Using the Law to Defend Indigenous Lands: New Video from 'Territories of Life'

Indigenous peoples across the world are using national, regional and international law to fight against the takeover of their lands. But what are the risks and advantages associated with going to court?

Territories of Life is a series of videos produced by LifeMosaic to shares stories of resistance, resilience and hope with communities on the frontline of the global rush for land. The latest video, ‘Using The Law’, examines strategies for using national, regional and international law to fight against the takeover of indigenous lands. The 12-minute video looks at three legal cases in Indonesia, Tanzania and Paraguay using national, regional and international law. It also looks at the advantages and drawbacks of going to court.

The Territories of Life video toolkit aims to spark discussions - what are your thoughts?

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Thanks for posting this video, Marena! I enjoyed watching it - just 12 minutes to learn so much from around the world… with stories from Indonesia, Tanzania and Paraguay. FYI I added the video to your topic so everyone can find it right away.

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Any comments or thoughts on using video toolkits to help spread stories like this, @manjumenon @kanchikohli @sonkitaconteh @michaelotto @krithikadinesh @AJK @Paul_Sein_Twa @paulmccann @SAMORAI ?

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@marenabrinkhurst videos are always a powerful medium to tell stories in the digital age where people can even watch it on their mobiles, social media or broadcasted through new channels. In India there are several such efforts both by national and international organisations.

But just like many other context, the messaging would need be carefully crafted. The words indigenous and processes of claiming “territories” are deeply fraught with conflict in countries like India. Legal empowerment processes can also throw up huge challenges of partisanism of NGOs, power imbalances within diverse communities, conservation commitments and other dilemmas arising in scenarios where there are very genuine but conflicting claims to territories, including by the state.

Just my long two bits…hopefully useful! :smile:


Thanks for sharing, @marenabrinkhurst. I agree with @kanchikohli that video can be a very powerful educational tool, especially if it is focused, targeted to a specific issue in particular, and carefully crafted like this example.

In my own training experience, video works best if supplemented with other training methods that explain the content in other ways and then builds upon it. In this case, this video would be a great opening to a training on using the law and courts to protect or take back indigenous lands and then introducing other methods that would supplement the formal legal process in the specific context.

The only other drawback to using video is that it is often very expensive to get right, technically and substantively, but there are some great initiatives out there that assist organizations with this. @fatimaadamu has been working on a video in Kano State, Nigeria that I hope she will share as an example (when complete), and Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative was assisted by a video initiative that does this.


That’s a great idea! Maybe we could recruit some panelists to do a webinar discussion on that topic?


Great idea! I added the webinarpipeline tag to this topic and will follow up. Let me know who you think would be suitable to give a short slide presentation or join a panel discussion via webinar.

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