Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

Self-Determination: The Most Effective Way to Improve Indigenous Quality

  When allowed to govern themselves, indigenous peoples demonstrate remarkable capacity to innovate in culturally appropriate, environmentally sensitive ways. Indeed, self-governance has proved the most effective tool to overcome challenges that history and modernity have imposed on indigenous peoples around the globe.

Weaving Generations Together Evolving Creativity in the Maya of Chiapas

Approaching the valley of Nabenchauk from the road, I saw a large concrete structure on the highway and stopped the car. Clothing and other hand-woven textiles hung from every rafter of the open-sided building. It was 1991, and full of uncertainty, I was back in Nabenchauk, a hamlet of the highland Maya community of Zinacantán in Chiapas, Mexico, after an absence of 21 years.

War or Water: Humanitarian Assistance Must Get Through

Indigenous peoples living in Aceh province in Indonesia, and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala in India, were among the many victims of the tsunami that devastated the coastlines of 12 Indian Ocean countries without warning the day after Christmas.

Saving a Language

The following is an excerpt from a speech given by Renee Grounds at a celebration of the closure of International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People in December in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Grounds is a member of the Euchee (also known as Yuchi) community in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

Rival Models for Land Management in Ecuador

On the spine of the Andes, one indigenous community’s success in managing its land in the buffer zones of an Ecuadorian natural preserve demonstrates the power of self-initiative to counter the bottleneck of increasing population and finite resources.

Review: Pear ta Ma 'on Maf/ The Land Has Eyes

Pear ta Ma ‘on Maf / The Land Has Eyes (87 min., 2004) is a visually stunning film set on the remote island of Rotuma in the South Pacific. Directed by Vilsoni Hereniko, it is the first indigenous-made feature-length film from Fiji. Its making is an admirable example of how the process of producing a movie can be as important as the finished film.

Life Amidst Chaos: In a Forest Filled With Its Own Dangers, DRC Violence Continues to Trample the Efe and Lese

Efe foragers and Lese farmers of the Ituri Forest in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have faced a constant struggle against adversity.

Ituri Forest Peoples Fund: Assisting Indigenous Peoples in Conflict Areas

As a Western non-governmental organization, providing aid to indigenous peoples in conflict situations is fraught with danger and tough choices forced by resource availability and security concerns.

Inter-Community Conflicts New Considerations for Resource Disputes

Conflicts, like sagas, do not end quickly. They more often are punctuated by periodic successes or new challenges than by victory or defeat. Such is the story for some of Nicaragua's indigenous peoples. In its August 2001 decision in the Case of the Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Community v.

Indigenous Peoples and Violent Conflict: Preconceptions, Appearances, and Realities

Conflict resolution specialists assert that conflict is a normal, even healthy part of human interaction.

Fasting For Tsunami Victims

Winnipeg’s aboriginal community was quick to respond to the South Asia tsunami tragedy. On January 7, Neechi’s Without Borders, a volunteer-driven relief initiative, held a community-wide Pipe Ceremony and 24-Hour Fast for Pledges at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House (Whaka Pimadiziiwii Pinaysiiwigamic). The house serves as a home for aboriginal spirituality and culture.

Defining Indigenous

At least 350 million people worldwide are considered to be indigenous, making up five percent of the world’s population. Indigenous people live in more than 70 countries and occupy 20 percent of the Earth’s land mass.

As First International Decade Closes, Indigenous Determination Strengthens

As the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People came to a close on December 31, the second official Decade began, and indigenous activists hoped that they would celebrate the achievement of the first Decade’s goals before the next 10 years were up.

And Then Came the Tsunami: Disaster Brings Attention and New Challenges to Asia's Indigenous Peoples

The December 26 tsunami in Southeast Asia brought heightened international awareness of the region’s indigenous peoples. Stories of traditional knowledge saving lives showed the world the importance of indigenous cultures. In many communities, the tsunami was no match for the encroachment onto traditional lands by outsiders that indigenous peoples have been suffering for decades.

A Peace-Building Initiative Based on Indigenous Values

When indigenous peoples came together in Manila, Philippines, in December 2000 for the International Conference on Conflict Resolution, Peace Building, Sustainable Development, and Indigenous Peoples, they wanted to create a concrete response to a peace-building initiative called for by Maya activist Rigorberta Menchu years before.

Tribal Warfare and "Ethnic" Conflict

Anthropologists who study warfare disagree about how much war there is, how far back it goes, and why it happens. Certainly there is a lot of war in the ethnographic record, though it is far from universal. Dozens of peoples never sent out groups of men with the intent to kill others. Many have sophisticated value and institutional systems that prevent organized violence.

Totem Project Research and Vitamin Program Work Toward Improving Dukha Nutrition

It may be easy to see the gaps in the Western health care needs of rural indigenous communities, but finding ways to address health concerns with traditional practices that have been lost is much more challenging.