Amanaka'a worked directly with Amazon leaders in support of their projects for survival, human rights, the environment, health, sustainable development, education, and more.
Amanaka'a came into being as a direct result of Amazon Week I in 1990, which culminated in the Chico Mendes Campaign. Today, Amazon Week is still a major part of our identity. Held every year in New York City, it has grown to become the world's largest regularly-held rainforest conference. Amazon Week has brought dozens of native, rubber tapper and peasant leaders and their associates to the United States. Here, they have met with supporting organizations and individuals, government officials, and the media. This exposure helps generate support and visibility for the peoples of the forest. For example, during Amazon Week IV, a meeting between Waiãpi leaders and World Bank officials in Washington, D.C. led to the release of long-awaited funds for the demarcation of Waiãpi lands.
Amazon Week VI in May, 1995, benefited significantly from the increased presence and participation of government and business leaders. Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa returned to Brazil with funding for an education project provided by IBAMA, the Brazilian environmental agency; ironic as it might sound, such a meeting is much less likely to occur in Brazil. Additionally, Marcos Terena, director of Brazil's Intertribal Committee, negotiated funding from the United Nations Development Programme. Amazon Week VII will see an even greater mix of non-governmental organizations, businesses and government officials.
Amazon Week also served as the pivotal function around which Amanaka'a launches its extended grassroots/media campaigns and educational programs. Amanaka'a Campaigns were strategically selected to have a beneficial impact beyond the immediate issue or the peoples being defended. These campaigns were typically conducted in association with a broad coalition of environmental, indigenous, and human rights organizations. Four campaigns were especially influential; these are described below.
Amanaka'a started winding down its operations in the second half of 1998 and by 2000 only the web presence remained.