in supporting indigenous peoples worldwide

IR Global & Sinchi: 
working to make a difference

IR Global founding philosophy is based on making a positive difference in the business world and to instigate meaningful social impact.

For this purpose, in 2015, the founder of IR, Tom Wheeler created a charity called the Sinchi Foundation that focuses on Indigenous rights, the preservation of cultural and the protection of nature.

Over the years, IR has been proud to sponsor and collaborate with members through multiple initiatives to achieve tangible results. Addressing human rights violations, illegal actions in the Amazon and providing the tools / resources to those on the frontlines of protecting the environment.

The network in action

Our global network supports Sinchi in reaching its objectives via;

  • Our ‘One Billable Hour’ program. Contributing members donate the equivalent financial value of one hour of advice per year. Funds raised distributed to indigenous-led projects.
  • Access to Justice; Creation of Forest Guardians sponsorship model. IR member firms directly supporting Indigenous communities with the tools and resources needed to defend their territories.
  • Sharing indigenous people’s stories and the important role they play in protecting biodiversity. Raising exposure and amplifying the voices of those who need it most.
  • Engaging / Connecting clients with our initiatives; creating a community of likeminded individuals and businesses around the world for collaboration purposes.

    If you would like to learn more, please contact [email protected].

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There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population, represent 15% of the poorest but protect over 80% of the world’s biodiversity.

They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures. To this day they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.

They have sought recognition of their identities, way of life and their right to traditional lands and natural resources for centuries, but throughout history their rights have been repeatedly violated by colonial powers, extractive industries and other forms of exploitation.

Their resistance movements and cries for help have too often been ignored, which is why we need to stand united. Both for the protection of these marginalised cultures, the heritage they represent and for the protection of the environment, for all of humanity!

How Sinchi supports indigenous culture

It’s our conviction that mutual understanding and cooperation can only be reached through actual cultural exchange, from both sides. Our aspiration is to empower and enable communities to document their own history and cultural heritage, by proving both equipment and workshops on photography, communications, filming, music production etc.

Its core objectives are:

  • Connect indigenous communities with collaborators and resources in the Western World. Whilst ensuring all projects supported are community led and controlled
  • Develop creative arts skills. Providing opportunities for the youth in communities to document, share their own stories and show the strength of their own culture
  • Create a sustainable business model for art & music, which can generate ongoing funds. Ensuring all copyright / ownerships of creative collaborations remains with the community

Why indigenous culture?

Indigenous culture represents a continuum of intellect and creativity through the history of humanity. It provides a sense of continuity with the past, with traditions and ancestral heritage. It also teaches us many important lessons about living in balance with nature, the importance of community, connection and our relationship with the world around us.

It’s not just plants and animals that are becoming extinct at alarming rates. The world’s languages and cultures are disappearing too, and the pace is even worse: 11% of birds and 18% of mammals are predicted to die out by the end of the century, but a conservative estimate places language extinction at 40% (that’s about 2,800 of the world’s languages). 

The situation is just as grim for other expressions of culture — songs, stories, performance traditions — particularly those of Indigenous and minority peoples. International recognition of this new global crisis led UNESCO, in 2003, to proclaim a need for “urgent safeguarding” of the world’s intangible cultural heritage. It is imperative we don’t lose these beautiful expressions as it would be a loss to all of humanity.