WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 – The American Islamic Congress (AIC) kicks off its Indigenous Peoples Campaign today with a summit to discuss the challenges facing indigenous peoples and evaluate the projects underway to address such challenges. Luis Felipe Duchicela, the Senior Advisor for Indigenous Peoples at the World Bank and Jacqueline Tiller, Grant Coordinator for First Peoples Worldwide, will provide insight into the state of international efforts to secure Indigenous Peoples’ rights and achieve sustainable development.

Indigenous Peoples make up the most diverse group of individuals in the world and span across 90 countries. All together, the UN recognizes about 400 million individuals, with over 5,000 distinct tribal affiliations, as Indigenous People. Although Indigenous People possess some of the most bio-diverse and resource rich territory in the world, they face significant challenges including state exploitation and pressures of modernization and globalization.

When: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 14, 2013

Where: AIC Center, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036


Luis Felipe Duchicela serves as the Senior Advisor for Indigenous Peoples for the World Bank. His primary job is to create a constructive dialogue with Indigenous Peoples worldwide to achieve deeper understanding and to work together towards sustainable development. He also assists the World Bank’s regional and country offices to better assess the situation of Indigenous Peoples and prepare plans and programs that take into account their ancestral knowledge, cultural identity and legal rights. Duchicela previously served as the Executive Director of the Amazon Conservation Association, the Regional Project Director for the Rainforest Alliance and the National Secretary of Indigenous Affairs of Ecuador.

Jacqueline Tiller serves as Grants Coordinator for First Peoples Worldwide. She works to provide funding directly to Indigenous communities through a channel that respects their ideas and voices. Before joining First Peoples Worldwide, Tiller worked in progressively responsible positions in the grant-making department of the US-based First Nations Development Institute and served as Associate Director of Training and Technical Assistance, providing training, technical assistance, and referrals to Native community projects across the US. She is a past board member of Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Community Food Security Coalition, and has participated on several Federal grant review panels advocating for Indigenous community projects.

This event is cosponsored by First People’s Worldwide. For more information visit http://www.firstpeoples.org/.

The American Islamic Congress is a nonprofit, non-religious, civil society development organization serving Muslims and Non-Muslims by promoting civil and human rights through advocacy, engagement and education. Visit http://aic.craftedenterprises.com for more additional information.