Tierra Nativa A.C. y Tierra Nativa US were founded in 2007 in Chihuahua by three associates with a total of over 50 years experience in the Sierra Tarahumara, providing accompaniment, legal and technical advice to indigenous pueblos and mixed communities threatened by mining, land conflicts, industrial tourism, and ranching interests tied to clandestine activities. We advise indigenous pueblos via their traditional leaders with respect to their traditions of autonomous decisionmaking and government, respecting the fundamental rights of indigenous pueblos.
Tierra Nativa A.C. is an independent Mexican nonprofit organization that receives help from various governmental sources and private donors. Tierra Nativa A.C. collaborates with and receives support from Tierra Nativa US by means of a mutual support agreement. Tierra Nativa US is a project of Social and Environmental Entreprenuers (SEE, www.saveourplanet.org) a nonprofit organization based in Calabasas, California which provides administrative support and infrastructure for over 60 projects that share a common vision of social and environmental responsibility and service around the globe.
In 2010, Tierra Nativa A.C. began a process of strategic planning, and strengthening the board of directors with a very talented group of associates with great experience in cultural promotion, indigenous rights, land rights, conservation, and other fields that are of great benefit to the indigenous people of the Sierra.
Since 2009, Tierra Nativa has advised the Raramuri Community of Mogotavo, Municipio Urique. Initially, 19 families were threatened with forced relocation by a group of investors in tourism development including powerful national and state politicians. Without consulting with the community, the investors were planning to forcefully relocate the community into tiny brick homes on a desolate ridge without soil or water. The Tarahumara lacked title to their lands, which were sold by the federal government to local hotel operators, the Sandoval family and re-sold to the aforementioned investors who formed the real estate and development firm, Inmobilaria Mesa de la Barranca SA de CV. with plans to relocate the Tarahumara and build large hotels, luxury homes, a golf course and adventure park.
In order to stop this injustice, Tierra Nativa filed claims in the Tribunal Agrario to gain recognition of this de facto indigenous community. The Mexican constitution, Supreme Court jurisprudence, and international agreements recognize their rights, but the only path to gaining recognition is via the Tribunal Agrario. In April, 2010, the magistrate of the Tribunal Agrario District 5 granted official recognition to the community and ordered suspension against construction on the lands in conflict while the case is in process. Additionally, Tierra Nativa gained an agreement from the state government preventing forced relocation.
Tierra Nativa has prepared an alternative proposal towards socially responsible tourism in the Sierra: Via Chihuahua Verde [Link].
In 2009, Tierra Nativa began investigations and educating community groups on the environmental and cultural impacts of Mining and related agrarian problems in the Pima (O‚Äôoba) Community of Yepachi. In 2011 we began consultations with five communities affected by mining in the region. Community groups in Baseseachi and Cahuisori were successful in stopping the contamination of two rivers contaminated by the Agnico Eagle Pinos Altos Mine.
Negotiations and a technical evaluation are underway to clean community based contamination of these rivers that run into the Baseseachi National Park with cooperation from state and local authorities, community groups, park officials to repair and monitor the existing water treatment lagoons and potable water systems in the community with plans for state-federal and private co-investment in developing a functioning culture of water care and treatment. Prior to our involvement, these rivers which feed the 900 foot Baseseachi Falls ran black with raw sewage.
Tierra Nativa US is a project Social Environmental Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit public charity exempt from federal income tax under section 501(C)3 of the Internal Revenue Code in the U.S.A.
Tierra Nativa A.C. is a Mexican nonprofit partner organization