A Tiny Amazon Tribe Just Won A Landmark Case Against The Big Oil Companies

The Waorani Brought The Case Against The Ecuador Government

Currently, the Waorani include 2,000 total people among 16 different communities. For hundreds of years, they lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers in small settlements across one of the largest territories of the Amazon in Ecuador.

waorani indigenous man tiri nenquimo walking in ecuador
RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images

In 1958, Western missionary groups discovered the tribe and forced many families to relocate and convert to Christianity. That makes the Waorani one of the most recently contacted tribes in Ecuador. Yet, in only 60 years the Waorani have lost most of their land to oil and logging companies.