Revista Yachaykuna
Working Papers
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Institute for Science and Indigenous Cultures


Amawta Runakunapak Yachay



The Institute for Science and Indigenous Cultures is a private non profit organisation which was legally came into being on the 12th of September 1986.

The Institute functions as a scientific-technical centre by bringing together the thought and experiences of struggle connected to the organisational process of the different indigenous organisations.


ISIC is conformed of an interdisciplinary team of indigenous and non indigenous professionals with a long history of experience in the communities and with the indigenous peoples of Ecuador. These professionals have as their goal the initiating of activities, on the national and international, level related to the indigenous nationalities and peoples.


ISIC participates in the construction of a culturally, politically and economically pluralistic society, based on the harmony between the human community and the natural world.


ISIC is a network dedicated to the systematisation of the knowledge of the indigenous peoples by means of research, training, and spreading of information, revitalising the individual and collective identity. The Institute also provides technical assistance to public and private bodies on activities related to indigenous peoples, directing awareness towards overcoming marginalisation..


  • To carry out studies and research of an anthropological, sociological, legal and historical nature.
  • To provide techno-scientific assistance on socio organisational, educational, ecological, legal and cultural issues to the indigenous communities, peoples and organisations.
  • To document studies and research through centres such as the video and music libraries, etc..
  • To publish and distribute the studies and research and other ISIC activities.
  • To develop training materials in different areas of knowledge, according to need.
  • To provide technical assistance in the programming, execution, follow up and evaluation of development projects benefitting indigenous peoples.

Work Areas

  • Research
  • Training
  • Technical assistance
    • Development projects
    • Legal assistance
    • Environmental assistance
    • Institutional strengthening
    • Assistance in bilingual education
  • Documentation
  • Publication and information distribution
  • Consultancy

1. Research

In this area ISIC carried out rigorous studies and research which maintain the debate and analysis of questions related to the indigenous issue.

2. Training

The principal activity of ISIC both on the organisational and technical levels; based on the priorities established by the organisations themselves and the population involved.

3. Technical Assistance

  • ISIC provides technical assistance in the administrative area and according to the priorities of the indigenous peoples, which are: Development Projects, Women's Activities. Legal Assistance, Environmental Assistance, Institutional Strengthening, and Assistance in Intercultural Bilingual Education
  • Development Projects: ISIC provides support in this area, given the need of the communities and organisations to obtain technical and administrative elements in order to optimise resources and carry out development activities
  • Women's Activities: A very important issue, above all related to indigenous women. The support which ISIC provides is in the area of the formulation and execution of projects which benefit women.
  • Legal Assistance: The existence of abuses to the dignity and rights of the indigenous peoples, the need to recover and strengthen the laws and regulations related to indigenous peoples, has lead ISIC to develop this aspect of its work.
  • Environmental Assistance: This is an area of special attention, due to the long history of the indigenous relationship with the different techniques for, and traditional knowledge of, protection of the environment.
  • Assistance with Bilingual Education: By means of research INTO indigenous teaching methods and psychology, ISIC provides training for teachers and administrative personnel in this area, thus achieving their improvement and strengthening of knowledge

4. Documentation

The systematisation and specialised ordering of documents and information is one of ISIC 's goals. Indigenous organisations have need of a Documentation Centre which can serve as a source of information and can be applied in the service of the public as a whole.

5. Publications and Distribution

This area includes everything concerning the production, edition, and publication of studies and research carried out by ISIC and other sectors.

The distribution and publicising of the information, especially with grassroots social sectors, is another task of the Institute.

6. Consultancy

One of the Institute's activities in relation to other institutions and organisations whose work supports indigenous communities and peoples, as well as other social sectors , is the provision of technical consultancy, especially with regard to the following institutions and organisations:

  • National and international academic and research institutions
  • National and International Development and Cooperation organisations
  • Governmental, Non governmental, and multilateral agencies, on issues of a SCIENTIFIC nature