Column: Elders from Peruvian tribe battle oil development
"The journey from their Amazonian home to Calgary’s concrete jungle took them 12 days, half of that on riverboats.

But masking the fatigue on the faces of the two Peruvian elders of the Achuar tribe was a melancholy determination.

“I haven’t come here on vacation — I came on a very serious mission to save our lands,” said Tayujin Shuwi Peas, his face painted traditionally and framed by a toucan feather head dress.

Peas, fellow elder Pitiur Unti Saant and Cesar Zuniga Butuna — the latter head of the national Achuar federation — finished a meal of chili and couscous at a Calgary political activist’s home before imploring Canadians to aid them in their quest.

They’ll sacrifice everything, we’re told, to evict Calgary-based Talisman Energy from their lands in northern Peru.

“We’re not afraid to die — we are committed to giving up our lives,” says Butuna."

Get the Story:
Bill Kaufmann: Tribal elders fight back (The Calgary Sun 5/7)