The Leading Source for News, Reports, Videos, Articles and more on Indigenous People from around the World
Today, our world is experiencing a rapid decline in cultural diversity and the eradication of indigenous peoples and their lifeway. One in five people in the world speak the same language: Mandarin Chinese. Spoken by the largest single ethnic group in the world - the Han - whose 1.3 billion speakers represent 92 percent of the mainland Chinese population and 19 percent of the world's population, while 235 languages make up the other 8 percent of China's population. Likewise, in India - the world's second most populous country - there are 415 living, recognized indigenous languages, but the majority of people speak either Bengali or Hindi. Around the world linguists recognize some 6,000 to 7,000 spoken languages, of which 5,000 or so are spoken by indigenous peoples who represent an estimated 6 percent of the world's population.
Many of these indigenous people, their language, culture, and lifeways face a questionable future. The relatively rapid decline in language diversity parallels the decline in cultural diversity. These changes are due in part to the product of both historical relationships - imperialism, colonialism, global economic development, and militarism - as well as cultural beliefs that rationalize or justify actions that have served certain cultures at the cost of others. In many instances, this cost has been disproportionally sustained by indigenous peoples.
Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources is dedicated to providing information, news, articles, videos, and resources for those concerned about, and for, indigenous peoples around the world. We recognize that our actions effect indigenous peoples in all parts of the world - the consequences of water diversion and hydroelectric energy projects, militarization, global and national events, consolidation of natural resource access, and the like are all having an unprecedented impact on the world's indigenous peoples. But we can do something.
It is our belief that cross-cultural communication, cooperation, and understanding - as well as easily accessible information and resources - is one of the keys to helping indigenous peoples maintain their language, culture, and identity. We hope that you also share this belief. Diversity is one of the strongest components to a healthy world. Together we can help and make a difference - from large to small.
Help us grow as we strive to provide the best single resource for indigenous peoples.
March 29 - April 7, 2014: Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues - United States, Paraguay, Belize, Philippines, Bangladesh
Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of March 29 - April 7, 2014: United States, Paraguay, Belize, Philippines, Bangladesh
United States: Final Conclusions And Recommendations On United States Issued By The UN Human Rights Committee Call For Measures To Protect Sacred Areas
On Friday, March 28, 2014, the 110th session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (HRC) issued its Concluding Observations on the United States (US) compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The 11-page document covers a broad range of issues presented during the review of the US.
In addition to specific recommendations addressing the cultural rights of Indigenous Peoples under Article 27 of the Covenant, other recommendations addressed issues such as racial disparities in the criminal justice system and racial profiling which directly impact the lives and rights of Indigenous Peoples in the US. The HRC also expressed concern about disproportionate levels of violence against Indigenous women in the US.
“We are encouraged that the Human Rights Committee expressed concern over the desecration, contamination and denial of access to sacred areas in response to many cases and examples presented by Indigenous Peoples and called upon the US to achieve the standard of Free, Prior and Informed Consent when it comes to protection of these sacred areas,” stated Danika Littlechild, International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) Legal Counsel, who attended the session in Geneva. “This demonstrates that the Committee applied the standards set out in International Law and used the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a lens through which the legal obligations of the US under the ICCPR must be understood.”. Read more about the UN Human Rights Committee recomendations concerning protection of sacred areas here....
Paraguay: Mysterious Epidemic Kills Recently-Contacted Tribe One By One
A mysterious epidemic is steadily killing recently-contacted members of a South American tribe, Survival International has warned on World Health Day (April 7).
Members of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe in Paraguay are rapidly succumbing to a TB-like illness which goes undetected in medical examinations. The Indians are being forced out of their forest as cattle ranchers burn and clear the land.
The deadly epidemic threatens to wipe out Paraguay’s recently contacted Ayoreo tribe, and sets a deadly precedent for their relatives still hiding in the forest, who are the last uncontacted Indians outside the Amazon.
Almost all the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode Indians who have been forced out of the forest, some as recently as 2004, have suffered from rare respiratory diseases since. Read more about the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode and health issues in Paraguay here....
Belize: SATIIM And Indigenous Peoples - Another Legal Victory
Free Prior and Informed Consent – A must in Belize
SATIIM, the foremost environmental and human right organization in Belize along with four indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya communities have achieved another monumental legal victory yesterday. The Belize Supreme Court Justice, The Honourable Michelle Arana declared:
That the decision of the Government of Belize to allow oil drilling and road construction in the National Park is irrational and Wednesbury unreasonable, that decision having been made without the free prior and informed consent of the indigenous Maya communities;
That the decision of the Government of Belize to allow oil drilling and road construction in the National Park is in breach of the legitimate expectation of the indigenous Maya Peoples, that the Government of Belize would comply with their obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to respect the rights of Indigenous Maya Peoples to their lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired;
ORDER directing the Government of Belize to obtain free, prior and informed consent from the indigenous Maya peoples with respect to any contract permit or licence that falls within the National Park. Read more about the court ruling in favor of Maya peoples in Belize concerning oil drilling here....
Philippines: Justice For William Bugatti - Tuwali Indigenous Rights Worker Killed
We are enraged over the extrajudicial killing of William Bugatti, a Tuwali and a devoted human rights worker on March 25, 2014, at around 6-7 in the evening. William is a Regional Council Member of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance-KARAPATAN, a Regional Council Member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance representing the Ifugao Peasant Movement and the Provincial Coordinator of Bayan Muna partylist.
We condemn this human rights violation in the strongest possible terms.
William was on his way home to his family at Bolog, Kiangan, Ifugao when unidentified assassins shot three bullets piercing his heart. They shot at him treacherously from the back as cowards do to brave men.
William has been receiving threats to his life and security from State security forces and their agents since the start of Oplan Bayanihan implementation in the Cordillera region. This heightened after the Armed Forces of the Philippines, particularly the 5th ID and the 86th IB Target List in Tinoc was obtained in October 2012. Bugatti was listed as #21 in the list in a roster of 28 people tagged as brains, members and supporters of the New People’s Army who are now also vulnerable to attack by State security forces and their agents. He has constantly been accused of being a member of the NPA. This has resulted to notable incidents of surveillance and harassment against him that derailed him from doing his work. He was even barred several times from visiting political detainees at the Ifugao Provincial Jail. The Jail warden claims that there is a “Regional Memorandum” stating that Bugatti was not allowed to enter the jail and visit the political detainees because of the red-tagging. Read more about the killing of indigenous advocate William Bugatti here....
Bangladesh: Upazila Elections 2014 - Indigenous Candidates Win 18 Chairman Posts, 20 Female Vice Chairman And 17 Vice Chairman (General) Posts
In the 4th Upazila Elections-2014 in Bangladesh, indigenous candidates won 18 chairman posts in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), 20 female vice chairman posts in CHT & plains and 17 vice chairman (general/male) posts in CHT.
In five phases, from February 19, 2014 to March 31, 2014, the 4th Upazila Parishad (Sub-district Council) elections were held in Bangladesh amid allegation of irregularities, vote rigging, snatching of ballot papers, attack on opponent groups etc. It is mentionable that the Upazilas (sub-districts) are the second lowest tier of local government bodies in Bangladesh with major responsibilities for ensuring local service delivery in all key sectors. The national administrative structure consists in fact in Divisions (7), Districts (64), Upazila Parishads (496) and Union Parishads (4451). Bangladesh, at present, has 496 upazilas.
Each Upazila Parishad composes with one chairman, one vice chairman (general) and one woman vice chairman. All three are elected through direct popular election. Union Parishad (lowest tier of administration) chairmen within the upazila are considered as the members of the Upazila Parishad. Read more about the elections in Bangladesh and indigenous representatives here....