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Mon. Sept. 28 at Carleton, 1:00pm

September 24, 1998

Press Release

Indigenous Activist arriving in Ottawa on North American Speaking Tour -
September 28, 1998.

Xavier Grijalva is an Indigenous man from the Ecuadorean Amazon with an
extremely broad and diverse series of accomplishments to his name. He
represents the Organization of Indigenous People of Pastaza (OPIP) on one
of the strongest and most influential Indigenous organizations in South
America, the Confederation of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin
(COICA). As such, he has dedicated a great deal of his efforts to
struggling against the environmental degradation caused by the intensive
oil exploration in the Amazon Basin. Although OPIP has gained a strong
voice in demanding for Indigenous rights and representation, the Ecuadorean
State has consistently favoured a globalizing agenda in favour of petroleum
development in the Amazon Basin, resulting in recent and significant
changes in the Ecuadorean Constitution and other critical state policies.
These changes have added fuel to the fire of the exist socio-environmental
conflicts in the region and created additional pressure for organizations
such as OPIP and COICA.

Xavier has also worked extensively to conserve and strengthen environmental
and cultural diversity with organizations like Conservation International,
while presenting seminars and delivering conferences at institutions like
George Washington University in Washington, DC and at the Bioregional
Congress in Muleros, Mexico. His activism has also involved him in the
discussions on bioprospecting, patenting and intellectual property rights.
He is also an accomplished musician and instructor of Andean music at the
School of Andean Instruments in Quito, Ecuador.

Xavier will be speaking at Carleton University on Monday, September 28,
Mackenzie Building, room 4236 from 1:00pm until 2:30pm.

This event is organized by OPIRG-Carleton's Caribbean and Latin America
Solidarity (CLAS) Group.

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