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In Kenya and Tanzania, a number of cases are pending in court for Indigenous Maasai pastoralist communities pressing charges the illegal appropriation of their land. Pastoralists are particularly vulnerable to land appropriation, as their semi-nomadic lifestyle is viewed by discriminatory legislation and policies as lacking permanent ties to land that demonstrate ownership. Rather, the Maasai’s way of life has been delegitimized in favor of permanent agricultural based economies.

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The right to health is the most basic of human rights, argues Indigenous Maasai scholar Ben Koissaba, of Kenya, in conclusion to his participation at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples that took place September 2014 in New York.  “[It’s] fulfillment is both a precondition to, and a by-product of, the enjoyment of all other rights,” he explains.  In a recent publication, Koissaba evaluated progress towards the right to health for Indigenous Peoples of Africa. Around the world, Indigenous Peoples suffer from greater illness and poorer quality of care than other groups.

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Latest CSQ Articles

Mililani Trask: Holding a Line

September 22, 2014 marked an important day for Indigenous communities everywhere. It was the first day of a two-day high level meeting of the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York City, doubling as the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

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Philanthropy as Reciprocity

Indigenous reciprocity is much more complex than a two-way exchange of favors…while the word reciprocity is not used often in our daily lives, it is deeply embedded in most Indigenous cultures. Where reciprocity remains strong in many respects, we must acknowledge that in other respects the serious erosion of our worldview has consequently caused damage to our systems of reciprocity.

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