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Quick Reads + Indigenous

Media archive · 758 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Indigenous

Coming Soon! Rising Voices Microgrants for Amazon Communities

Amazon Peru, photo by Pearl Vas  (CC BY 2.0)

Amazon Peru, photo by Pearl Vas (CC BY 2.0)

Rising Voices will be launching a microgrant competition next month for digital citizen media projects in the Amazon region which is home to many indigenous communities. Thanks to Avina Americas, Fundación Avina, and the Skoll Foundation, we'll be offering this support with ongoing mentorship from the Global Voices community.

Read more about the project on Rising Voices and register your interest here.

Citizen media has played an important part in many cultural, political, social and environmental struggles in the region. See some of our past coverage of Amazon communities on the special coverage page: Forest Focus: Amazon.

Indigenous Research at the College of the Bahamas

As a follow-up to her post about “the absurdity of cutting the budget for the College of The Bahamas”, Blogworld says:

Not only is the College the national tertiary level institution, but it’s the only indigenous public institution that is engaged in any form of ongoing Bahamian research.

Returning Human Remains is Not an Apology, Says Namibia to Germany

Human remains who were killed during the colonial war (early 20th century) were returned to Namibia by Germany in March. However, Namibians still demand a formal apology from the German government as Tendai Marima,  a post-doctoral researcher in African literature, wrote on the Think Africa Press website :

The skulls and skeletons that made their way home this month were seized by Germany back when Namibia − then ‘German South-West Africa’ − was one its colonies. Namibia was first occupied by the European power in 1884, and in 1904, the Herero and Nama peoples − dispossessed of their land and livestock − rose up together in an attempt to expel the Germans.

In an early revolt, over 100 German settlers and soldiers were killed, but the ensuing repression of the uprising was relentless and brutal. Over the three years it took to suppress the uprising, an estimated 65,000 Hereros and 10,000 Nama were killed, representing some 80% and 50% of those entire populations respectively. It is considered the first genocide of the 20th century.

Can Scientists Help Preserve Latin America's Cultural Heritage?

“We would suggest you dress up a little bit more ‘formal’ when you have to interact with clients”. By “formal” he means, you have to renounce your cultural heritage because you belong to an indigenous group in Ecuador and your look is too ‘ethnic’ for business.
 
This is a reality in many countries in Latin America, even in those that, like Ecuador, have a constitution that recognizes the nation as pluricultural and multiethnic. These are countries that have the potential to obtain economic growth through scientific discoveries that utilize the traditional knowledge of indigenous groups, and yet struggle to respect and accept their rich indigenous heritage.

In Latin American Science, Karina Vega-Villa writes about the importance of preserving the region's cultural heritage. She asks:

In a global society that highly values scientific advancement, what is the role that scientists play in developing a technology-based economic model in multicultural nations like those in Latin America?

And then concludes, among other things:

An emphasis on science programs directed by scientists and not business managers is required. [...] The role of scientists from a broad range of fields is essential and evident. Collaborative and cooperative efforts are fundamental to undertake this epic task.

Honduras Launches Online Dictionary of Indigenous Languages

A dictionary of Honduran indigenous languages was recently released online [es].

Honduran newspaper Tiempo [es] explains that this dictionary “registers the equivalent [words] in Spanish, chortí, garífuna, isleño, miskito, pech, tawahka and tolupán, languages that make up the country's linguistic heritage.” 

For example, a search for the Spanish word for bead, “pan” [es], gives the following result:

Bread
Baked food made with flour.
Ch. b’or.
G. fein.
I. bread.
M. bred.
P. síra arinayoka.
Ta. wan busna / brit.
To. sen

Bahamas: The Cerasee Cold Cure

Forget the cold relief, time for the cure.

Blogworld's Nicolette Bethel turns to “bush medicine” for healing.

Examining the Post-Colonial Evolution of Francophone and Anglophone Africa

Screen capture of animated slideshow on the legacy of French and English colonization in Africa via Le Monde

Screen capture of animated slideshow on the legacy of French and English colonization in Africa -Blue countries are French-speaking nations, red countries are English-speaking nations.  via Le Monde

The topic of the post-colonial evolution of francophone versus anglophone African states has always a fodder for intense debate. Cheidozié Dike, from Nigeria, brings a new perspective to the subject :     

While the French Loi Cadre system was mostly about integration, the British colonial system sought only exploitation. Creating an air of suspicion between the nations that make up present-day Anglophone Africa, fracturing connections before they were even made, all the better to rule.[.;] Francophone Africans do not feel the need to aspire to western culture, because the French culture was wedded with local customs such that it became an indivisible whole

However, the predominant analysis from francophone Africa is quite different. Ouréguéhi, from Benin, articulates why he thinks francophone Africa is lagging behind its anglophone counterpart financially [fr]:

Les pays anglophones ont été libérés de leur colon sur tous les plans. la France a toujours les regards dans les affaires des colonisés sans oublier la dictée qu'elle fait à ces pays. Quand tu veux voir celui que tu prétends aider évoluer, tu lui donne les conseils tout en lui laissant le choix de sa politique

English-speaking countries were freed from their colonizers at all levels. France still keeps an eye in the affairs of its former colonies, not to mention the fact that she still dictates (a few policies) of these countries. When you want to help someone evolve, you give him/her advice but you let them choose their own policy. 

Mapping Conflicts Between Indigenous Peoples and Corporations in Latin America

map conflicts latin america

Codpi (Coordination for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) has created a map to monitor projects that are affecting indigenous territories, as their website explains [es]:

This map aims to collect cases of conflict that arise due to the presence of transnational corporations -mainly those with headquarters in Spain- in the territories of indigenous peoples in Latin America.

In Otramérica [es], Diego Jiménez from Codpi adds:

It is a tool in permanent construction, which collects some of the most important cases of violations, and that will be completed periodically to reflect a total of 50 identified [cases]. For each [case] a record is published -accessible from the interactive map- that contains basic information about the violated rights, the resistance posed by the indigenous people and a summary of the current situation. We have also included a number of links and additional audiovisual material.

With all this, we don't want to limit ourselves to denouncing a situation of enormous and increasing severity. We also hope that this tool will be useful and effective for indigenous peoples and also for the organizations, social movements and groups working with them.

Trinidad & Tobago: A Deeper Carnival

Mas is beauty and horror. Mas as a whole can’t and shouldn’t be a version of reality that edits out the blood and pain.

Tillah Willah explains why she is so excited about the character she is portraying in this year's Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.

Film Shows How ‘Development’ Turns Tribal People Into Beggars

A new film, ‘There You Go!’, has been launched by Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, which takes a satirical look at how tribes are often destroyed in the name of ‘development’. The 2-minute animation shows how ‘development’ can rob self-sufficient tribal people of their land, livelihood and pride and turn them into beggars.

Please watch the film here.

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