Carol Kalafatic

Resistance Studies Fellow

Carol Kalafatic

Carol Kalafatic (Quechua, Spanish & Croatian) has been collaborating with Indigenous Peoples (IPs) since 1991, as a policy advocate, organizer, writer, trans-disciplinary scholar, and educator. With an emphasis on bio-cultural diversity and resilience, she promotes IPs’ self-determination, food sovereignty, and meaningful participation in policy making. Her research interests include these struggles as well as: IPs’ governance of lands and territories; community development and coalition building; dynamic heritage systems, and indigenous media.

Given that IPs’ diverse, millennial cultures sustain and are inter-dependent with a large majority of biodiversity worldwide, Carol believes that – especially in these times of climate and governance crises – the revitalization of IPs’ knowledge systems and practices within their territories is a form of resistance that can also produce broader structural transformation. Her research and practice aim to support these processes for their place-based value and for building life-sustaining futures globally.

Her current projects include work with several sub-Arctic IPs who are asserting their inherent rights and renewing coalitions to protect wild salmon habitat and fisheries. She also supports the Bameno Huaorani in protecting their territory from oil development in the Amazon in Ecuador.

She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (Coventry University, England), and recently contributed a chapter to Food Security Policy, Evaluation and Impact Assessment, forthcoming in Fall 2019 by Routledge.

In recent years the UN Committee on World Food Security Bureau and several civil society networks appointed Carol to the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), which aims to strengthen policy making by producing independent, evidence-based analysis and recommendations. She served for two terms, including as Vice-Chair of the HLPE.

In addition, she served for several years each as: Associate Director of Cornell University’s American Indian Program; Coordinator of the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development; and Indigenous Focal Point of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty – a network that brings local experiences to the global debate on food governance. She has also been a consultant to a range of local-to-international organizations/agencies, and traditional IPs’ governments.

Through the workshops and meetings that she conducted, she played a major role in convincing the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to establish a Policy on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. She was lead author of the framework for that policy, and for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples: Building on Biological and Cultural Diversity for Food and Livelihood Security. As Founding Coordinator of the International Indian Treaty Council’s Right to Food Program, she established the initiative to determine Cultural Indicators of Indigenous Peoples’ food and agroecological systems.

Carol is a Trustee of the Forest Peoples Program, and has served on a number of boards of justice organizations that support IPs and others who are marginalized or face violence from the dominant economic system.

Indigenous Peoples Re-Membering Their Futures in Extraordinary Times By Carol Kalafatic  January 14, 2020 in Development

These Extraordinary Times: Indigenous Peoples and coalition building for agroecology and food sovereignty
The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University (in the UK) recently hosted a workshop to “collectively strengthen relationships, learning/analysis and collaboration for people who are involved in research and knowledge work that advances movements for agroecology and food sovereignty”. This blog post is part of series of posts written by attendees to convey some of the ideas that unfolded during the workshop
By Carol Kalafatic  September 18, 2019 in Resilience

Inclusion and Engagement With Indigenous Peoples  By Carol Kalafatic  Food Security Policy, Evaluation and Impact Assessment, 2019