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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development

Mission: Survival International is the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights. We’re the only organization that champions tribal peoples around the world. We help them defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures. 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 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.

Target demographics: tribal peoples' around the world

Programs: researching, educating, campaigning, protesting to protect tribal peoples' rights.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Yannis B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Survival International is a stellar movement! Through the resources on their website and helpful, direct interaction I have been able to write a worthwhile article, which was accepted and published online by Youth-Leader.com. Youth-Leader is another great organization dedicated to positive news.

My first article was about at-risk tribes in general. Survival's webpage is loaded with wonderful imagery and in depth organization. They have been protecting tribal people's for decades and the wealth of their experience is made quite accessible. For example, before I turned in my essay I made a direct connection to a wonderful staff person at Survival. The person reviewed my article and gave me sincere encouragement as well as some helpful tips.

Now I am creating a second article on the Awa tribe in the Brazilian Amazon and again the website and staff have been most helpful and encouraging.

The dire need for protection to the Awa and other tribal people's is being highlighted by the great work Survival International does.

Thank you to Survival International!

Sincerely,

Yannis Breit-Hofberg
yebh301@gmail.com

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Survival International works to to educate the public and employ campaigns that protect the lands and traditions of the most vulnerable peoples on our planet. Through educational outreach, dialogue, and global cooperation, Survival International has achieved "real" results and continues to fight for those who have little resources to fight for themselves. What intrigues me most about Survival International and their aims is the intersection between human and environmental rights. The land which tribal people inhabit is not just a resource to capitalized on. For them it is a home, in all senses of the word - a territory rich with tradition, religion, language, and ancestral knowledge that hangs in a fragile balance of the ever-industrializing world.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Survival International is one of the few non-profits that understand indigenous people don't need to be "saved", they aren't in need of "development" or "modernizing" or any other term that is a euphemism for being colonized and exploited. Indigenous peoples need to be left alone and decide their own futures, and this organization fights to ensure that basic human right is upheld. The situation of indigenous peoples is very unique and usually unaddressed by other service work. Survival has the respect to treat indigenous peoples as equals, and gives them an international platform to tell their stories and share their opinions, not those of the governments oppressing them or the "experts" on them. Without Survival Internationals efforts to change the public opinion and stereotyping of tribal peoples, I believe many tribes would already have been massacred. When in university I held a fundraiser that was used to assist a project Survival International had to raise funds for court cases in Brazil, to protect Amazonian Indian land and Uncontacted Indians. I brought in Andean musicians to play a benefit show, and was proud to help out. This was when Survival had yet to establish an office in the US. Now that we're blessed to have an office in California, I hope to do even more work to support the efforts of this fine organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SURVIVAL IS A GREAT ORGANIZATION THAT DOES WORK THAT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN MANY PEOPLE REALIZE. UNTIL I TOOK A CLASS STUDYING THE ISSUES SURROUNDING NATURAL RESOURCE EXTRACTION AND THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, I DID NOT KNOW THE EXTENT TO WHICH TRIBAL PEOPLES WERE LOSING THEIR LAND AND THEIR RIGHTS. I BECAME AWARE OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS THAT TRIBAL PEOPLES WORLDWIDE FACE, AND THE UNIQUE CULTURES AND TRADITIONS TAHT ARE LOST WHEN TRIBES ARE KICKED OF THEIR LAND OR LOSE THEIR LIVELIHOODS.
THE PEOPLE I'VE MET THROUGH SURVIVAL ARE DEDICATED TO THE CAUSE, AND THE ORGANIZATION HAS BUILT MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE COMMUNITIES IT WORKS WITH. SURVIVAL IS COMMITTED TO ITS MISSION AND WORKS AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO ACHIEVE RESULTS IN THEIR CAMPAIGNS. I LIKE THAT SURVIVAL CAMPAIGNS FOR THE TRIBES THAT NEED THE MOST HELP AND SUPPORT AND FACE IMMEDIATE THREATS. I ALSO LOVE THAT THEY USE NEW AND CREATIVE WAYS TO CAMPAIGN THROUGH ONLINE MEDIA WORLDWIDE AND WITHIN THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITIES. SURVIVAL IS VERY OPEN AND TRANSPARENT AND WORKS TO HELP COMMUNITY MEMBERS GET INVOLVED IN THE CAMPAIGNS THEY ARE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Survival is a wonderful organization that seeks to protect the lives and livelihoods of tribal people around the world. I love Survival because of their transparency and their commitment to their goals. As stated on survivalinternational.org, some of their campaigns take decades. Survival's sensitivity towards language and representation are far ahead of other organizations doing comparable work. Internally, it is a very cohesive organization where the employees truly believe in their work.

Donor

Rating: 5

After becoming a religious studies major in university, I started developing a strong interest in the traditions and cultures of native and ancient peoples the world over. And after years of research and study in cultural anthropology and the ways and spiritual beliefs of native and ancient peoples from around the globe I have become convinced that these peoples and their way of life are the only link we have to a truly balanced and harmonic state of being. One that brings us into a healthy equilibrium with the surrounding environment, within ourselves, and with the collective whole of humanity. Survival International is one of the few organizations around that takes it upon themselves to make sure we do not lose this ever more tenuous connection. They help, assist, and defend cultures and peoples, who in today's modern world have virtually no voice of their own. And they do so in a manner that is highly efficient, organized, and effective. I am incredibly thankful for everything that they do, and will without a doubt be a life time supporter of their efforts. They are doing a great service to not only the peoples, tribes, and communities they aim to directly support and sustain through their efforts but to the whole of humanity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working hard to protect those unable to protect themselves, Survival International is a fantastic organisation that endeavours to defend the dignity and the livelihoods of indigenous people around the world. Choosing to maintain their integrity by the refusal of donations from corporations and governments, Survival relies on the goodwill of the public and the hard work of its staff to ensure what may be the very survival of various tribes and communities. Working with Survival this summer in their San Francisco office was a great experience, giving me an insight into the realities of sharing Survival's message as well as managing the reactions of various journalists and networks across the US. It was also great to work in an environment where people truly cared for the cause and where you feel like your work really made a difference in some way. If you're looking for an opportunity to work with an organisation that makes a real difference, challenges you and really makes you feel welcome, then look no further.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The language, culture and identity of these indigenous groups is a precious resource that needs to be protected and preserved. Survival International does a great job of identifying these at-risk populations and showing through their excellent website how people can act to try to make a difference.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I worked for Survival International USA for three years and can say with certainty that you won't find a leaner non-profit out there. Despite operating on a small budget, Survival has an extraordinary impact on the lives of tribal peoples everywhere, bringing their struggles to worldwide attention and advocating for their human rights to remain on their ancestral lands and live as they choose to. Perhaps the greatest testament of all to Survival's positive work comes from a tribal leader himself: Davi Yanomami of Brazil's Yanomami people has said that without Survival, his people, quite simply, would no longer exist.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Appreciate Survival International USA's ability to contribute to the indigenous people of countries meaningful to me, that are a part of my heritage, like Sweden and Canada. Americans devastated their indigenous tribal culture. It's the least we can do to help those that still exist in these modern times. Sincerely, Elaine Anderson