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While many of us have grown up in our respective Indigenous communities, we also participate in the international discussions and forums convened to address the issues of Indigenous Peoples, which means our work often spans a complexity of spaces and
challenges. I firmly believe that we must affirm our
conviction, position, and
representation by listening
to the voices on the ground
—those voices of our elders,
parents, children, spiritual
leaders, and leaders who
are in the communities we
come from.


International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI) “Fears and tears bound women (and some men, too),
Shackles that need to be broken.
Together in harmony and peace we can live,
If we open the path for man and woman to walk hand-in-hand, If our mat welcomes both to sit together as equals, When we do not leave anyone behind, All together we can move forward to a life of bliss.”— Maribeth Biano, Indigenous woman from
the Philippines and first time participant at CSW


In the early hours of “Black Friday,” March 13, 2015, growing frustrations in the Aboriginal community
had reached a pressure point. After the repeated failure of successive governments to honor Australia’s First Nations at the most basic levels, the perfect storm was brewing. Compounding this, the global lurch to the right under the guise of “austerity” had seemingly become a code-switch of government to normalize racism, bigotry, oppression, and genocide.


On February 1 on top of Mt. Tzoodził (Turquoise Mountain), one of the sacred mountains of the Navajo/Diné, a group of young Navajo walkers arrived. Their journey commenced 26 days earlier in Grants, New Mexico, and covered 200 miles of the dust-ridden, snowy, and industrially exploited land of Eastern Navajo Agency. It was a walk to reclaim the beauty and balance in the outer and inner landscapes of their ancestral land. Nihígaal Bee Iiná is what they called this walk, and a walk for existence is how they perceived it.


New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, are famous for two things: their winning record and for performing the haka before their games. While haka is in part an Indigenous performance art using chant and movement to challenge, welcome, exult, or defy, it is also a vessel that contains sacred elements of Māori worldview, or Mātauranga Māori. Over the years, the All Blacks have primarily performed “Ka Mate,” a haka that was composed by Te Rauparaha, who was chief of the Ngāti Toa tribe of the North Island of New Zealand. 


The following is an abridged version of Professor S. James Anaya’s paper submitted for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Expert Group Meeting Dialogue on an optional protocol to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which took place January 27–29, 2015. The meeting discussed whether a new mechanism should be created to address the implementation gap in the Declaration Is there an implementation gap?


The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a massive, controversial free trade agreement currently under negotiation behind closed doors by officials from the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.


Many remember the controversy of the Panama Canal, a 77.1 kilometer canal that cuts through the Isthmus of Panama. The project was marred by decades of debate, thousands of worker deaths, a US-backed coup d’etat, and years of violent riots from Panamanians before it reached completion. Now, a similar project stands to exceed the scope of the Pana- ma Canal in both size and depth. In June 2013, Nicaraguan officials approved a $50 billion (US) deal with a Hong Kong firm to oversee the construction of a 278-kilometer long canal.


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