Our Mission

We connect Indigenous traditional knowledge and science to solve global environmental and community challenges by seeding community-led strategies to transform people and planet for a more peaceful and equitable future.



In order to maintain our desired quality of life 100 years from now, we must embody the future we want to live.

We must nurture relationships and cultivate reciprocity. The air we breathe must be clean and the water we drink must be pure. Terrestrial carbon sequestration must be active and people must efficiently and effectively utilize all available tools to work to create a regenerative environment. A union is necessary between the knowledge contributed by contemporary science and the wisdom contributed by the ancestral tradition of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. We must be respectful of human rights and responsible in their relationship with Nature. We must accept that Mother Earth is a living being, that all forms of life are subjects under the law and that sustainability and mitigation of negative effects from climate change will only be achieved with the active participation of all her inhabitants. We must be at peace.

-Proclamation for Peace, Costa Rica, 2012


Core Values



honoring the intellectual property of all people, sacred space, knowledge and work


the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and effective way


focus, patience, and steadiness


bridging people and planet, ancient science and modern methods

                                    INTEGRITY     honest, undivided, principled

                                          PEACE     cessation of violence

                                        SCIENCE    human rigor for innovation


Way of Working


We affirm the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Earth Charter, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Costa Rica Proclamation for Peace, and The future we want - outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development RIO+20 in all of our work. 

Through meaningful partnership, our organization is co-created and co-stewarded. Every project is a partnership that builds innovative solutions to empower the communities we work within. 



community-led projects that connect ancient wisdom with current ways of life to provide threads of consensus, healing and vision. 



with Indigenous communities that are working on the frontlines of climate change and within Indigenous lands. 



cultural gatherings and generates compelling media that raise awareness and build movements. 



the visibility of Indigenous Peoples defense of their sacred homelands and amplifies their worldview in addressing climate solutions.



that the living traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples, the empowerment of women and the stewardship of the Earth beautifully intertwine and are foundational to the wellbeing of all life.



relationships and cultural engagement through unique and inclusive conservation efforts within Indigenous lands and territories.



conversations, artistic expression and experiential storytelling for peace, equity and ecology.



–  Wangari Maathai  –

“Passion begins with a burden and split-second moment, when you understand something like never before. That burden is on those who know, those who don't know are at peace. Those of us who do know get disturbed and are forced to take action."


Our Commitment

Indigena Foundation is a grassroots effort founded in December 2012 as a result of a series of gatherings with the UN University for Peace and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, led by an alliance consisting of the 8 Indigenous Nationalities of Costa Rica on the sacred mountain Iztarú.

Indigena was founded at the invitation of indigenous leadership fulfilling a vital role facilitating Pan-American and global dialogue for solution based alliance building. This has resulted in more than 30 convening spaces interfacing with over 92 sovereign nations and tribes. We work closely and confidentially with indigenous leaders, traditional knowledge keepers, community organizers, and tribal governance. This work is supported by data scientists, policy and media experts who have been founding partners to Indigena's network from the organizations inception.

Indigena has coordinated indigenous-led gatherings and actions at sacred sites in Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and the US, and delivered declarations and community statements to the United Nations, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Throughout, Indigena has served as a resource for strategic and expert support and communications. 



Explore our past, present, and future