The International Indigenous Fund for development and solidarity «Batani» was created as an initiative of the indigenous peoples in 2004 to organize development projects for indigenous peoples in Russia and implemented several successful programs of the IPs economic development in Sakhalin and other regions of the Russian Far East. The fund also developed tools and mechanisms for negotiations between indigenous communities and private businesses and promoted international cooperation between indigenous peoples of Russia, the US, Canada, Norway, Bolivia, and other countries.
Among the most important goals of the Batani fund were supporting the right of indigenous communities for the Free, Prior and Informed Consent to develop the industrial projects on their traditional lands and promotion of the indigenous communities’ ability to say NO to the mineral extraction and industrial pollution. This activity irritated authorities so in 2015, the Batani Foundation was recognized by the Russian Government as a foreign agent and in 2017 it was liquidated by the Moscow city court according to the demand of the Russian Ministry of Justice.
Several Batani staff were exiled from Russia and asking a political asylum in the US, Norway, and Sweden. Thus, we decided to register Batani Foundation as a new NGO in the United States to continue our work to protect indigenous peoples’ rights in Russia and around the world, to provides assistance to indigenous communities in their fight for a better life and help them to implement the communities development programs.