We are very excited to announce that Chief Henrique Suruí, head of all 26 tribes of the Paiter-Suruí in Brazil, will speak at the 2019 Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference. The Paiter-Suruí control 248,000 hectares of Amazon Forest, and under that forest lies diamonds, gold, and colored gemstones. Pretty much every corporation in the world with interest in precious extractives wants access to the wealth that the Paiter-Suruí controls.
The Paiter were first "officially" contacted in 1969, and since that time they have been threatened by violence, government corruption, invasion by lumbermen and miners, and continuous efforts to exploit their lands.
In the past 20 years, the Paiter-Suruí people have engaged in several initiatives to protect their resources, create economic benefit through selling carbon credits, and launch a "50 Year Management Plan of the Paiter-Suruí People." One of the primary missions of the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference is to create information exchange and shared values and objectives among individuals and communities engaged in jewelry supply chains. Having Chief Enrique join the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference personally to share the experience of his people, and their efforts to join a modern world while protecting their culture and land, is an incredible opportunity for conference attendees to gain valuable perspective and direct knowledge.
Related article: What Are Projects That Destroy Life? The Paiter-Suruí REDD Project in Brazil.