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Indigenous Group Wins Fight to Reclaim Ancestral Land After Being Forced Out 8 Decades Ago

HeadlineNov 29, 2023

In a major victory for Indigenous rights, an Ecuadorian appeals court has sided with the Siekopai Nation to regain ownership of their ancestral homeland in the Amazon rainforest. The Siekopai people were forced out of their territory, called Pë’këya, over 80 years ago during the Peru-Ecuador War in the 1940s. This ruling will mark the first time the Ecuadorian government grants a land title to an Indigenous community whose ancestral land is now a protected area.

The Siekopai are on the brink of extinction with a population of only 800 people in Ecuador and 1,200 in Peru. In a statement, Siekopai Nation President Elias Piyahuaje said, “We are fighting for the preservation of our culture on this planet. Without this territory, we cannot exist as Siekopai people. Today is a great day for our nation. Until the end of time, this land will be ours.”

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