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THE VISUAL RECORD: South America's Vanishing Natural Vegetation

Both the popular press and scientific literature have documented the recent wave of forest clearing in South America's moist tropical forests. Less well known is the systematic degradation and conversion over the last two centuries of all types of vegetation in South America. New maps developed from satellite imagery have helped put the changes into proper perspective. From this work and other…

THE VISUAL RECORD: Re-Viewing the Map; America's "Empty Wilderness"

How many people lived in this hemisphere at the time Columbus encountered it, to his surprise, 500 years ago? Many Europeans answered, "None to speak of," even after learning about - and then vandalizing - the Aztec and Inca empires. Whether rich or poor, rural or urban, these non-Christians had no "souls," said the invaders, and therefore "did not count." Such preposterous thinking lives on, for…

THE VISUAL RECORD: Disappearing Forests; Disappearing Peoples

Central America, the 200,000-square-mile land bridge connecting North and South America and separating the Pacific from the Caribbean, is an extremely heterogeneous mosaic of climate, soils, vegetation, and animal life. Species from both North and South American intermingle along this isthmus, making it one of the richest zones of biological diversity in the world. Its tropical forests, in…

Preserving Language Diversity: Computers can be a tool for making the survival of languages possible

Preserving Language Diversity: Computers can be a tool for making the. survival of languages possible. The people of the world speak between 3,000 and 6,000 languages. Of these, 80 to 90 percent are spoken by indigenous peoples, representing almost all linguistic diversity today. A few native-language communities, like the Aymara and the Tswana, are large and robust, but most are small and…

INTERVIEW WITH WILL SEEKS: Celebrating the Beginning of Change; Canadian Indians want the government to protect Indian rights at

Chief Wil Seeks is one of the hereditary chiefs of the Gitksan, a nation of about 6,000 Indians in British Columbia, Canada. Elizabeth May, executive director of Cultural Survival Canada, interviewed Seeks. I'll tell you how it happened that we got involved with protesting Spain's 500 years celebration and how we boarded the Columbus expedition to demand an apology. One of my best friends in…

INTERVIEW WITH TIM COULTER: Self-Determination and Group Rights

Tim Coulter directs the Indian Law Resource Center. He is a lawyer and a member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi Tribe. Based in Washington, D.C., and Helena, Mont., the center provides Native Americans with free legal help in major cases involving Indian rights in the Americas. Since 1977, Coulter has also worked at the United Nations in Geneva, advocating for and helping shape a UN Declaration on…

INTERVIEW WITH PABLO LAMBEY: Traditions and Development; The National Garifuna Council is spreading a message of unity among the

Pablo Lambey, president of the National Garifuna Council of Belize, has a long history of activism in trade unions, human rights, and promoting grassroots welfare. A fisherman and owner of a small grocery store, he lives in Dangriga, the largest Garifuna community in Belize. Native to the Caribbean islands, the Garifuna are a mixture of Arawak Caribs and African slaves who arrived in Central…

INTERVIEW WITH NICANOR GONZALEZ: We Are Not Conservationists; Indigenous organizations are working at every level - local, natio

INTERVIEW WITH NICANOR GONZALEZ: We Are Not Conservationists; Indigenous. organizations are working at every level-local, national, and international. Nicanor Gonz lez, a Kuna Indian from Panama, was a founding technician of Project PEMASKEY, which has managed a forestry park in the Kuna homeland since 1983. He was international coordinator for the Second Interamerican Indian Congress on Natural…

INTERVIEW WITH JUANITA SEGUNDO SANCHEZ AND GLORIA MAYORGA BALMA: "We Can Survive and Prosper"; Without taking strong steps now,

Juanita Segundo S nchez and Gloria Mayorga Balma are Bribri Indians. They live in Costa Rica's Kék"Ldi Reserve, which was established in 1977. The area is officially known as the Cocles Reserve, but its residents prefer the Bribri name Kék"Ldi and have initiated proceedings to change it legally. Its indigenous population is less than 200 people. Juanita Segundo S nchez, a member of the yëyëwak…

INTERVIEW WITH JEAN LAMARR: Supporting Native Pride; A Native American artist talks about her community art project for reservat

INTERVIEW WITH JEAN LAMARR: Supporting Native Pride; A Native American. artist talks about her community art project for reservation and urban youth. Jean LaMarr is a Paiute and Pit River artist. A nationally recognized community-arts activist, she teaches print-making five months of the year at the American Indian Art Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The rest of the year she lives in…

INTERVIEW WITH GABRIEL MUYUY JACANAMEJOY: Taking Responsibility; In Colombia, electoral politics and grassroots activism complem

An Inga Indian, Gabriel Muyuy Jacanamejoy represents Putumayo Department in Colombia's Senate. He was elected to the Senate and serves there as a representative of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia - ONIC). Leslie Wirpsa, a journalist based in Bogota, conducted the interview. When I was in grade school, there were no strong indigenous…

INTERVIEW WITH ELIANE POTIGUARA: Harvesting What We Plant; After a decade of struggle, Brazilian Indians are regaining their lan

Eliane Potiguara is president and founder of the Indigenous Women's Educational Group (GRUMIN) in Brazil. A Potiguara Indian, she took part in the Intertribal Committee for 500 Years of Resistance during the International Indigenous Peoples Conference at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. She is a director and member of the International Indigenous Treaty Council. GRUMIN, which is mainly a Potiguara…

INTERVIEW WITH BERTHA JENNINGS: "Listen to My Heartbeat"; By reaffirming traditional values, Alaska's native people are educatin

INTERVIEW WITH BERTHA JENNINGS: "Listen to My Heartbeat"; By reaffirming. traditional values, Alaska's native people are educating a generation of stronger children. Bertha Jennings coordinates the Inupiat Ilitiquisiat Program in Kotzebue, Alaska, an effort to connect elders and youth. Stephenie Hollyman, a New York-based photographer, interviewed Jennings. We learn from our parents, and we learn…

Finding Our Voice

Indigenous peoples have always spoken for themselves, although too few of us listened for too many centuries. In the 1980s, as concern arose about sustainable development, the political agendas of governments and development, the political agendas of governments and development agencies began to take note of the relevance of the interests of indigenous peoples. Still, at the close of the Earth…

cs canada - 16.3

Aboriginal Victories at Constitutional Talks Although many issues are far from resolved, indigenous groups have succeeded in achieving an agreement with nine provinces, the territorial governments, and the federal government to enshrine their inherent right to self-government in the new Canadian constitution. The agreement would create a new and separate level of government for aboriginal peoples…

CARMEN PEREIRA DE NOE: Carving Out our Space; In the Bolivian province of Beni, indigenous women's groups struggle to improve th

Carmen Pereira de Noe is president of the Center for Indigenous Women of Beni (CMIB), part of the Indigenous Organization of the Beni Region (CPIB). Beni is located in the northeast of Bolivia. CPIB receives support from the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian Oriane, which is partially funded by Cultural Survival. This article derives from a report that Pereira de Noe prepared…

briefly noted - 16.3

The Invasion of Siberia If Siberia holds a popular reputation as frozen wasteland and place of imprisonment, it is also treated trove of raw materials. After its conquest between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, Siberia provided first the tsars, and then the Soviet Union, with oil, gas, gold, and diamonds, as well as many other valuable metals, timber, and furs. The Soviet Union's three…

AIDS IN ASIA: Silent Epidemic; Ethnic minorities are at risk in Burma's hidden AIDS epidemic

AIDS IN ASIA:. Silent Epidemic; Ethnic minorities are at risk in Burma's hidden AIDS epidemic Enchained by a military dictatorship that ruthlessly suppresses dissent, Burma is gripped by a severe AIDS epidemic. The disease is spreading rapidly in Asia, as Burma has become the conduit for the "AIDS Route" carrying infection from Thailand to remote tribal areas of India and China. In Burma, AIDS…

AIDS IN ASIA: Hill Tribes Endangered at Thailand's Periphery

By the year 2000, Asia could be the region with the greatest proportion of people infected with HIV, and Thailand is the country hardest hit. Although often described as living on Thailand's periphery, the hill tribes of the northern mountains are not peripheral to the exploding AIDS epidemic. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus - the precursor to AIDS) already infects hilltribe men, women, and…

A Two-Row Violation

On July 11, 1990, an armed conflict was sparked was sparked when police assaulted a Mohawk barricade erected to protect a pine forests from a golf course expansion in Kanehsatake, Quebec, which adjoins the white community of Oka. For three months, Oka was an issue talked about around the world as Canada laid siege to two Mohawk communities and mobizlied the entire Fifth Brigade - 3,400 troops -…