Jupta Itoewaki stands as an unwavering advocate for environmental protection and sustainable development, channeling her passion and dedication towards uplifting the Wayana People of Suriname. Residing in the secluded southern reaches of the country, Jupta has devoted more than a decade of her life to serving her community in various capacities. Her roles as a facilitator, trainer, interpreter, and assistant to the Paramount Chief underscore her multifaceted contributions.
At the helm of the Mulokot Foundation, a community-based organization, Jupta actively champions the cause of the Wayana People, working collaboratively to realize their aspirations for sustainable development. Her leadership role involves navigating the delicate balance between preserving the cultural integrity of the Wayana People and embracing initiatives that foster growth and resilience.
Jupta’s educational background in social cultural education forms the bedrock of her understanding, complemented by specialized training in critical areas such as biodiversity, sustainable forest management, human rights, primary health care, and gender mainstreaming. This diverse skill set equips her to address the multifaceted challenges facing her community in the modern world.
Breaking barriers in 2018, Jupta made history by becoming the first Wayana individual selected as a fellow by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations. Her participation in the Indigenous Fellowship Program not only amplified her voice on the global stage but also enriched her perspective on the interconnectedness of environmental protection and human rights.
In recognition of her exceptional contributions to the field, Jupta was honored with the Golden Gavel Award in 2020. This prestigious accolade highlights her outstanding efforts in the realm of environmental protection, underscoring her commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for the Wayana People and the broader ecological landscape.
Jupta Itoewaki’s story serves as an inspirational narrative of an Indigenous leader who seamlessly integrates traditional values with global advocacy, actively engaging with international institutions to promote sustainable practices and safeguard the environment for her community and future generations.