These 8 Indigenous Leaders Bring Their Wisdom to Davos 2023

Indigenous leaders are contributing their wisdom and experience during Davos, addressing issues such as action for nature, sustainable trade and mental health.

Despite representing 5% of the world’s population, indigenous peoples protect 80% of the Earth’s biodiversity. The leadership and expertise of indigenous peoples, who have long protected the environment, are critical to finding meaningful solutions to the climate crisis, reversing biodiversity loss and moving towards a more sustainable relationship with our planet.

The 2023 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum will host indigenous leaders from around the world, who will join with other leaders to promote cooperation in a fragmented world.

Recognizing and advancing indigenous knowledge will allow societies to have a greater impact on today’s global challenges, from stronger government policies on ecosystem restoration, as highlighted in the most recent White House guidance to US federal government agencies, to stronger business practices informed about sustainable trade.

The intergenerational ensemble of Indigenous leaders attending Davos 2023 reflects the perspectives of past and next generation leaders.

Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim

President of the Association of Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad

Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim

Hindu Oumarou Ibrahim is an expert on adaptation and mitigation of indigenous peoples to climate change. She belongs to the pastoral Mbororo people of Chad and chairs the Association of Women and Indigenous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT).

Oumarou Ibrahim is an advocate of greater inclusion of indigenous peoples and their knowledge and traditions in the global movement to combat the effects of climate change.

She received the Pritzker Prize for Emerging Environmental Genius and was named an Advocate for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. He is also a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; member of the Coordinating Committee of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa (IPACC); member of the Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit Advisory Committee; and Senior Indigenous Member of Conservation International.

Watch Hindu in these Davos sessions streamed live or in person:

Helena Gualinga

Helena Gualinga

Co-founder, Collective of Young Indigenous Defenders of the Amazon, Ecuador

Helena Gualinga is an Ecuadorian human rights and environmental activist from the Kichwa Sarayuku community of Pastaza (Ecuador).

She has become a spokesperson for the Sarayuku Indigenous community, using her voice and platform to expose and raise awareness of the conflict between the oil companies and her community in local schools and the international community.

Watch Helena in these Davos sessions streamed live or in person:

fawn sharp

President, National Congress of American Indians, USA

fawn sharp

Fawn R. Sharp is the 23rd President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest, and most representative tribal government organization for American Indians and Alaska Natives. President Sharp is the current Vice President of the Quinault Indian Nation of Taholah, Washington, having served as former President for five terms.

He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington in 1995 and subsequently obtained certificates from the National Judicial College of the University of Nevada and in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford.

See Fawn at these Davos sessions streamed live or in person:

Maickson dos Santos Serrao

Maickson dos Santos Serrao

Deputy Board Member, Polo Manaus, Brazil

Maickson, who represents the Global Shaper Hub in Manaus, Brazil, is a climate activist and community leader who believes local movements can drive Amazon conservation and restoration.

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Maickson organizes community action at the local, state and federal levels targeting government officials, agribusiness and the public in an effort to prevent the Amazon from reaching an irreversible tipping point.

Watch Maickson at these Davos sessions streamed live or in person:

Aslak Holmberg

Aslak Holmberg

President, Sami Council, Finland

Aslak Holmberg has worked for the past decade on Indigenous and Sami issues through NGOs, the Sami Parliament, as well as in activism and academia. He is currently President of the Sami Council, the oldest and largest international Sami indigenous organization, working in areas such as human rights, culture, knowledge production and environmental policy.

Aslak is a fisherman, teacher and master of indigenous studies. Indigenous rights and knowledge are at the heart of his work in many fields.

Watch Aslak at these Davos sessions streamed live or in person:

Fernanda Zelada Rosal

Fernanda Zelada Rosal

Global Shaper, Downtown Guatemala City, Guatemala

On behalf of the Forum’s Global Shaper Guatemala City Hub, Fernanda founded the first epilepsy NGO in Guatemala at the age of 17 to provide support and raise awareness for the more than 50 million people struggling with this disease worldwide.

As part of the Global Shapers Community, she addresses issues of disability inclusion, interfaith and cultural dialogue, and climate action.

Watch Fernanda in these Davos sessions streamed live or in person:

  • Dinner: Guardians of Our Planet on Thursday, January 19 in Davos

Jocelyn Formsma

Jocelyn Formsma

CEO, National Association of Friendship Centers, Canada

Jocelyn Formsma, resident in Canada, is CEO of the Asociación Nacional de Centros de Amistad, member of the Consejo de la Asociación de Abogados Indígenas, advisor of the Proyecto de Asociación de Jóvenes Indígenas de Ontario and recently appointed member of the Consejo de Administración del Museo Canadiense de Human rights. Formsma is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation of Northern Ontario (Canada).

With a BA in Social Sciences and a PhD in Law from the University of Ottawa, she has over 20 years of work and volunteer experience building strong relationships and advocating for indigenous peoples.

Watch Jocelyn at these Davos sessions streamed live or in person:

Harmony Jade Sugaq Wayner

Harmony Jade Sugaq Wayner

Vice President, Arctic Youth Network, USA

Harmony Jade Sugaq Wayner is a member of the Naknek Native Village Tribe, a commercial fisherman with the Bristol Bay Salmon Fleet, and a marine scientist who specializes in sustainable rural food systems to promote indigenous values ​​and well-being in Alaskan villages.

She is Vice President of the Arctic Youth Network, an Emerging Leader of Arctic Frontiers, an Interagency Committee on Arctic Research Policy Indigenous Fellow, and an Alaska Sea Grant Fellow. She is passionate about giving a voice to Alaska Native communities by integrating Western science and indigenous knowledge to advance sustainable societies.

Watch Harmony in these Davos sessions streamed live or in person:

As part of Civil Society Communities of the Forum, the community of Indigenous Leaders of the Forum engages indigenous leaders and indigenous knowledge holders to shape the perceptions, debates and impact of the Forum’s multi-stakeholder platform and initiatives. visited for more information on the Forum’s engagement with indigenous leaders.

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