I first met Joe DelaCruz and Rudy Ryser in 1996 at a conference the Center for World Indigenous Studies hosted for non-Indian research activists fighting Wise Use. Rudy, at the time, was also on the board of the Center for Democratic Renewal then run by the illustrious Loretta Ross.
Rudy’s mentors included George Manuel who was the spark that generated global communication and coordination amongst indigenous peoples then emerging from post-colonialism. Through their formation of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, he and Rudy laid the groundwork for indigenous fora and working groups within the UN, as well as parallel organizations like UNPO .
CWIS today is considered the premier indigenous think tank and archival repository serving the Fourth World. In December 2005, they invited me to join as an associate scholar, and in January 2007 they asked me to serve as moderator for their private online forum.
In August 2007, I was asked to contribute a weekly column to Fourth World Eye.