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Zimbabwe's Agrarian Answer: The Rhetoric of Redistribution

"Five generations have lived on the same soil and so bad is the land now that we are having to use pick axes to till the land...The bordering farms [in contrast are] rich in thick soils and water resources with ample space for polocross games...It has taken us 18 years to be given land, the primary factor wich forces us to go to war. We have decided that we should camp here until the government…

Xavante Education Fund and Xavante Oppose Tocantins-Araguaia Hidrovia - 22.4

In April 1999, the Xavante Education Fund will enter its fourth year. This far, the project has enabled a young Xavante man named Lino Tsere'ubudzi Moritu to complete his secondary education. Lino will receive his diploma in December 1998 and join a handful of Xavante men who have worked hard to finish high school away from their communities in Brazilian schools. Also in December 1998, Lino will…

Violence and the State in Karamoja: Causes of Conflict, Initiative for Peace

Since the colonial period, different Ugandan governments have adopted anti-pastoralist policies, leading pastoralists to lose land vital for the survival of the herds on which they depend. Attempts to forcefully settle pastoralists have resulted in an unanticipated social crisis, setting the stage for an emerging conflict over the allocation and use of resources. All post-independence governments…

The Struggle for Land at the Margins

Are there indigenous peoples in Africa? Not in the sense that there clearly are in the Americas or in Australia, namely peoples who occupied their territories before outsiders from another continent moved in on them. One might say that all black Africans were indigenous during the colonial era, when they were subject to white domination, but even that generalization was challenged by white South…

The League of Indigenous Sovereign Nations

From October 10-12th, 1998, the League of Indigenous Sovereign Nations of the Western Hemisphere (LISN) held a conference at Mashpee Wampanoag tribal land in Mashpee, Massachusetts. The conference theme was "Many Nations, But One People." The first conference on May 27, 1991 was held on Pisataway Nation land in Tayac territory in southern Maryland. This conference was attended by representatives…

The Fractured Community: Landscapes of Power and Gender in Rural Zambia

This book takes the reader to Zambia's northwestern province, into a district situated on the social, economic, and political margins of the country, and hence, one of the poorest districts of this southern African nation. The common themes woven through this book are commoditization, and the impact that capitalism has had on two communities in this impoverished district. While I thoroughly…

Telling Their Own Stories: Native American Stereotypes in Art

Whether the noble Indian is shedding a tear for a 1960s' environmental public service commercial or being saved by the great white hope Captain John Smith in the recent Disney movie Pocahontas, hints of self-pity and romanticism continue to haunt American Indians in film. While Hollywood no longer portrays American Indians as painted and uncivilized savages, waving tomahawks and scalping the…

Resource Rights and Resettlement Among the San of Botswana

"In March, 1996, Roy Sesana, a G//ana headman from Molapo in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve of Botswana, and John Hardbattle, a Nharo from Buitsavango in the Ghanzi Farms region, spoke before the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. As representatives of an indigenous San non-government organization (NGO), Kgeikani Kweni (First People of the Kalahan), they…

Massachusetts Leads the Way on Action for East Timor

Since the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia in 1975, more than 200,000 East Timorese people (almost a third of the population) have died from starvation, war, and mistreatment by Indonesian officials. In addition, an estimated 20,000 Indonesian soldiers have died in the conflict over the occupation of East Timor. With arrests, torture and "disappearances" of East Timorese dissidents occurring…

Maasai Survival in Kenya

Because Cultural Survival had to turn away students for the U'wa Struggle in Colombia conference in May 1998, the next student conference will be held on two separate dates, allowing twice as many students to participate. On December 7th and 9th the Curriculum Resource Program (CRP) at Cultural Survival, in association with 20 regional schools, will participate in a one day, indepth seminar for…

Maasai Land, Law, and Dispossession

Most of the world's indigenous or cultural communities live on land to which they do not have legal title. Although many legal systems recognize forms of `customary,' `aboriginal,' or `traditional' rights based on long residence and membership in a given community, they often compete with property rights held under individual title or by the State. Under `customary law,' rights over land tend to…

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. In his article on the Nuba of the Sudan, Mohamed Salih points out that Nuba share at least two predicaments with indigenous peoples the world-over, "the systematic…

Legitimizing Dispossession: The Tanzanian High Court's Decision on the Eviction of Maasai Pastoralists from Mkomazi Game Reserve

Ownership and security of land is central to the cultural survival of ethnic minorities in countries such as Tanzania. For the past decade, the struggle for the land rights of cultural minorities in Tanzania has, amongst many fronts, focused on obtaining legal rights from courts of law. The central aim of these efforts is to obtain "a community-based test case to establish the deemed Right of…

Land Alienation and Genocide in the Nuba Mountains, Sudan

The current situation of indigenous peoples in the Sudan (and probably elsewhere) is the result of the independent state's adoption of land and other policies identical to those introduced by colonialists more than a century ago. The Sudanese state has unwittingly maintained some colonial coercive institutions and brutally deployed them against its indigenous peoples. In the process, the…

Labor's Lot

Labor's Lot by Elizabeth Povanelli, is a classic text in Australian Aboriginal ethnography. Almost as much as she quotes Fred Myer's Pintubi Country, Pintubi Self, Povanelli's work is itself referred to in other texts. In describing the Belyuen Aboriginal community work ethic, Povanelli shows the relationship between hunting and the by-products of labor, speech, and sweat, in an analysis that…

Historic Agreement at Grand Portage National Monument

After long deliberations, on November 15, 1998, a historic arrangement went into effect at the Grand Portage National Monument in Grand Portage, Minnesota. The Grand Portage Band of Minnesota Chippewa and the National Park Service agreed that they would collaborate on the maintenance operations at the monument. Grand Portage National Monument was a fur trade site in the late 1700s. The area was a…

Ecology and the Politics of Genocide: Rwanda 1994

Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa. And in 1994, as we all know, Rwanda was also e site of a horrific genocide, in which over half a million people were killed in less than three months. The conjunction of these two observations has led some observers to link these two phenomena directly Robert Kaplan's article, published in the Washington Post ten days after the genocide…

Dispossession and Land Tenure in Tanzania: What Hope from the Courts?

Land tenure is essentially defined and regulated by the Land Ordinance of 1923 (Revised Laws of Tanzania), but since then, the entire body of land in Tanzania has been declared `public lands.' Rights over the land are under the control and direction of the President of the United Republic and those rights cannot be disposed of without the consent of the President. The President has radical title…

Conservation Through Cultural Survival: Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, at least 10,000 protected areas have been designated to conserve our planet's natural environment. As Stevens points out in the first chapter, 5,000 indigenous peoples with a population of 600 million, "...today inhabit, and claim as traditional homelands, at least 20% of the earth's surface...four to six times more territory…

Conflict in the Senegal River Valley

In 1989, a conflict erupted along the Senegal River Valley, which forms the border between Senegal and Mauntania, on the Atlantic coast of Africa. A dispute between Mauritanian herders and Senegalese farmers that led to two people being killed and scores injured unleashed a wave of violence that spread as far as the two capital cities, Dakar and Nouakchott. Selective killings, expulsions, and…

Arteries for Global Trade Threaten Amazonia

Spanning over 7 million km.2 the Amazon Basin is home to the world's largest tropical rainforest and contains nearly half the planet's terrestrial biodiversity and one-fifth of all freshwater. Before the arrival of Europeans, between 7 and 15 million people from an estimated 2,000 tribes were believed to live in the Amazon Basin. Today approximately 400 indigenous groups remain with an estimated…

Annexing Hawaii: The Real Story

1998 marks the 100th anniversary of the annexation of the Hawai'ian Islands by the United States. The centennial celebrations should not overlook the true nature of the acquisition or the annexation's effect on the peoples indigenous to the Hawaiian islands. The true story behind the annexation of the islands reflects the imperialist nature of the U.S. government at the turn of the previous…

"Isn't This My Soil?" Land, State and 'Development' in Somali Ethiopia

Conventional development discourse generally does not incorporate a historical perspective, instead it uses a project, or at best, program-oriented approach. In contrast, a historical and openly political framework is present in the Somali Ethiopian village of Hurso. Land, or the lack of it, was the central issue of Hurso testimonials about the life of grinding poverty that I collected in 1996…

Changes in Pastoralism in the Indian Himalaya

The process of development and modernization in the Indian Central Himalaya has affected livestock and the management of resources to a great extent. These changes are having a profound effect on the pastoral people of the region as seen in a shift away from the traditional system of pastoral production and herding to new systems of management, adjustments, and adaptation. The Indian Central…