Cultural Survival, Inc.

Cambridge, MA   |  www.cs.org

Mission

Cultural Survival advocates for Indigenous Peoples rights and supports Indigenous communities' self-determination, cultures and political resilience.
For more information go to www.cs.org

Ruling year info

1972

Executive Director

Galina Angarova

Main address

PO Box 381569

Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7182593

NTEE code info

International Human Rights (Q70)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (Q01)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

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

Cultural Survival empowers and supports Indigenous Peoples to advocate for their rights — human rights, the right to participate and have a voice, the right to practice their cultures and speak their languages, the right to access the same opportunities as others, and the right to control and sustainably manage their assets and resources — so that they may determine for themselves the future they will lead.

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?

Bazaars Program

Cultural Survival Bazaars empower Indigenous artisans and promote traditional crafts, while providing economic benefits to Indigenous Peoples. All bazaar vendors sign a Fair Trade Pledge.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Artists and performers

Indigenous communities worldwide often do not have alternatives to state and corporate controlled media. They face resource challenges, access to existing national communications infrastructure, exclusionary national telecommunication laws, and in some cases government repression of their efforts to build and sustain community based radio stations. In today’s internet age, small community-based radio stations may seem an outmoded means of communication in first world countries. But for many rural Indigenous People, the low cost of community radio makes it the ideal tool for defending their cultures, lands and natural resources, and their rights. Radio is a critical means of dissemination for news, information and entertainment in remote areas around the globe where choices for communication and media are limited.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Indigenous communities deserve and demand participation in decision making that affects their communities. Many are striving for meaningful participation when development projects that pose danger to communities and damage to their territories, cultures and ways of life are taking place. Indigenous communities whose right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent is being violated by governments, agribusiness and extractive industries have recourse through public awareness, reporting to international bodies and challenging actions in courts of law.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Activists

The Cultural Survival Quarterly is published 4 times per year (March, June, September, December). Our award-winning magazine has been published for more than 30 years and its vast content is archived and searchable on www.cs.org. We are constantly revising and adding new features to the magazine and are heavily focusing on recruiting more Indigenous writers. We continue to update our website and build our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. We also send a biweekly e-newsletter, one focusing on Global Response campaign updates and the other on community radio and language revitalization efforts.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Indigenous communities often lack access to important and critical information on universal rights and other key international policy discussions that directly impact their cultures, children, territories and futures. As Indigenous communities around the world are asserting the rights, there is a clear need for advocacy related content that helps inform communities about topics such as The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), international level policies and reports. Radio dissemination remains a critical way of accessing information for Indigenous communities. As international policy work affecting Indigenous people increases, there is greater need for articulation between the global and the local.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Communications

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Community Media Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Grants awarded for the Community Media Grants Project and the Keepers of the Earth Fund.

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Community Media Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Grants awarded for the Community Media Grants Project and the Keepers of the Earth Fund.

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Community Media Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Indigenous women were trained in radio production and journalism.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Communications

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of radio programs produced

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Indigenous Rights Radio Program

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.

Cultural Survival's current goals are to:

1) Increase our opportunities to act as an intermediary to fund grassroots projects around the Indigenous world;

2) Grow and scale our Community Media Radio Grants Project to provide resources to Indigenous communities as they further their communication efforts to support advocacy and grassroots movements while ensuring robust and dynamic Indigenously controlled media;

3) Develop and deploy our competitive request for proposal (RFP) process that will enable Cultural Survival to engage a wide spectrum of Indigenous community media institutions into the future;

4) Execute an environmental convening to bring together Indigenous knowledge holders working towards environmental conservation through the promotion of Indigenous culture that develops environmental literacy, through the dialogues between traditional ecological knowledge and western science in Indigenous communities;

5) Support and expand our network of over 1,600 Indigenous-run community radio stations and ensure they have the legal and community resources to ensure their success;

6) Expand our Indigenous Rights Radio program to include more topical content and coverage of important issues in Indigenous communities and make new partnerships with Indigenous media institutions in new regions so that as many community members as possible will be more informed;

7) Document, publish and widely disseminate at least two internationally-significant reports that link community-level information and perspective to national and international policies and decisions;

8) Continue to press for reform of Guatemala's repressive telecommunications law and ensuring Indigenous Peoples' right to freedom of expression;

9) Host multiple Bazaar events in the United States that will provide a marketing conduit between dozens of Indigenous artists and United States consumers, promoting global understanding of diverse cultures and providing income to at least 400 artists' families and their communities;

10) Continue seeking initial funding for our Indigenous Fellows Program that will train six young Indigenous community leaders (at least 50% women) in international advocacy systems and techniques, with the goal of using those skills to benefit their communities; and

11) Continue to advocate for funding opportunities for Indigenous communities to engage in international policy reform and participate at important international forums.

Community Media Program

The Community Media Program advocates for Indigenous communities' right to establish and run their own broadcast media and partners with local radio stations to build their capacity through training, grants, improved infrastructure, and networks. The program also promotes policy changes that favor Indigenous community media and provides legal defense for radio stations when necessary. The Community Media Program is growing rapidly as our work expanded from Guatemala to all of Central America with the formation of the Central American Network of Indigenous Community Radios, and expanded from Central America to the international level through our Community Media Grants Project.


Indigenous Rights Radio

The Indigenous Rights Radio program continues to produce a diverse range of radio programs promoting the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by informing Indigenous listeners of their specific rights and of strategies used by other Indigenous communities to implement those rights. We produce scripted series and programs based on community visits, and we have recently learned that our timely, current events-based programs are well received. This has led us to regularly produce programming on news related to Indigenous Peoples' issues and on internationally recognized days, such as International Women's Day, International Indigenous Peoples' Day, International Radio Day, “Columbus" Day (in many parts of the US), and others.


Advocacy

Cultural Survival's Advocacy program is an umbrella program covering various aspects of our advocacy work. The goal of the program is to support grassroots Indigenous movements as they put pressure on governments and corporations to protect, respect, and fulfill the rights of their communities to their lands and resources.

A major piece of our advocacy work has been campaigns. At the request of communities, we have carried out comprehensive campaigns that catalyze action to urge decision makers to respect Indigenous Peoples' rights to their lands as they contest destructive mining projects, mega-dams, or land-grabs. Our campaigns employ activities to target one issue from several angles.


Bazaars

Cultural Survival Bazaars are annual celebrations of Indigenous arts, music, and cultures from around the world. Our Bazaars generate revenue for Indigenous artisans and their communities, with new procedures implemented this year leading to dramatic increases in sales.
Cultural Survival implemented the major recommendations that resulted from our consultation with ByHand Consulting, which included a jury process to select our vendors and charging a booth fee instead of a percentage of each vendor's sales. As expected, booth fees made the Bazaars more attractive to a significantly larger number of vendors.

Community Media Grants Project

The Community Media Program launched the Community Media Grants Project in August 2016, impacting different Indigenous Nations in different regions of the world. This initiative provides opportunities for local Indigenous radio stations around the world to strengthen their broadcast infrastructure and provides specific training opportunities in community journalism, broadcasting, audio editing, and technical skills. Cultural Survival supported 18 projects in 7 countries in our first year of small grants. The first round of grantees were selected from Central America, Kenya, Peru, and Nepal with strong support from staff members located in these countries.

Advocacy

In April 2017, the Advocacy program incorporated a new small grants project, the Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF), formerly of First Peoples Worldwide (FPW). As we work towards merging the KOEF work as it was designed under FPW with Cultural Survival's advocacy work, we believe the small grants project can be an effective way to strengthen campaign work by channeling funds directly to partners to carry out their work in defense of their lands. In our current Free, Prior, and Informed Consent grants cycle, two finalists are doing work related to existing advocacy campaigns: the Maya Leaders Alliance in Belize and the Federación Tawahka, on the Patuca River in Honduras.

Bazaars

In our experience, there has been a positive feedback loop between the number of vendors at a given event and sales, and as we improve our average sales per vendor, we will be able to recruit more vendors. Currently, many potential vendors find it difficult to commit to the investment of travel funds without a guarantee of a certain amount in return. Some other shows offer scholarships and we would be able to recruit many more vendors with a source of funding. This disproportionately impacts the vendors who would most benefit from access to the markets that Cultural Survival Bazaars provide.

One way we began addressing this was through a pilot run of the Cultural Survival Indigenous Artisan Institute, for which we secured a $6,000 first-time grant. During the week between the two July Bazaars we held workshops on booth display, sales, and marketing; visits with local fair trade import businesses; and cultural exchange opportunities with local Native groups. We provided lodging, local transportation, and a food stipend to four artists and one interpreter, allowing one artist to participate in the Plymouth Bazaar who would not have otherwise and increased the benefits to participating for all four of them. We hope to expand on this program, both continuing to make artists' trips to the Bazaars more valuable by filling their off-time with professional development trainings and cultural exchange opportunities and by making the Bazaars more accessible to vendors without financial support.

At Cultural Survival, every day we work towards a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance.

In 2017, Cultural Survival was able to:

•Fund 18 media projects in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Nepal, and Kenya totaling over $166,000 through our Community Media Grants Project, providing opportunities for Indigenous radio stations to strengthen their broadcast infrastructure, and provide training in journalism, broadcasting, audio editing, technical skills to community radio journalists around the world.

•Fund 13 grants totaling $63,113 as part of the The Keepers of the Earth Fund's Self-Governance/ Free, Prior and Informed Consent Initiative.

•Submit 17 reports focusing on Indigenous Peoples' rights violations to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and Treaty Bodies including Argentina, Peru, Gabon, Pakistan, Ukraine, Japan, Guatemala, Mali, Botswana, Bangladesh, Russia, and Cameroon.

•Promote women's leadership by training 167 Indigenous women in radio production and radio journalism.

•Release over 155 Indigenous Rights Radio programs on repatriation of sacred objects and human remains; Indigenous science and traditional knowledge in the fight against climate change; decolonizing justice systems; Indigenous women's rights, and more.

•Host artists from 27 countries at the Cultural Survival Bazaars and raise over $393,000 for Indigenous communities.

Plans for 2018 include :

•Providing more grants to more Indigenous communities around the world.

•Continuing the production of Indigenous Rights Radio programs on the UN bodies dedicated to Indigenous rights in English, Spanish, and many Indigenous languages.

•Growing our Advocacy Program to include a focus on supporting traditional knowledge and meaningful Indigenous participation in addressing climate change.

• Strengthening the participation of youth and Indigenous women in community radio stations globally.

Financials

Cultural Survival, Inc.
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Operations

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

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Cultural Survival, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kaimana Barcarse

Laura Graham

University of Iowa

Stella Tamang

Bikalpa Gyan Kendra

Nicole Friederichs

Practitioner-in-Residence, Suffolk University Law School

Evelyn Erickson

International Funders for Indigenous Peoples

Steven Heim

Boston Common Asset Management

Stephen Marks

Harvard School of Public Health

Kaimana Barcarse

KWXX-FM, Hawaiʻi

John King II

The Common Flat Project

Valine Brown

Swiilawiid Sustainability Society

Tui Shortland

Repo Consultancy Ltd

Jannie Staffansson

Indigenous Peoples of Scandinavia

Kate Finn

First Peoples Worldwide

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/19/2022

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
Indigenous-Buryat
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data