A Bit of Background
IKS has been established with a view to create a Category II institute of UNESCO, in order to reach out to the indigenous communities and assist them in protecting, promoting and documenting what is important to their lives and livelihoods – foods, arts and crafts (painting, music, dance, weaving, basket and mat making, pottery, etc.), language, artefacts, herbs and medicinal plants, stories about roots and routes, festivals, agriculture related tasks and implements, animal husbandry, housing, transportation, communication, technologies adopted. Needless to say, since there are myriad opportunities and the aim is to explore these, but also to facilitate (an environment for) greater sharing among/between indigenous peoples and outsiders. The Institute is visualised as an independent institute for research, training, teaching, innovation, consultancies and digital documentation of tribal life, livelihood, art and culture. It will act as an intellectual hub for incubating innovative tribe-centered development, promoting tribal activism and advocacy by sensitising the tribal youth on their ‘rights and opportunities for the betterment of their life and livelihood. The Institute aims at building a new developmental outlook by documenting tribal values of community, self-reliance, self-confidence, their hard work and amassing capabilities to survive against all odds. While the Institute will focus its activities in southern districts of Odisha (Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nabarangpur, Nuapada) and North Coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Vishakapatnam and East Godavari), it will also address issues of other tribal districts of Odisha and neighboring states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.