Misak Indigenous Leaders Come to Isle of Eigg

Isle of Eigg, Scotland

On April 27-28th, there are unique opportunities to meet with Misak indigenous leaders from Colombia, as they tour Scotland to share their experiences of long-term community visioning and planning, and learn about Scotland’s journey towards land reform and community empowerment.

The Misak were displaced from their lands and almost disappeared as a people. Over the last 40 years they have reclaimed their territory, their culture and their futures against all odds. They did this by developing the ‘Plan de Vida’ or Life Plan, an exceptional approach for communities to re-envision and take control of their futures. Pioneered by the Misak in the 1980s, this approach has been adopted by hundreds of indigenous peoples and communities across South America and beyond.

This visit is about sharing the experience of the Life Plan as part of the inspiration for communities around the world pursuing self-governance.  The aim is to provide a space to learn from and reflect on the Misak experiences and think about where these could be applicable and useful in the context of Eigg’s own unique position for social, environmental and economic benefits.

We’d appreciate your support to help make the tour happen. We’re looking to cover a short fall in funding through a crowdfunder - have a look here and contribute if you can!

The visit to Eigg will include an evening presentation and two workshop sessions. During the events the Misak leaders will share their experiences of community led visioning and the Life Plan including stories of how they reclaimed their land, culture and population after almost complete loss. In doing so they will share strategies on community-lead long-term visioning and maintaining cultural identity within a changing environment.

•          After being displaced from their land and almost disappearing as a people, how did the Misak reclaim their land and culture?

•          9 out of 10 Misak youth who seek work or study outside come back to live in the Misak territory. How have the Misak overcome the challenge of rural outmigration?

•          The 26,000 Misak have developed self-governance. They run their healthcare including a traditional health clinic, a communications programme including a printing press, and an educational system from pre-school through to the Misak university. How have they achieved all this and what parallels can be drawn with the challenges facing rural areas in Scotland?

Open to residents of the Isle of Eigg as well as people involved on other community-led initiatives. These events are free, with donations appreciated. Please register your interest on the facebook event page so we can gauge numbers.   There will be two events in Eigg - let us know you're coming on our facebook event page! 

Friday 27th April: Eigg Village Hall 6-9 pm: Evening gathering and presentations: The event is free and open to all, young and old. Donations for the tour will be welcome. Please bring a dish for a potluck meal. Bring instruments, songs and poetry.  

Saturday 28th April: Eigg Village Hall 10-12am & 2-4pm: Workshop on the Misak ‘Plan de Vida’.  For those who would like to deepen their understanding of the approach. This event is free, with donations appreciated. 

The events in Eigg are part of a wider tour where Misak leaders will meet with communities in Mull, Eigg, Skye, a residential training on Bute, and a final event at the Scottish Parliament.

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