amazon to help preserve and protect their Indigenous culture and lands.

We are raising funds for their newly registered Indigenous-led NGO Inisha Nunka.

This #landback campaign has been started in partnership with Shuar-led foundation Inisha Nunka, myself, as a Ph.D. Student at Queen’s University and with support from Canadian-based NGO Global Indigenous Development Trust. Our mission is to help Shuar families in the Ecuadorian Amazon who find themselves in emergencies and need to sell their land to make ends meet.

Families often have no other way to provide healthcare, food or education for their loved ones. So their only option is to sell their ancestral territories for as little as hundreds- thousands of dollars to the highest bidder to save the life of a loved one, send them to school, or put food on the table for their families.

I was recently offered to buy land from numerous families during my visit in Ecuador. Families have to make the hard decision of selling their family home in their traditional communities for as little as $2500.00 USD to give their families life-saving surgery such as cancer, any access to credit/income, or to meet basic education needs.

This is a vicious cycle across the Amazon region that results from racist economic policies and a history of colonization, and it is a CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO CLIMATE CHANGE!

“Indigenous lands make up around 20% of the Earth’s territory, containing 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity—a sign Indigenous Peoples are the most effective stewards of the environment” (Recio & Hestad, 2022, p. 1).

So when Indigenous peoples lose control of their territory, we lose essential custodians of the Earth's remaining precious resources!

This crowdfunding campaign has two objectives
#1 to raise enough money to begin buy back #shuarlands being sold

#2 To build seed funding for the Indigenous Led organization Inisha Nunka (Grandmother's Mother Earth) to get a bank account and begin administration such as looking for grants and being able to buy back these parcels of Shuar land for sale throughout their ancestral territories.

Doing this will help guard and recuperate these precious territories against climate change and protect them for future generations. And for the greater good of Planetary Health.

Every parcel of land bought by Inisha Nunka will be put in the name of both the foundation and the previous owner of the territory to ensure it is not sold again. With a promise to steward and protect these lands from exploitation! 75% of the price of the land being bought will go directly to the families selling the land (allowing them to gain the disposal income necessary but also remain in their homes), and 25% will go towards administering and recuperating further territory.

Shuar communities are at risk from transnational mining interests in their land and of cultural genocide after centuries of colonialism. These Indigenous leaders have come together to create their own foundation Inisha Nunka to help protect their traditional knowledge and biodiverse lands! Inisha Nunka was founded in the region of the Cordillera de Cutuku which is recognized as one of thirty-three integral biodiversity hot spots on the planet, their territories are crucial to planetary health. Helping to support Shuar culture and territory helps to protect the Earth's remaining resources directly and combat climate change!

Foundation Inisha Nunka (Grandmother's Earth in Shuar) is the first ever foundation in the Ecuadorian Amazon founded by Indigenous Peoples for Indigenous Peoples.

The foundation's objective is to hold land in trust in partnership with the original Indigenous owners of the land so that they can get the economic relief they need. Amazonian Shuar communities can begin to protect the Amazon region themselves and regain back their lost territories.

The objective of Inisha Nunka is to continue to buy more lands for sale in and around their communities to stop this cycle of land dispossession and exploitation while also working to help generate economic income for the families that need it.

Support to #landback in the Ecuadorian #Amazon #rainforest for #Shuar families!

We need an initial $2500.00 USD to purchase the first piece of land for sale around Inisha Nunka before someone else does - any additional funds will go towards Inisha Nunka buying other lands up for sale in and around their ancestral lands with families in need!

Inisha Nunka was founded around the idea that a group of family members have conserved and preserved their territory- promising never to sell their grandmother's Lands and keep their ancestral territory as a forest reserve. This conservation area of about 80 hectares in the Cordillera Cututu is what leads the vision and idea of the foundation.

Again your money does two things:
1. Stops a family from having to move from their home and helps them to pay the bills they so urgently need
2. Fights Climate Change by protecting the Earth’s most precious resource, the Amazon rainforest!

Goal CAD $4000.00

Your donation will go directly to supporting work with Indigenous Shuar Communities, their culture, and stewardship of these essential ecosystems.

Indigenous communities in Ecuador tend to be impoverished and marginalized. They often lack access to education and health care and are mired in poverty and deprivation. Because of linguistic, social and cultural values, their voices go largely unheard, and they face racism in myriad ways.

Nearly 88 percent of indigenous households live below the poverty line, a grim fact reflected in high maternal and infant mortality rates. In some remote communities, maternal mortality reaches 250 deaths per 100,000 live births, nearly twice the national average of 130. Ecuador has a history of abuse and disregarding Indigenous communities in extractive projects, rendering them invisible. It is common for companies to violate or manipulate the right to prior consultation to get the government to grant them operating licenses for extractive projects. Leaving communities to deal with the usually devastating aftermath of these projects and receiving very little of their benefits.

I am a student working part-time to help support their projects through my research and time! Please, any size of donation helps!

Indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest include the Shuar people in Ecuador and Peru. The Shuar people speak the Shuar language and do not just live in the Amazon. Their systems of knowledge hold the secrets to the Amazon rainforest. They are specialists in its care, healing, plant medicines, and stewardship of the forest's plant and animal beings. It is estimated that there are 40,000 Shuar people in total. Some groups are also found close to the Andes too. The Shuar people have a reputation for being fierce warriors. As the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon struggle for their rights, they continue to challenge and halt deforestation, river pollution and the degradation of biodiversity, practices that threaten the planet.

We are working together through my research at Queen's University in and have support from www.

You can check out our start-up website at

Donations (6)

  • Kristen Edmonds
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Cassie Scowcroft
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Ashley Wheeler
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Leslie Kandel
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $1,000 
    • 1 yr


Martina Jakubchik-Paloheimo
Toronto, ON

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