Today’s my last day

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It is with love, affection and gratitude that I inform my followers that my two years at Survival International learning how to campaign for tribal peoples’ rights has come to an end.  During this time I have learnt and experienced so much! I have learnt how to speak out for tribal peoples rights using the power of the media. I have learnt how to demonstrate and campaign peacefully. I have shared my story and passion with children and teachers all over the UK. I have even taken on physical challenges that I never thought possible like Ben Nevis, Hadrian’s Wall and the London Marathon! I have met tribal leaders from around the world and felt united in our fight. These are all lessons and memories I will never forget and ones I will use as I continue to campaign for tribal peoples’ rights.
It’s also been a real pleasure to work with real people who understand our problems and care about our future. I humbly ask that you continue to support Survival Your opinion and actions can save hundreds of innocent lives that simply need their land to survive. As you will know from reading my blog, we indigenous peoples have been battling to protect our forests and way of life for centuries. Our care for our land is for everyone’s benefit. Without forests I believe we will all suffer. Especially future generations. My dream is to one day witness a different attitude to indigenous peoples. An attitude of understanding, respect and equality. The world must remember where they came from and we indigenous peoples are a reflection of this origin.
Please stand with us, always.  With thanks and blessings for all your support.
 Yours, Nixiwaka Yawanawá. 

Spirit of the Rainforest artist residency and art competition


13th May 2015

Hi everyone,

I have some exciting news! I am at the Eden Project in Cornwall – creating paintings in their Rainforest Biome! Have any of you ever been here? It’s so beautiful!

I am working with a great artist John Dyer who has visited the Amazon where I grew up. We are drawing and painting the forest, all day, every day, for two weeks. The theme of our work is “Spirit of the Rainforest”. Tribal peoples have been living in harmony with the forest for thousands of years, depending on it for their food, shelter and medicines. Through our work, which will be displayed here at Eden at the end of the summer, I hope to share our message that tribal peoples are better at looking after their environment than anyone else. We are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world.

We are also running an art competition open to children from all around the world. As so many of you sent me amazing drawings and thank you cards after I have visited your school, it made me think of you!

You can paint, draw, collage, or create in any other way that you feel connects to the spirit of the rainforest. Your art could be inspired by the rainforest paintings John and I are creating, or tribal peoples and culture, rainforest plants and foods, or rainforest animals, birds and insects. If you would like to join in and enter our competition please go to the Eden Project website:

The deadline is the 30 September 2015. I very much look forward to seeing your artwork. Good luck and have fun!

Your friend,

Nixiwaka Yawanawá

London Marathon – I did it for tribal peoples!


I would like to thank you for the support I received throughout the marathon. I have to admit that the event was one of the best experiences I’ve had so far in my life.  And one of the toughest physically! My legs were so sore after the marathon, I had to walk like a crab to get up and down the stairs!! I was so moved by the amazing people who ran the marathon. I felt we were one family, in our pain and desire to help wonderful charities. I thank all my sponsors who gave generously to my cause – the cause of peace, of life, of nature.

The toughest part of my run was when I was at mile 23. I started having cramps. I was afraid to stop incase I didn’t get to the finishing line. I started thinking about my people, my grandfather (who is always with me) and all tribes around the world. They gave me strength to continue.  The crowd also gave me the energy to continue. When I finally passed the finishing line I felt very emotional and almost cried with joy! I felt I had accomplished my mission on behalf of tribal peoples.

Running with Robin Hanbury-Tenison, President of Survival, was a privilege. Such a great man who has devoted his life to the world’s indigenous peoples. Robin will soon turn 80 years old. His energy and spirit remains so strong, it’s incredible! Robin has started a series of events to raise money for the charity Survival International:

I would like to give hugs to all people who supported me – thank you!

p.s. if you haven’t yet sponsored me it’s not too late – my page is here:


My favourite wakeup call

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My favourite time of a day in the rainforest is when I wake in the morning to the sound of birds. I never get tired of hearing them sing!

In the forest we go to sleep early (unless we hunt at night or have ceremonies which can last the whole night). To wake up early is part of our routine. My brothers, sisters and I used to wake up at around 4 in the morning. Our day would usually begin with my father telling us stories of our people, forest and advice for the future.

Even after coming to the UK, I still wake up early. The only difference is that my alarm is now my mobile phone! It rings so loud that I almost jump out of bed! I really miss my home and the sounds of the forest. To live in the forest requires lot’s of abilities to survive and it is just part of our way of life. The animals we kill is for our food and we use everything such us bones, feathers, skins etc, which is for our decorations. The body paints represents them and our identity as indigenous peoples.



I love this picture from one of my recent school visits, completely surrounded by wonderful pupils! When I got at the school they were very excited to find out about the forest and animals from the Amazon rainforest, state of Acre, Brazil. We all sat together and I felt their strong connection to me. They made me feel that we (tribal peoples) aren’t alone  because we have everyone support. They are the future and my hope for a peaceful world in balance with the natural world.

The use of media – a good thing?


In the past, the Amazon hasn’t been widely covered by major Press. But with the increasing loss of the Amazon rainforest, climate change, and indigenous protests, the media is now forced to cover these issues.

The use of the media is extremely important for us, indigenous people.  It allows us to protect our territories and denounce illegal logging, mining and other activities which are happening without our consent. We know the problems will not stop unless we take action and protest.

Thanks to many non-indigenous people around the world, support of our case is increasing. It is the only chance we have to save our lands, forests and animals. The existence of indigenous lands is vital to the global balance. They help sustain all species and the climate. The media must show our struggles more often!