Daniel Lavelle on Indigenous Peoples' Rights

Daniel Lavelle, PhD, is US Director for Survival International, one of the world’s leading human rights groups working to empower tribal peoples with “control of their lives and lands and the freedom to determine their own futures.” In this episode we talk about why indigenous sovereignty and human rights are priority one for the global environmental solution.

“These are insights i will think about and integrate over time.” (—Jared) In this masterclass of an interview with Daniel Lavelle, U.S. Director for Survival International, Daniel explains his organization's courageous work and why indigenous sovereignty and human rights are priority one for the global environmental solution. It's an eye-opening session we recommend to every listener. Be sure to check out Daniel's organization as well.

About Daniel
Daniel earned his PhD in Philosophy and Environmental Science, Policy and Management from UC Berkeley. He's been US Director of Survival International since 2018.

Audio Caveat
We apologize for some of the audio quality. Yes, it gets a bit noisy at times, but Daniel was so “on” we didn’t want to stop. Please bear with the pops and purrs, it's more than worth it. Also, special bonus: Daniel's dog joins us at a few key moments!

Questions Asked
  • Tell us why Indigenous Peoples are so important to the global environmental solution? 
  • What woke you up to Indigenous rights as a focal issue for human advancement?
  • What have you learned from Indigenous Peoples after working with them in the field? 
  • Is “indigenous wisdom” (stewardship of the earth) a real thing?
  • What are the best ways to help indigenous people now? 
  • What does the future look like if and after we achieve the Indigenous Peoples’ Solution? (Ubiquitous empowerment of land occupation rights, self-determination, basic safety and human rights, and respect for all traditional peoples. 


Daniel's Bridge solution
"The optimal future would be a world based on justice."

Select quotes
"Indigenous peoples are on the frontlines of resistance to destructive forces, putting their lives on the line; it’s very dangerous doing environmental work."

"80% of the biodiversity we still have left on the planet is in Indigenous territories, even though Indigenous peoples control maybe 20% of the globe. Within that territory you have this amazing repository of extremely important biodiversity."

"Indigenous Peoples are also under threat from some of the solutions proposed by institutions and governments in the global north to address the environmental crisis."


Thanks for listening!
Check out more episodes of The Bridge here.

Thanks so much to Alice Spencer for her song, "I Wanna Be a Buddhist," our theme. Enjoy Alice's full performance of the song here
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