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Where are the Wild Ones? The Involvement of Indigenous Communities in Tourism in Namibia

Introduction Ecotourism in Namibia is strongly linked to a complex land tenure system, which has its roots in the administration of pre-independence Namibia. The notorious apartheid system divided Namibia into commercial freehold land owned by Namibians of European origin, national parks and game reserves, mining areas, and communal land. Communal land is home to the majority of Namibia's…

Violence in Indonesian Borneo Spurs the Relocation of Ethnic Madurese

In the throes of economic crisis and political uncertainty, Indonesia has seen nationwide outbreaks of violence between ethnic and religious groups. Added to the list of hotspots is the Indonesian part of Borneo, or West Kalimantan. Violence by indigenous Dayaks and local Malays against ethnic Madurese has claimed at least 200 lives since January. Most Madurese in the region have fled their homes…

Valuing Women as Assets to Community-Based Tourism in Nepal

Mountain Tourism in Nepal It is hard to top the highest mountains in the world as a tourist attraction: Nepal claims eight of the world's tallest peaks, including Mount Everest (Sagarmatha, Mother of the Universe), the highest of them all at 8848 meters (29,029 feet). Initially, tourism in Nepal evolved out of Western mountaineers' indefatigable drive to reach the top of the world. They first…

Tourism and Native Hawaiians - 23.2

Every day, wide-body jets bring new tourists and new residents to the Hawaiian islands. In 1997 the state had 1.2 million residents; Hawaiians and part Hawaiians made up 13 to 18 percent of the total island population. In 1997 158,000 individuals visited Hawaii each day, and the annual tourist arrival count was 6.8 million. With 71,000 hotel rooms, tourism is one of the primary forms of…

Threats and Opportunities Presented by International Policy Debates on Tourism Developments

Policy debates on tourism within the United Nations and other multilateral institutions have underlined the urgent need for indigenous peoples to consolidate a position on criteria for sustainable tourism. There is a danger that pending international accords on tourism could create a mirage of consensus. Furthermore, these accords could serve to legitimize forms of ecotourism that have net…

The Tourism Industry and Northern Thailand's Mountain Peoples: Research Project Focuses on Establishing Guidelines for Interacti

Over a 12-month period, the Thailand Chapter of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the world's largest travel organization, commissioned fact-finding missions with three main objectives: to ascertain the opinions of international experts concerning various collaborations between northern Thailand's cultural minorities and the tourism industry; to evaluate the current situation in northern…

The Role of Belize Residents in the Struggle to Define Ecotourism Opportunities in Monkey Sanctuaries

The Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS) located in central Belize, is a community-owned private reserve established to protect a significant black howler monkey population in the area and to promote ecotourism opportunities for resident populations. Today, the CBS encompasses eight villages, a membership of approximately 170 landowners, and roughly 20 square miles of river corridor land. At issue…

The History of Indigenous Peoples and Tourism

"Off-the-beaten-track" is, ironically, a very well-beaten path taken over the centuries by colonists, anthropologists, missionaries, developers, international aid agencies and World Bankers, environmentalists, and the ever-expanding tourism industry. This industry, is now a sundry crew of tourists, thrill-seekers, adventurers, bird and whale watchers, sports enthusiasts, cruise ships the size of…

The Dream and the Reality: Tourism in Kuna Yala

At 5 a.m. every morning, in a corner of Panama's Allbrook Airport, chaos reigns in a riot of color. Kuna men and women, dressed traditionally in their bright red headdresses and intricately embroidered mola blouses, mill around, while a handful of tourists wait in line looking bewildered. At 6 a.m. the first of the small planes leaves the highrises and traffic jams of Panama City to fly over the…

Stop the Trafficking and Prostitution of Women and Girls

More than four million women and girls are trafficked into the sex industry annually, according to the United Nations. The majority think they are going to work as waitresses, dancers in bars, or as domestic servants, but end up in a debt bondage situation in brothels far from home. Thailand and the Philippines are well known for sex trafficking, but trafficking is becoming prevalent in Eastern…

SOA Protesters Gather in Washington, DC; 55 Arrested at the Pentagon

A Protest against the School of the Americas (SOA) held in Washington, DC May 1-4 drew thousands of demonstrators and resulted in the arrest of 55 protesters at the Pentagon on May 3. Organized by SOA Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to closing the SOA, the event, titled "Nunca Mas," included a rally at the White House, a vigil on the steps of the Capitol, and highlighted new evidence…

Sna Jtz'ibajom: The House of the Writer

Sna Jtz'ibajom, The House of the Writer, based in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, for the past 16 years, has striven to give a new voice to traditional Mayan beliefs and customs on paper, on the stage, and on the air, to revive and stimulate interest among Mayans, to engender an appreciation among non-Indian Mexicans for their Indian heritage, and to inform the outside world that…

Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin: A World That Is, Was, and Will Be

To have your book be the centerpiece of an Aboriginal celebratory street march is quite an achievement. It is even more so for an Australian anthropologist, for the profession as a whole is held in disregard by the indigenous community. Australian Diane Bell, of George Washington University, is the exception to the rule, at least as the Ngarrindjeri of South Australia, are concerned. Professor…

Learning Both Ways: Lessons from a Corporate and Community Ecotourism Collaboration

On a hot afternoon in late April 1998, a canoe-load of tourists departed from the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado and motored up the muddy brown and winding Tambopata River of southeastern Peru. Turning each bend, they carefully combed the tree-lined banks for signs of capybara, caiman, or perhaps a flycatcher. The tourists had journeyed to the Department of Madre de Dios, site of the Bahuaja-…

Guidelines for Visitors to Northern Thailand's Mountain People

The following is a preliminary draft of the set of guidelines for tourists considering visiting the villages of northern Thailand's mountain peoples (often referred to as hill tribes). These general guidelines apply to independent travelers as well as group tourists. Further information on this subject can be obtained through Chiang Mai University's Tribal Research institute (TRI), a number of…

Guidelines for Tourists Trekking in Nepal

Each year, approximately 77,000 tourists go trekking in the hills and mountains in Nepal. More than half end up in the Annapurna region, northeast of Kathmandu. Heeding these recommendations will minimize the impact of trekking. - Deforestation is a chronic problem for the Annapurna area. While part of the forest is cut for subsistence, in the past 15 years, Nepalis in the Annapurn area have…

FARC Announces Sentences for Killers of U'wa Activists

A spokesman for the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) announced on May 28 that the killers of three activists working with the U'wa were given community service sentences by FARC for the murders. State Department spokesman James Rubin called the sentences "outrageous" and said U.S. demands for justice in the case would not be met until the FARC members responsible for the…

Fantasies of the Master Race

As a professor of American Indian Studies and Communications, Ward Churchill is in his element assessing the portrayal of Native Americans in film and literature. In Fantasies of the Master Race he does so scathingly, covering topics ranging from the expropriation of Native American spirituality, to scholarship concerning the Sand Creek massacre, to Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan trilogy, which he…

Ecotourism: A Boon for Indigenous People?

A significant proportion of the world's 350 million indigenous peoples reside in remote areas of the globe, often the most marketable of destinations. In many instances, their territories are targeted for hydroelectric dams, open pit mines, and oil exploration, and have become focal points of bitter protest. Are indigenous cultures another resource to be "mined" by ecotourism? Proponents of…

Ecotourism in the Masai Mara: An Interview with Meitamei Ole Dapash

Meitamei Ole Dapash is the Executive Director of the Maasai Environmental Resource Coalition (MERC), an organization founded in 1987 to address ecotourism, environmental protection issues, and Maasai land rights. In an interview with guest editor Megan Epler Wood, Dapash discusses the history, current state, and future of ecotourism in the Masai Mara region. MEW: Please start by briefly…

Cofan: Story of the Forest People and the Outsiders

A Fractured Fairy Tale Once upon a time, there was a huge and untouched forest that stretched in its vastness from towering, snow-clad mountains in the west to deep blue ocean waters in the east. It was crossed by giant rivers -- some swirl and turbulent, others deep and placid; but all clean and full of life. The forest, too, was full of life -- ancient and towering trees, myriad vines and air…

Classroom Activity: A Debate on Women in the Indigenous Movement in Chiapas

Classroom Activity This classroom debate is based on materials used in our Spring 1999 student conference, "Women in the Indigenous Movement in Chiapas." This lesson should be used with the full-length readings from the conference. The activity is designed to engage students in a debate over the traditional role of Maya women in Chiapas, and the Revolutionary Women's Law outlining the rights of…

Brazil: An Interview with Silvio Barros II

Silvio Barros II is the secretary of tourism for the state of Paraná, Brazil. Q: What is your definition of ecotourism and the role the ecolodge plays within that definition? A: There is no definition that can encompass everything worldwide. Each country, each place, must come up with its own definition. One thing is sure, ecotourism is related to the ecosystem where it is being performed and to…

American Indians and National Parks

Robert H. Keller and Michael F. Turek have written the first book documenting the history of the relationship among Indian tribes and branches of the federal government during the period of the development of national parks from 1864-1994. Their book is a complex and balanced account, filled with details of local and national events, and the "larger than life" personalities who played a role in…

Aboriginal Ownership of National Parks and Tourism

In 1996, the parliament of New South Wales (NSW), based in Sydney, Australia, passed legislation to enable the return of ownership of several national parks to their traditional Aboriginal owners. Like earlier federal Australian legislation governing the Northern Territory, the Aboriginal owners are to lease the lands back to the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and co-manage the…

The Mental Health of Indigenous Peoples: An International Overview

Relatively little research has examined directly the mental health status and treatment needs of the indigenous peoples of the world. This is both unsurprising and remarkable. Unsurprising in that the needs and rights of indigenous peoples have been historically of little concern to those larger and more powerful nations that moved across the globe in pursuit of wealth; remarkable in that during…

Kapawi: A Model of Sustainable Development in Ecuadorean Amazonia

The tremendous lack of communication and trust between indigenous groups and the private sector has been the foremost hurdle for development in Latin American countries. Indigenous organizations have seen private enterprises as abusive institutions eager to exploit indigenous culture and resources. The private sector, on the other hand, tends to consider indigenous people untruthful and indolent…

Ecotourism, Sustainable Development, and Cultural Survival: Protecting Indigenous Culture and Land through Ecotourism

As the earth approaches the next century, communities are increasingly linked through travel, communications, and the consumer culture. Globalization and environmental exploitation has left almost no part of the globe unaffected by human activity. As we invade every last corner of the planet in search of more resources to exploit, one wonders it if is possible to stop time and re-evaluate our…