Revitalize The Roots Initiative
Protecting and Preserving the Indigenous Wisdom of the Endorois People
The purpose of this program is to develop and implement a model of cultural and language revitalization, enhance intergenerational knowledge-sharing systems and digitally preserve Endorois peoples’ cultural heritage and ancestral lands conservation for the indigenous Endorois People. This initiative is led by Global Wisdom Collective and Jamii Asilia Centre, two siblings organisations partnered in this effort. This program will be the first of its kind in an effort to example across Kenya and Africa.
In 1973, the Kenyan government forcibly displaced the Endorois people to create the Lake Bogoria National Reserve without prior consultation or consent from the community. This was a direct violation of their customary rights. This history, compounded by the harsh effects of climate change, has threatened the Endorois’s physical, spiritual and cultural livelihood.The Endorois people were the first inhabitants of a section of Baringo and Laikipia Counties in Kenya for over half a millenium.
The Endorois people have extensive indigenous knowledge systems centred on ecological biodiversity and preserving nature. Lake Bogoria and the Siracho Range hold tremendous spiritual and cultural significance for the Endorois people, as indicated by the Endorois Biocultural Protocol.
The project will work in consultation with the Endorois Welfare Council and Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network.
This project seeks to utilise digital methods to immortalise Endorois cultural heritage. This program will empower Endorois youth by employing participants to learn and lead through cultural heritage protection. Approximately forty Endorois youth will be provided structured training, mentorship, programming and digital resources to record and protect the indigenous ecological knowledge systems of at least 15-20 Endorois elders between the ages of 60-100 years old in the Nakuru, Lake Bogoria and Mochongoi area. This project seeks to protect the knowledge systems of the elders by uploading recorded stories and activities into a digital repository (database). This is the first cultural heritage program of this scale for the Endorois. This project will create sustainable resources and community momentum to record and apply Endorois knowledge systems.
The project in its first phase will record 15-20 of the 100 of the Endorois elders who are the remaining bastions of the Endorois’ cultural heritage.
Article 13 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) mentions the “Indigenous Peoples right to revitalize, use, develop and and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions … and that “member states shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected…”