On December 11th, 10:00–14:00 (AEDT) Ghazali will spend 4 hours, with 24 guest from all over the region, we’re talking about activists, youth, academics, elders, children, etc. each in a 10 minute on-on-one conversation with Ghazali answering one singular question:

Where is indigenous knowledge going right now?

ROSIANA LAGI is from Fiji and she is a Campus Director of the University of South Pacific with a doctorate degree in Indigenous Knowledge of Climate Change Adaptation. …


Myself, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Estebancio Castro-Diaz

My friends, you probably have noticed the absence. Sorry for that. Today I wanted to talk to you about climate change.

I know, I know “climate change, not again”.

But this one is unique. In the Paris Agreement the United Nations established a platform to make sure the knowledge of Indigenous Peoples becomes relevant in climate action, and that the necessary information from the local level gets to the decision makers.

Its called the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.

This platform has activities, and those activities are organized by the Facilitative Working Group. The FWG is composed by 7…


When the pandemic started I moved out of the city to the countryside to be close to my family. I camped for 11 weeks at my little brother’s place, knew that I couldn’t travel for a while but still wanted to connect with friends and colleagues and provide value.

So I was 3 weeks into the quarantine, bored and figured that this might be a good time to do something with my additional free time.

So, I set up these global conference calls — as most of the calls that I was seeing were regional but figured that we could…


In my continuous effort to inspire and empower Indigenous Peoples so they can do what inspires them, we created a checklist that allows Indigenous Peoples to track the response efforts to COVID-19 by States around the world.

For the last 8 weeks I’ve had conference calls with Indigenous Peoples representatives and experts (I’ve had the privilege of working with for the past 18 years) from all around the world to check in with them and talk about the work that we usually do at the United Nations but can’t because of the quarantines and travel bans.

The idea was to…


For the first say 9 or 10 years I truly believed that there was a lot of solidarity within the indigenous rights movement. Maybe I was young, naive, but boy was I wrong.

Once you’re on to something, or in a leadership role, I’ve learned that there are toxic people and haters out there who like nothing more than seeing you be discredited, fall down, or like nothing more than to chop off the legs from under you.

So, sometimes we are our own worst enemies and you have to be brave to stay your course, because these people will…


I’ve come across a lot of people over the years who when you look at their Facebook, Instagram and Youtube accounts seem to be doing a lot at the international level.

They established a good mostly online presence, they uploaded a 4 minute video of their statement speaking truth to power, updated their Facebook saying that the United Nations interrupted their speech because they were too negative about a particular State, and complain that the UN doesn’t do anything for their cases and Indigenous Peoples at large.

That’s what you see on the surface.

When you look closer you’d see…


In the indigenous rights advocacy, I believe relationships are super important.

I have three stories that highlight relationships.

The first one, is one of my favorite stories from the Platform negotiations is at COP23 when I took the floor on behalf of the Pacific and Latin-American regions coming out in support of Ecuador even though a number of States were against their position and the indigenous caucus agreed to not intervene as a caucus.

So we were basically supposed to only listen. Listening is very important, and I like to listen at least twice as much more than I speak…


You’ll get to know yourself when things don’t go your way.

You will also know yourself when things go your way. But you’ll learn much faster when things go bad.

I know now that I’m not a good writer. Yet.

I think from 2010 to 2014 I truly believed I was an amazing speechwriter.

In retrospect I romanticized it, probably because I religiously followed all of Aaron Sorkin’s work, which included binge watching The West Wing.

So here I am thinking that I could write amazing “I have a dream” speeches. Yet, out of all the speeches I wrote in…


Some time ago I was interviewed by Teanau Tuiono for the online platform Pacific Voices. He asked me about the impact of colonization and militarism on the Maluku islands and how I think about Pacific regional solidarity.

I think this article will be interesting to you, as you’re about to read about the (to many people out there) unknown story of how the Republic of the South-Moluccas came about, and the forced relocation by the Dutch that followed, consisting of 4000 Maluku soldiers and their families from their native islands to the Netherlands in 1950.

Amongst them my grandparents, whom…


On the outset, let me be 100% clear, this is just one man’s opinion and I am sure that other people see it more nuanced than the way I do.

Because, I see self-determination as a crucial part of the indigenous rights movements around the world.

The problem is, Indigenous Peoples generally don’t talk about it. I know States see it as some kind of allergy, and confuse any discussion about it as an invitation to secession.

The truth is, Indigenous Peoples always had their own concept of self-determination, because we were there before the States. …

Ghazali Ohorella

Indigenous | Maluku | Idealist

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