Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname
Maria Josée Artist is a cultural anthropologist by training, specialized in community development. She works for the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS) and as part time lecturer at the University of Suriname. She supports chiefs of indigenous communities by advocating for their rights and interests in particular focused on the legal recognition of land rights. Ms. Artist also supports indigenous peoples in negotiations with the government, logging companies or extracted industries and coordinates community development programs.