Benki Piyãko Ashaninka (Brazil) is a widely-known and respected Ashaninka leader who has, since a young age, been at the forefront in his people’s struggle for their ethnic and territorial rights, the preservation of their forest, the maintenance and strengthening of their indigenous identities, and the promotion of their cultural and spiritual values. Benki is also a respected shaman and artist. He has been instrumental in shaping a new generation of leaders and working with different local communities, indigenous groups and organizations, within and beyond his home state of Acre, to establish a number of training centers, networks and initiatives that support effective land-use practices, group learning and cultural and social revival. He has, as a result of his important and innovative work in the field of human rights and the environment, received several prestigious national and international awards.
Dario Novellino (Italy and The Philippines) is a social anthropologist who has dedicated his life to supporting indigenous peoples’ struggle for self determination, mostly on the Island of Palawan (The Philippines). Like Darrell Posey before him, Dario is both an accomplished academic and dedicated advocate. A fluent speaker of Batak, with whom he has lived for extended periods of time over the past twenty-seven years, he has written extensively about their world-views and life-ways and, on the basis of that knowledge and relationship, campaigned extensively for their social, territorial and environmental rights. Over the years Dario has also worked closely with a number of indigenous organizations. More recently, he helped establish ALDAW, a regional advocacy network that provides indigenous and local people with the information and communication tools necessary protect their lands against the onslaught of large-scale mining and palm oil agribusiness that is ravaging their lands. He recently received the prestigious Paul K. Feyerabend Award, in recognition for his contribution to human rights and environmental justice.