ISE Field Fellowships support individuals working on traditional resource rights, applied ethnoecology, ethics, resource management and social justice issues in the field. Fellows may be Indigenous peoples or from local communities, or may have worked with local groups for many years. They may or may not be undertaking academic research and may be established and experienced, or ‘emerging leaders’. The main objective is to support outstanding individuals helping to provide concrete solutions to problems identified by local groups.
The Field Fellows receive $20,000 per year for two years. Funds can be applied to costs of field and project work, or to cover an individual’s time; the fellowship is intended to support individuals doing excellent work, without attaching many strings or creating bureaucratic demands on their time. A solid track record is necessary, but priority will be given to individuals undertaking their work outside traditional financial and institutional support structures, and therefore with more significant need of assistance.
2014-2016 Field Fellows
Benki Piyãko Ashaninka (Brazil): Since an early age, Bengki has assumed a leadership role, both with his own Ashaninka people in Acre State, Brazil, and in the wider world beyond. He has been at the forefront in his people’s struggle for their ethnic and territorial rights, the preservation of their forest, the maintenance and strengthening of their indigenous identities, and the promotion of their cultural and spiritual values. Benki is also a respected shaman and artist. He has been instrumental in training younger leaders to combine their efforts towards the conservation and environmental restoration with the spiritual recovery of the human being and the forest. Benki has received national and international awards for his defense of human rights and the environment.
Dario Novellino (Italy and the Philippines): Dario Novellino is an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to sustaining the indigenous peoples’ struggle for self determination on the Island of Palawan (The Philippines). His effort to protect indigenous traditional resource rights over the past twenty-five years has resulted in concrete local processes empowering local communities and protecting them from a number of attempts at exploiting their environments in destructive ways. Dario is also an accomplished researcher, who has published extensively in the fields of environmental anthropology, ethno-ecology, indigenous knowledge, shamanism, ritual, cosmology and the anthropology of development.