Our grantmaking respects diverse perspectives to address multiple forms of exclusion and models the inclusive society we aim to achieve.

Over half of our funding is directed to those who are marginalized because of intersecting social identities, such as women with disabilities and Indigenous persons with disabilities. They bring important perspectives to social justice movements, but they are often discriminated against by the movements they represent and by broader society.

The Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN) was launched by Indigenous leaders with disabilities who – with Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) funding – attended the largest global meeting of Indigenous Peoples at the UN in 2012. These leaders participated in development of a report, also funded by DRAF, highlighting the situation of Indigenous persons with disabilities worldwide. The report was drafted by Myrna Cunningham and Kanyinke Sena, members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, with technical support from the International Disability Alliance (IDA).

Since DRAF seeded the network, Indigenous persons with disabilities have been speaking out for their inclusion and their rights in regional and global fora, such as the Human Rights Council and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pratima Gurung, DRF’s global advisor said:

“We’ve embraced the diversity in the global disability and indigenous movements. Our work has opened spaces to claim and exercise the rights of indigenous persons with disabilities.”

To move forward, Setareki Macanawai, DRF’s global advisor, said:

“Our global work must now be translated to the regional and local levels. For the next five to ten years, our work is also in our communities, in our countries. Having strong platforms at the regional and global levels will allow us to share how our cultures and struggles are similar with the Indigenous Peoples movement and how we can jointly advocate for our collective rights.”

This work, bringing together the Indigenous Peoples and disability rights movements, is critical to continue. We welcome growing initiatives addressing intersections, such as climate change and gender equality, gender and disability, and underscore the importance of recognizing all people with all our identities.

Funding for this project was provided by the Australian Government.

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