The Indigenous Peoples’ Power Project (IP3) – The Ruckus Society’s ongoing commitment to supporting the fight of Native communities for Environmental Justice, Human Rights, and Self Determination.
As much as ninety percent of the world’s remaining natural resources are on indigenous peoples’ lands. The extraction of those resources promises nothing but continued genocide for native people, as the land is stripped bare and the people left destitute and disenfranchised. Treaty rights and sacred sites alike are trampled, so that a few can profit from water dams, uranium mines, nuclear waste dumps and coal, gas and oil extraction projects.
The Ruckus Society recognizes the critical position of native people at the intersection of key struggles for social, political and environmental justice and is committed to providing tools, training and support to key organizations and campaigns through our Indigenous Peoples’ Power Project. Through a series of regional camps, technical assistance and campaign support, we are providing training including strategic campaign development, non-violent direct action theory and practice, community organizing, leadership development, media and messaging and arts in action.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Power Project is particularly committed to the new generation of young leaders emerging across the continent, who are bringing innovation, creativity and inspiration to struggles to keep their homelands from becoming wastelands. They are are simultaneously fighting against exploitation and promoting viable solutions, including biodiesel and vegetable oil technologies, wind power, and other sustainable energy sources. Their explorations of modern technologies are also grounded in their commitment to maintaining indigenous traditions, languages and cultures.
The Ruckus Society is proud and privileged to team up with these emerging leaders, their organizations and constituencies to help build capacity through training, campaign and actions support, and training for a new generation of native trainers.
The Indigenous People’s Power Project (IP3) is a non violent direct action (NVDA) training and support network that exists to enhance the ability of Indigenous communities to exercise our inherent rights of justice and self-determination. IP3 offers NVDA training, action support and network building to that are then customized to fit the traditions of Indigenous communities.
IP3 recognizes the inherent connection between the survival of Indigenous Peoples the health and well being of the land, therefore it is critical that Native people be ready willing and able to protect it. IP3 trainings are designed to strengthen the capacity of Indigenous communities to use non-violent direct action in doing so.
Current Role of IP3
2015 marked ten years since our first IP3 Training for Trainers. Ruckus & IP3 celebrated by throwing an 10th anniversary Training for Indigenous Direct Action Trainers at Woodbine in Colorado (the same site of IP3’s first T4T 10 years ago). We had 30 amazing organizers from around North America, from critical fights including the Apache Stronghold; resistance to Keystone XL; resistance to extreme energy projects in Alaska, the Utah Plateau, Montana, the NWT in Canada and more; the fight to protect Mauna Kea among a few. The training was designed to increase the number as well as capacity of Indigenous non-violent direct action trainers. IP3 provided action theory, planning and strategy while deepening and sharpening training skills for the defense of the sacred. As Indigenous resistance has been resurging, IP3 and Ruckus are there to provide skills and training capacity to their fights.
Over the past eleven years, we’ve seen over 250 Indigenous leaders take and lead powerful direct actions both locally and internationally.
IP3 and Ruckus recognize the critical role of Indigenous Peoples in movements of resistance and the struggles for self determination, sovereignty, human rights, climate justice and so much more. We believe in expanding power from within communities to fight for the solutions to ecological destruction and for self-determination.
IP3 Development and History
In 2003 the Ruckus Society was invited to partner on a majority Indigenous and people of color action camp called “Our Power.” There was a formal request by community members for the creation of a program where Indigenous communities could get action training and have action resources at their disposal, and enhance their ability to respond to other Indigenous communities in similar struggle. Though direct action is not new to Indigenous communities, the particular strategic method of creative nonviolence, particularly for an outnumbered community called to fight for sovereignty and to protect the planet in ways counter to mainstream culture, appealed to Indigenous leaders. Thus, the foundations for the Indigenous Peoples Power Project sprouted.
Ruckus formally founded the Indigenous Peoples Power Project (IP3) in 2004. spearheading trainings and programs for Indigenous People in North America (our work has spread as far as northern Canada and South America). Its first direct action training camp was in 2004 and since has produced over 75, well rounded Direct Action Trainers and Coordinators. Some of our strategic partners have included the Indigenous Environmental Network, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Moccasins on the Ground and more.
Indigenous Peoples are a central force in Ruckus’s climate work. Indigenous Peoples as being disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel and other energy development, as well being most impacted by climate change. Indigenous Peoples also hold key knowledge to solutions that will weather the storms we are facing ahead.
IP3 has accompanied Indigenous Peoples internationally, developing and implementing direct actions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on behalf of the Indigenous Caucus while maintaining relationships here at home. In the last few years, Ruckus has continued to focus on the fights here at home, particularly building relationships and providing support to Indigenous Communities resisting Tar Sands at the source, and along its network of pipelines.
UNFCCC Paris, COP 21
IP3 deployed Indigenous Action Practitioners to support the North American delegation of the Indigenous Environmental Network as well as the Indigenous Peoples Caucus to design and deploy strategic direct actions inside the United Nations as well as facilitate Indigenous Peoples role in the direct actions spearheaded by social movements outside the U.N.