Shuar Nation Advances Federational “Constitutional Assembly”

July 01, 2008 | By The Pachamama Alliance

Fundación Pachamama continues it's exciting work with the Shuar Federation, FIPSE,to renew its internal by-laws as well as develop a Strategic Plan for its territory and pueblo. In many ways, this process parallels and coincides with Ecuador’s own Constitutional Assembly. As a result, the Shuar Federation has come to see its Tarimiat Shuara Chichame – or “Life Plan and By-Laws” as the Shuar Constitution – and the process by which they are constructing it as the Shuar Constitutional Assembly.

On June 18 and 19th, Fundación Pachamama facilitated the fourth meeting – in a series of at least five  – with representatives from all 11 Shuar associations, which together, form the Shuar Federation, FIPSE. This meeting focused on transitioning from the construction phase of the Assembly – i.e., proposing new “articles” – to the practical phase – i.e., establishing internal agreements for how the Shuar Constitution will be applied and guaranteed by the 18,000 Shuar individuals for whom it will serve as their “Carta Magna”.

The workshop included a training on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to practice their own justice systems. A topic that was discussed in depth was how the Shuar can use their socio-cultural mechanisms for conflict resolution and community vigilance to ensure that the Tarimiat Shuara Chichame is practiced according to its original principles and vision.

During the next month and a half, the 30 representatives will return to their Associations to facilitate a two-day meeting about these same issues, with the two-part goal of raising awareness about Indigenous Justice and arriving at general consensus about the principles and mechanisms for putting the Tarimiat Shuara Chichame in practice. By the end of July, the representatives will meet again to systematize the results of their meetings and begin to finalize their new “Constitution.”