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Update on the Status of Bushmanland

The department of Nature Conservation has been active in the eastern half of Bushmanland since the formal proclamation of the so-called homeland in 1976. Unlike the residents of all other "ethnic homelands" in Namibia, Ju/Wasi have no representative council and are virtually wards of the state. Bushmanland is described vaguely as being "kept in trust for its residents." In effect, however, it is…

Toma: A Tribute

When anthropologists work in the field for extended periods, they live with and form ties with individuals who become more than mere representatives of their culture. Some of these relationship are deep and lasting. It is rare, however, for those individuals to filter through the ethnographies, the ponderosity of papers and documentary film, to become real people for the rest of us. There are, of…

The Forgotten Struggle of Australia's Aboriginal People

The Issue of Aboriginal people gaining recognition for their full rights on land held under pastoral lease in the Northern Territory of Australia will become a major battleground for human rights in the 1990s and beyond. When considering the relocation and resettlement of the Aboriginal people of Australia, any pattern of movement away from their country can only be seen as part of a boomerang…

Slavery in Sudan

Sudan today is experiencing a resurgence of chattel slavery. The Anti-Slavery Society recently conducted an investigation into slavery in, mainly, the western Sudan provinces of Darfur and Kordofan, and in the capital, Khartoum. The western region, populated largely by Baggara Arabs, borders on the province of Bahr el Ghazal, the home of the African people, the Dinka. (Baggara is a generic term…

Road Construction Threatens Huaorani in Ecuador

On June 20 of this year, the Huaorani Indians, with the support of the Confederation of Indian Nations of Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), began the task of physically demarcating Huaorani territories located in the Napo province in eastern Ecuador. Five years after receiving legal recognition of their rights to the land, they feel compelled to physically draw the line against destructive and often…

Repression in the Narmada Valley, India

The gentle Narmada River, flowing across the central plateau of India to the Arabian Sea, is one of India's few remaining unspoiled rivers. At 1,300 km, she is India's longest western-flowing river and one of her most beautiful. No large cities or industries mar her entire course. She sweeps along unimpeded from her source high in the holy hills of Amarkantak to her mouth north of the city of…

One Indian Woman's Ordeal in Guatemala

In July 988, while visiting her homeland of Guatemala from her US home in Indiantown, Florida, Maria Elena Gaspar was detained by the Guatemalan police for 13 days. Her ordeal, presented here in her own words, is just one example of the continued repression of Kanjobal Indians in Guatemala. My name is Maria Elena Gaspar. I war born on 25 May 1967 in Guatemala. I am a Kanjobal Indian. I have…

Malaysia: Economic Recession, Ethnic Relations and Political Freedom

The events of the second half of October 1987 may yet prove to be the beginnings of another major transition for the Malaysian nation, almost comparable to the post-election race riots associated with 13 May 1969. Once again Malaysia tottered at the edge of the precipice that has already consumed Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Fiji. The arrests of more than 100 people, as well as bans…

Malaysia Update: Logging-Post Blockade in Sarawak

Since the Malaysian police dismantled all the blockades set up by the various native communities in the interior of Sarawak in October, logging has resumed in full force throughout Sarawak. As a result, Sarawak's native communities now face the same problems they encountered before they were forced to set up wooden barricades across logging roads in order to prevent logging of their customary…

Lessons from the Uxpanapa Resettlement Project, Mexico

Let us be realists and do the impossible" reads the legend on the gateway to the Uxpanapa resettlement zone. "He who does not believe in miracles in Uxpanapa is not a realist" is inscribed on the other side of the entrance. The zone was carved out of one of Mexico's few remaining areas of virgin rain forest in 1974 to accommodate 3,000 Chinantec Indian families displaced from their Oaxaca…

Genocide in the Age of Enlightenment

Most of us think of the Twentieth century as an age of progress, enlightenment and civilization. This is not really true. The enlightened values that may exist among certain individuals or small groups are often overshadowed by greed. In addition, in this century nuclear, chemical and sophisticated conventional weapons have been developed and used at an unprecedented rate. On average, states…

Forced Relocation at Big Mountain

Since this country was born more than 200 years ago, millions of people have come to the United States in search of religious freedom, a right guaranteed to all citizens by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Yet freedom of religion is now denied to thousands of Americans by a law passed by Congress in 1974 that requires traditional Navajo people to leave their sacred homeland in the Big…

Decentralization and Development Among the Ju/Wasi, Namibia

An examination of the Ju/Wasi San in the eastern Bushmanland area of northeastern Namibia back in 1980 would have revealed the grave problems faced by these people. Almost 1,000 people were crowded into a settlement at Tsum!kwe, an administrative center established by the South African government in 1960. The Ju/Wasi, as were many contemporary indigenous populations in modern nation-states, were…

Counterinsurgency and the Development Pole Strategy in Guatemala

The home of Guatemala's Ixil Indians is a relatively isolated, ruggedly mountainous territory ranging from 700 to 3,000 meters above sea level and encompassing approximately 2,300 km². It lies in the central sector of the Department of El Quiché, 85 km along a gravel road north of its capital city, Santa Cruz del Quiché. The Ixil make up more than 90 percent of the department's total population…

Baliapal-Bhograi, India: Theater of War, Theater of Displacement

On the east coast of India, along the Bay of Bengal, a small area of land in the far north of Orissa state has become the stage for a life or death struggle waged by peasant farmers and fisherfolk against the central government and military establishment of India. In the Baliapal and Bhograi village areas of Baleshwar district, the inhabitants of 54 villages(approximately 45,000 people, according…

An Historical Overview of the Navajo Relocation

In 1863 Kit Carson launched a brutal and relentless search-and-destroy campaign against the Navajo people. Under his command, the US Cavalry swept across the Navajo countryside chopping down fruit trees, destroying crops and butchering sheep. Thousands of Navajos were killed, and approximately 8,500 Navajo men, women and children were captured and forced to walk more than 400 miles in the dead of…

A Legacy Restored: Another Perspective on the Boldt Decision

Dismantle the legal ruling that restored a fair share of the fishing harvest to Washington State's treaty tribes? Peter Knutson argues "yes" in the spring 1987 issue of Cultural Survival Quarterly 11(2) ("The Unintended Consequences of the Boldt Decision"). Fourteen years after the land-mark ruling, are there problems of equity and legitimacy so severe that the current fishery system should be…