SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL USA

The global movement for tribal peoples

San Francisco, CA   |  http://www.survivalinternational.org/

Mission

We are Survival, the global movement for tribal peoples. We champion tribal peoples around the world. We help them defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures. Our work is preventing the annihilation of tribal peoples. We work in partnership with them. We give them a platform to speak to the world. We investigate atrocities and present evidence to the United Nations and other international forums. We support legal representation. We fund medical and self-help projects. We educate, research, campaign, lobby and protest. We won’t give up until we all have a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected.

Ruling year info

2009

US Director

Daniel Lavelle

Main address

PO BOX 26345

San Francisco, CA 94126 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-3208869

NTEE code info

International Human Rights (Q70)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Tribal peoples have developed ways of life that are largely self-sufficient and extraordinarily diverse. Many of the world's staple crops and drugs used in Western medicine originate with them, and have saved millions of lives. Even so, tribal peoples are portrayed as backward and primitive simply because their communal ways are different. Industrialized societies subject them to genocidal violence, slavery and racism so they can steal their lands, resources and labor in the name of progress" and “civilization." Our work is preventing the annihilation of tribal peoples. We work in partnership with them. We give them a platform to speak to the world. We investigate atrocities and present evidence to the United Nations and other international forums. We support legal representation. We educate, research, campaign, lobby and protest. We won't give up until we all have a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected/

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Decolonize Conservation

Evidence proves indigenous people understand and manage their environment better than anyone else. 80% of Earth’s biodiversity is in tribal territories and when indigenous peoples have secure rights over their land, they achieve at least equal if not better conservation results at a fraction of the cost of conventional conservation programs.

But in Africa and Asia, governments and NGOs are stealing vast areas of land from tribal people and local communities under the false claim that this is necessary for conservation.

They then call the stolen land a “Protected Area” or “National Park” and keep out the original inhabitants, sometimes with a shocking level of violence. While tourists and other outsiders are welcomed in, the ecoguards and park rangers burn down local people’s homes, steal goods and vandalise property, and beat, torture, rape and kill local people with impunity.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

There are more than one hundred uncontacted tribes around the world. Tribal peoples are the best guardians of the natural world, and evidence proves that tribal territories are the best barrier to deforestation. This photograph shows the land of an uncontacted tribe as an island of green forest in a sea of deforestation (the orange line is the territory’s border). It is home to the “Last of his Tribe”, a lone man and the last survivor of his people, who were probably massacred by cattle ranchers occupying their land.
Whole populations of uncontacted tribes are being wiped out by genocidal violence from outsiders who steal their land and resources, and by diseases like flu and measles to which they have no resistance.
We oppose attempts by outsiders to contact uncontacted tribes. It’s always fatal and initiating contact must be their choice alone. Those who enter uncontacted tribes’ territories deny them that choice.






Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

At the next Convention on Biological Diversity summit, world leaders plan to agree turning 30% of the Earth into “Protected Areas” by 2030. Big conservation NGOs say this will mitigate climate change, reduce wildlife loss, enhance biodiversity and so save our environment. They are wrong. Protected Areas will not save our planet. On the contrary, they will increase human suffering and so accelerate the destruction of the spaces they claim to protect because local opposition to them will grow. They have no effect on climate change at all, and have been shown to be generally poor at preventing wildlife loss. It is vital that real solutions are put forward to address these urgent problems and that the real cause – exploitation of natural resources for profit and growing overconsumption, driven by the Global North – is properly acknowledged and discussed. But this is unlikely to happen because there are too many vested interests that depend on existing consumption patterns continuing.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

The #MayflowersKill campaign is a partnership between tribal members in the U.S. and Survival International to amplify the story of Native American genocide internationally, reveal how it’s now being repeated in other continents, and show how it can and must be stopped. Four hundred years ago, in 1620, the Mayflower brought about 100 Puritan refugees to North America. Escaping persecution and discrimination in England, the colonists were helped by Indigenous people to survive in this new and – to them – hostile land. To those who had lived there since time immemorial it was of course a plentiful environment which had long been shaped and safeguarded by its inhabitants to provide for future generations. The welcome given to the settlers was not returned by them. The Mayflower landing led to centuries of invasion, war and disease which killed tens of millions of Indigenous people



Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

The identification of mass graves of Indigenous children in Canada and the launch of investigations into similar burial sites in the US has exposed the devastating impacts of schools that aimed to strip children of their indigenous identity, indoctrinate them to conform to the dominant society and thereby ease the theft of their peoples’ lands. These schools left a devastating legacy. Today, around two million tribal children are attending Factory Schools – which have similar aims: erasing indigenous ways of life and enabling the take over of lands and resources, at terrible cost to children, families and indigenous peoples. All Indigenous peoples have the right to run education systems rooted in their own land, language and culture and which instils pride in themselves and their people – but very few are able to choose such an education for their children. It’s time for that to change.



Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Where we work

Awards

Right Livelihood Award 1989

Right Livelihood Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total revenue earned to support advocacy efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of literature distribution packets requested by and sent to supporters for distribution in their community

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of new donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of publications Survival has appeared in

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is for a world where tribal peoples are recognized and respected; an end to the unjust treatment tribal peoples are subjected to; and a world where tribal peoples are free to live on their own lands, safe from violence, oppression and exploitation.

We believe all countries must support and uphold, as minimum standards, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as ratify and apply the Indigenous & Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO 169).

We also believe all companies and organizations operating in tribal areas must adopt, as a formal and binding policy, the commitment that they will take no action without the free, prior and informed consent of the tribal people. This also applies to conservation organizations.

We stress that this consent can never be free and informed unless the tribal people are clearly told, at the beginning of any talks, that they have the right to withhold their agreement without facing negative repercussions.

We believe companies should not operate in tribal areas without first having clear, written, binding agreements, agreed only after the tribal people have obtained independent expert advice. We produce suggested texts for such agreements, drafted by experts.

We believe there should be no incursions into the lands of tribes who have no peaceful contact with outsiders, as they cannot give their informed consent.

Survival focuses on the most vulnerable tribal peoples, those who have the most to lose. These are usually those less able to articulate their own views, and the least contacted by, or 'integrated' into, wider society. They often face complete destruction from disease and land theft.

We choose specific cases according to defined criteria, such as the urgency of the situation. Other criteria include a serious threat to the lives or livelihoods.

Cases lead to campaigns with clear objectives, such as securing communal land rights. Most campaigns last for decades.

We place the issue repeatedly in the widest possible media (newspapers/TV/radio/web etc.) exposing the violations, and asking people to voice their support.

We monitor the media and counter false and damaging stereotypes which portray tribes as 'backward' and 'primitive'.

We support legal work to ensure tribes are expertly represented.

We produce educational materials for schools and the public, showing who tribal peoples really are and how they live.

We fund medical and self-help projects directly with tribal people.

We investigate the atrocities committed against tribal peoples.

We are in direct, personal contact with hundreds of tribal organizations and communities (as well as many others) which give us information. These contacts are, where possible, fostered by extensive field visits which have continued for over 40 years. In some areas, we do not publicize these to avoid reprisals.

We expose the situation, telling the public what's going on and focusing their concern into action which brings results.

Cases lead to campaigns with clear objectives, especially securing communal land rights.

We use the widest possible media (TV/radio/newspaper/web), circulating new material on a daily basis. We also publish our own books and reports, mostly aimed at the non-specialist, and make our own films.

We lobby governments, companies, missionary organizations etc.
We hold vigils and peaceful protests at embassies and corporations. In over 40 years of these activities, there has never been any violence.

Our supporters write directly to those violating tribal peoples' rights.

We present cases to the United Nations and other international forums.

We speak at schools, universities, conferences etc.

We run a photographic library.

We have moved public and media attitudes towards being more supportive and understanding of tribal peoples.

When we began opposing the Botswana government's attempts to evict Bushmen from their lands, the country's press was largely opposed to us, arguing that the Bushmen must be 'developed' outside their areas, whether they liked it or not. Now, the Botswana media has a much better understanding of the issues and is generally sympathetic to the Bushmen.

We define two or three specific objectives in each case we take on: we often achieve them (though it may take years).

One of our biggest successes was the creation of the Yanomami Park in Brazil. The campaign started in Brazil and we led the international action, beginning in the 1970s. Yanomami land was finally approved by the government in 1992. Key Yanomami spokesman, Davi Kopenawa, says his people wouldn't have survived without us.

Survival was at the forefront of the successful international campaign against plans by mining giant, Vedanta Resources, to mine bauxite on the sacred hills of the Dongria Kondh tribe.

Financials

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL USA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL USA

Board of directors
as of 02/02/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Stephen Corry

Stephen Corry

Survival International

Theresa Thackara

Ghislaine de Give

Chris Brown

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/2/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/02/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.