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"Who's Local Here?" The Politics of Participation in Development

Participatory approaches to development have become de rigeur once again in recent years. Popular in the community development schemes of the 1950s and `60s, and again in the 1970s turn to "basic needs" and "bottom up" philosophies of development, it has been resuscitated yet again in a current context concerned with human rights, democratization, civil society, and popular social movements.

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A Letter To Cultural Survival: The Botswana Book Project

Soon after Botswana peacefully obtained independence from the British in 1966, the newly formed Ministry of Education established an educational network of free schools throughout the country. Students enter primary school at age 7, move to junior secondary school at age 14 and, if they qualify, they move on to senior secondary school at age 17.

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A San Development Initiative

Planning for the rest camp began in 1995. I visited the Kuru Development Trust (KDT) in Botswana, where a large group of San discussed the establishment of the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA). After I had seen the KDT projects I thought that I should encourage my community to start a project.

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Basarwa Resettlement

When I conducted my primary research at Kutse between 1986 and 1995, residents were, paradoxically, both sedentary and full-time hunter-gatherers; the proximity of the unfenced Khutse Game Reserve allowed them access to animals that strayed out of the protected area. At the time, no guns or horses were used: spears, poison tipped arrows and bows, clubs or digging sticks, and dogs were the main hunting tools.

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Boreholes and Land Rights

TOCADI Trust is based in Shakawe and has three other field offices in remote areas. Through the Board of Trustees, the Trust is owned by the San people. TOCADI believes in affirmative action toward marginalized communities; its mission statement reads, "We want to empower marginalized communities so that they are able to make their own sustainable plans and implement them."

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On January 27, 2011, Botswana’s Court of Appeal reversed a ruling that denied the Kalahari Bushmen access to water on their ancestral lands. The Bushmen appealed a 2010 High Court judgment that prevented them from accessing a borehole. The new ruling not only gave the Bushmen rights to use the borehole, but also gave them the right to drill new ones and ordered the government to pay the Bushmen’s court costs.    In 2002, the Botswana government forced the Bushmen from their lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and into what amounted to refugee camps.

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On July 21, the Botswana High Court ruled against the San Bushmen, barring them from re-opening a vital waterhole in the Kalahari desert, which is key to their way of life and survival. The Botswana government has been trying to push the San out of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve since diamonds were found there in the 1980s. The government sealed the Bushmen’s water borehole when it evicted them from the reserve in 2002.

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Botswana: Fishermen of the Two Way River

Habitat changes resulting from climatic shifts or overexploitation by human populations have often had negative effects on indigenous peoples. Deforestation in the Amazon Basin, desertification in the Sahel zone of Africa and overhunting in many regions have resulted in a decline in the socioeconomic and nutritional well-being of hunter-gatherers, pastoralists and agriculturists.

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This week the government of Botswana denied that there were any connections between what it termed the “relocation exercise” of Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and diamond exploration in the Reserve. Officials claimed that Basarwa communities were resettled outside of the Reserve boundaries in order to “empower” them, and to avoid land use conflicts.

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Controlling Their Destiny: Ju|'hoansi of Nyae Nyae

For over 20 years the Nyae Nyae people were supported in the artificial government settlement of Tsumkwe with weekly deliveries of food relief. Alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and anomie were all-too-familiar features of the overcrowded rural slums. Then, in 1981, seeing that their situation was spiraling out of control, a few far-sighted individuals began to leave Tsumkwe and head back to their home territories, called N!oresi.

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Cultures Within Cultures: When laws ignore reality

When compared to the Americas, African practice on indigenous rights protection is unguided by law. This state of affairs is largely the result of Special Rapporteur Martínez-Cobo’s famous 1984 Study of the Problem of Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations, which literally made all Africans indigenous, without any need for extra protection of any particular group.

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Enabling Women to Live the Life They Choose: Women’s Work

For the San Bushmen, the ostrich egg is a gift from the gods. Not only does the inside of the egg feed a family, the outside can be used as a water vessel. An obvious sign of fertility and prosperity, an eggshell made into beads and given to a friend is a wish for good luck.

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The Botswana government is pushing on with their ethnocidal policies toward San communities in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Maintaining that the expenses for providing services to communities residing in the reserve are too high, the government stopped delivering water and other essential services to the San last month. This month authorities are intensifying the pressure on Gwi and Gana communities to resettle by dismantling their local boreholes and water pumps, and emptying their reserves onto the desert ground.

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Facing the Challenge of HIV/AIDS

The countries of southern Africa today have the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world. The United Nations figures for June 2000 show a seropositive rate among adults of 19.54 percent in Namibia, 19.94 percent in South Africa, and a staggering 35.8 percent in Botswana. The epidemic threatens to undo the development gains of recent decades and cause incalculable hardship and suffering among the ordinary peoples of the region.

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Fisherfolk

Fishing has a fair claim to being humankind's most widespread and varied pursuit. From Lapland to Tierra del Fuego and Indonesia to Africa, in marshes, paddies, streams, ponds, lakes, rivers, estuaries, lagoons and the open sea itself, people use traps, spears, baskets, poisons, hooks, weirs, nets and their bare hands to catch everything from single basking sharks to masses of wriggling spawn - not to mention sea-mammals, amphibians and a vast smorgasbord of invertebrates.

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Foragers on the Move

San survival strategies in Botswana parks and reserves

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Foragers to First Peoples: The Kalahari San Today

As the original inhabitants of southern Africa, the San lived for millennia as independent hunters and gatherers. The rich heritage of rock art there is attributed to ancestral San. The San represent for many an unspoiled “natural humanity” living in harmony with nature, and the works of Laurens Van Der Post and films like The Gods Must Be Crazy reinforce this romantic image.

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The passionate desire which leads man to flee from the monotony of everyday life has made him instinctively discover strange substances. He has done so, even where nature has been most niggardly in producing them and where the products seem very far from possessing the properties which would enable him to satisfy this desire.

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Healing Makes Our Hearts Happy

Oma Djo, a highly respected elderly Ju/’hoan healer, referred to n/om spiritual energy as something that “helps keep us alive.” N/om lies at the heart of the Ju/’hoan practice of healing, a practice that follows the pattern of classical shamanism. During all-night community healing dances, n/om boils within the healers to create an altered state of consciousness (ASC) called !aia.

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Hunters and Herding: Local Level Livestock Development among Kalahari San

The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic upsurge in activities involving grassroots socioeconomic development among Kalahari San. More and more San communities are electing rural development committees and initiating small-scale projects which promise to improve their livelihood.

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Indian Girls Make the Best Maids

FOR more than thirty years, the Amuesha Indian community of Miraflores (Oxapampa, Peru) has provided young girls as servants to neighboring haciendas and the homes of the region's lumber barons. During the past ten years, as the demand for servants in the urban areas has grown, more and more Amuesha girls have been taken to Lima to work in middle class homes.

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Introduction - 6.4

The reach into the aesthetic worlds of other cultures spans centuries. Today, a variety of motives incite Western interests in Third World arts and crafts. Multinational corporations, tourists, individual entrepreneurs, private and museum collectors are all appropriators of fine "high" art or its imitations as well as handicrafts, both the rare and the mass-produced. Ethnic arts and crafts have found a permanent home in many developed nations, influencing Western tastes and production.

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Just What Is Conservation?

At Cultural Survival, conservation is a people issue, not a biological one. Trees don't cut themselves. Streams don't pollute themselves. the ozone layer is not self-destructing. We are the ones putting our environment in peril.

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Land Reform, Ethnicity, and Compensation in Botswana

The shift from communal to individualized systems of land tenure is a process that has occurred throughout the Third World. The twentieth century has seen at least 25 major attempts to reform the basis of land tenure in various countries, some of them relatively successful.

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Losing Ground: Indigenous Rights and Recourse Across Africa

This issue of Cultural Survival Quarterly presents a series of framed images from across the African continent, of indigenous communities caught in the throes of conflict, being displaced from their homes, and losing their land.

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People of the Great White Lie?

John Paul Myburgh's film People of the Great Sandface (1986) has apparently been well received in Britain and Europe and hailed by respected, well-informed and critical South African media commentators as a breakthrough in South African ethnographic film. Yet People of the Great Sandface raises troubling questions, not only about how we portray the human dimension of southern Africa, but about the very nature of the academic enterprise known as visual anthropology.

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Poisons and Peripheral People - Part III: Industrial and Mining Hazards in the Third World

During the last decade, the adoption of adequate - in some cases, quite minimal - pollution control laws and occupational health standards in the US has spurred the wholesale exodus of many hazardous industries abroad. Productions processes that are illegal in the US are not wanted here, but the products are. Thus while industrial plants and raw materials must be shipped abroad, often production is exported back to industrialized nations.

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Political Development Among the Basarwa of Botswana

Our guiding principle in international affairs is that every national group has a right to self-determination; that the essence of democracy is that minorities and ethnic groups comprising a nation should not be subjected to any form of discrimination, and should happily accept the authority of the national government in the knowledge that they form no insignificant part of the national community. Sir Seretse Khama

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Progress or Poverty? The Dobe Ju|'hoansi

In 1963 perhaps three-quarters of the 466 Dobe Ju|’hoansi were living in camps based primarily on hunting and gathering while the rest were attached to Black-owned cattle posts. Road access was difficult and only one truck per month visited the area. After Botswana’s independence in September 1966, the pace of change accelerated and has continued to race up to the present.

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Resource Rights and Conservation: The Ts'exa

"Look at the land--it is sick and dying now that we are not allowed in it anymore," commented Kebuelemang, the 70-year-old headman of Mababe village, as he pointed westward. Within a kilometer of their village lay the vast Chobe National Park, established by the colonial government in 1960.

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