Skip to main content
 

Who Profits?

Hydro-Québec, the world's largest hydroelectric utility, ended fiscal year 1998 with a net income of $679 million. These profits "contribute to economic growth [and] benefit society as a whole," according to the corporation's latest annual report. No such benefits reach the Innu community. Crowded and sedentarized into pre-fabricated houses, the Innu live in poverty and suffer the highest suicide…

Torn Apart: San Children as Change Agents in a Process of Acculturation; A Report on the Educational Situation of San Children i

A diverse group of researchers, educators and San fieldworkers, among others, helped to compile this report by Willemien Le Roux for the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa. This cooperation has resulted in a dense survey of the histories and present state of education of San groups in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. In seeking to explain the ongoing marginalisation of…

The Right to Organize: The Working Children's Movement in India

The economic exploitation of children is one of the most prominent forms of child abuse and neglect in the world today. The phenomenon of child labor is not new. Children have worked throughout history. Child work is not just a developing country phenomenon. Children also work in countries such as the USA, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands. The public perception of child work has largely been of…

The Rice Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court decided perhaps the most important Hawaiian case ever on February 23, 2000 -- Rice v. Cayetano. Plaintiff Rice, a caucasian rancher whose family has long lived in Hawai'i, sued the State of Hawai'i (Governor Cayetano) for its practice of limiting, by race, the right to vote for Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) trustees.(1) Many see the Rice Decision as the beginning of an…

The Ituri Forest People's Fund

Efe (pygmy) foragers and Lese farmers in the Ituri rainforest of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo need your help to keep their health clinic open and safeguard their children's education. The community of farmers and hunter-gatherers is working hard to ensure that children can go to school and that when they get sick they have access to primary health care. Due to the lack of assistance…

The History of Children's Rights: Whose Story?

It is impossible for any welfare agency, at any level, to ignore the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). All policy and program planning for children claim to be "rights-based," and this Convention is inscribed into the mission statements of intergovernmental agencies and non-governmental organisations. It justifies the existence of a myriad of child rights…

Sna Jtz'ibajom Special Project: Tzeltal-Tzotzil Mayan Literacy Program

Sna Jtz'ibajom is a Tzotzil-Tzeltal Mayan cultural cooperative in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Its goal is to find a new voice for traditional Mayan beliefs and customs on paper, the stage, the airwaves, and in film. A segment of the cooperative is the Tzeltal-Tzotzil Mayan Literacy Program, which promotes the Mayan language through a six-month course to students ranging in ages from 10-60 (the…

Rights and Responsibilities in HIV-Affected Communities in Zimbabwe

All members of a community are vulnerable to HIV infection. More than half of all those who become infected, however, do so under the age of 25 and most die before the age of 35. Children are at high risk of infection in their early sexual experiences, and, as parents die, they also take on increasing burdens of responsibility. Children living in AIDS-affected communities have a right to…

Plant Trees to Raise People: Introducing a New Cultural Survival Special Project

On the island of Mindanao, the last virgin rainforest in the Philippines struggles to remain alive. Mindanao is also the ancestral home of the Higaonon, a never conquered or colonized tribal people who still maintain a distinct dialect. Upholding ancestral customary laws, retaining ancient traditions, and living in harmony with one another, the Higaonon respect their rainforest with a reverence…

Methylmercury Poisoning: Another Gift from Hydro-Quebec?

Methylmercury Poisoning: Another Gift from Hydro-Québec? An analysis of some species of fish in the Smallwood Reservoir has shown dangerously high levels of organic methylmercury. Although mercury is a naturally occurring substance, industrial activity greatly increases its levels in the atmosphere. Studies have shown that on a global scale, approximately 2,000 tons of anthropogenic (human-…

Mandatory Gaol Sentences for Minor Property Crime in Australia's Northern Territory

The mandatory detention of adults and juveniles in Australia's Northern Territory (and less drastically in the State of Western Australia) has been the subject of local, national and international controversy. My purpose here is to describe the laws, outline their criticisms and define the response of the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments. Australia is made up of six states and two…

The Ainu Oral History Project

In upcoming months, Cultural Survival will add the Ainu Oral History Project to its Special Projects Program, with Native American leader Tom Dostou serving in the role of Project Coordinator. Dostou has been in close contact with the Ainu for several years, and he is someone the Ainu trust and value as a fellow indigenous person. A collaboration between Indigenous People who face similar…

Introduction: Questioning How We Think About Children

It would be easy to compile a special issue on children by cataloguing a long list of their sufferings, or by documenting interesting and exotic features of children's lives in different cultural contexts. While this could be informative, it would do little to invigorate thinking about children, much less our relationships with them. In this issue we have attempted a more ambitious task. We have…

Draining Energy from the Innu of Nitassinan

Expansive reservoirs spread out below us, amorphous as natural lakes, until hemmed in abruptly by dykes, dams, and "control structures." Dead timber clogs the shorelines. Roads make their way sinuously, connecting dyke to dam to power station to transformer yard, and then, north to south. Transmission lines traverse the landscape on a much more bold and direct path. I busily scribble notes,…

Cultural Survival in the twenty-first century

The year 2000 heralds a new beginning for Cultural Survival's Education, Research and Advocacy Program. With welcome new additions to our staff and board, generous funding from a range of sources (see www.cs.org) and a new permanent base for our operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we are better placed than ever before to fulfill our mission of promoting the rights, voices and visions of…

Children's Involvement in the Making of a New Constitution in Brazil

Brazil's is among the world's ten largest economies, but poverty is widespread. The World Bank (1997) reported that Brazil has the worst income distribution among more than 60 countries for which data is available. The richest 10 percent of the population effectively control 51.3 percent of total income, while the poorest 20 percent have access to just 2.1 percent of total income. Children and…

An Interview With Joanne Shenandoah

SW Have you always sung? JS Yes. Ever since I was a little girl, my dad always had me onstage. My family is very culturally oriented so we always gave presentations in schools. We constantly worked at trying to maintain our identity. My family always taught me to be proud that I was an Iroquois woman and the importance of what our culture had to offer us. I've always sung -- my native name is…

A New Cultural Survival Advocacy Campaign Innu Land Rights

For 2000 years or more, the Innu people have lived on, by and with the land they call Nitassinan, a vast territory of forests, lakes, rivers, and barrens, known to European explorers and settlers as the Labrador/Québec Peninsula. Travelling by snowshoe and tobaggan along traditional hunting and trapping routes in winter, and returning each summer to fish camps along the coast or lakes and rivers…

The Best Interests of "Separated" Children in Rwanda

Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) states that the "best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration" in all actions concerning children. The CRC also assumes that parents shall have the primary responsibility for bringing up and protecting the child. Our purpose here is to examine how the "best interests" of children orphaned or separated from their…

Policy Making on Children in Conflict: Lessons from Sierra Leone & Liberia

The aim of this article is to reflect on the roots of the violence perpetrated by young fighters in the conflicts in Sierra Leone (1991-1999) and Liberia (1989-1996). Young people face a double humiliation in these two countries. They are given little or no respect and seen as "second hand" civilians. They are not taken seriously, nor do they have any executive power over their own lives. I will…

On the Edge of the Auspicious: Gender and Caste in Nepal

In many aspects of their lives, women and people of the lower castes in South Asia can be described as having marginal voices, a viewpoint exemplified by the dearth of ethnographies attending to these particular perspectives. This is especially true in Nepal. Mary M. Cameron attempts to redress this failing with the 1998 publication of On the Edge of the Auspicious: Gender and Caste in Nepal.…

Mapping Our World: A Children's Rights Project

These are some of the questions that have framed Mapping Our World, a children's rights and research project which has worked with young people from Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, India, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. The project's intention is to provide a forum where children can speak and adults listen. To provide a structure for this work,…

We are Dukha: This is the Way of Our People; The Totem People's Preservation Project

In the center of Asia, the Dukha People of northern Mongolia coexist with their totem animal and their culture's central connecting aspect: the northern reindeer (sp. Rangifer tarandus). In an interdependent cultural and ecological habitat, reindeer illustrate the full range of Dukha experience: cows provide milk important to the Dukha's health, while the bulls make for excellent transportation…

Conducting Research with War-Affected and Displaced Children: Ethics & Methods

Research is a vital aid to understanding the circumstances, problems, needs and concerns of children who are exposed to highly stressful experiences. Research can have considerable practical value for children, in that studies conducted with children in war zones and refugee communities often provide important baseline information for program and policy development and monitoring, fund raising…

Giving Back the Bike: Reconciliation's Promise

The year 2000 marks the culmination of the ten year long process whose purpose was the achievement of a true and lasting reconciliation between Aborigines and non-Aborigines in Australia. Orchestrated by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, the goal of the process has been a united Australia that celebrates its indigenous heritage and provides justice and equity for all. The question is:…