Skip to main content
 

The Fire at the Center of a Nation

Rescuing the Cherokee languageText by Jennifer WestonPhotos by Jamie Malcolm-Brown, Ellen Lutz, and Jennifer Weston Faced with dwindling numbers of first-language Cherokee speakers, two Cherokee nations in the United States are encouraging small cohorts of their youngest citizens to enroll in language immersion schools to maximize their language development at the most critical stage of language…

What We’re Doing with Your Money

Guatemala Radio ProjectOur lobbying efforts on behalf of community radio stations has been seeing impressive results. As we’ve been reporting, we were able to get a new telecommunications bill introduced to the Guatemalan Congress, one that will fully legalize community radio. For the past few months we’ve been lobbying Congress members to win their support for the bill, organizing volunteers to…

Negotiating a Nation, Limiting Suicide

The Inuit of Nunavik in Northern Quebec are no strangers to tragedy. With a population of slightly less than 12,000 in a region slightly larger than California, the Inuit of Nunavik have a suicide rate that is seven times higher than in the rest of Quebec. Youth under the age of 30 commit the vast majority of these suicides: for Inuit aged 20 to 24 the suicide rate is 23 times higher than the…

Bhutan Bratwurst

Snugged along the Himalayas to the east of Nepal, the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is slightly larger than Switzerland and boasts incredible biodiversity. The subtropical forests in the south give way to towering, cool, moist mountain peaks in the north that are buried in snow during harsh winters. In the highlands, lush green pine and oak forests shelter barking deer, black-necked cranes,…

Sacred Spring, Sacred Duty

The recovery and protection of sacred sites is at the heart of cultural survival among Indigenous populations in the Andes. That effort comes into sharp relief when those sites are directly threatened. Such was the case in July, 2010, in northern Ecuador’s Imbabura province, when plans to broaden the Pan-American Highway to six lanes endangered a sacred spring known as San Juan Pukyu in the…

The Sweetness of the Earth

“After the abundant spring rains of my youth at Dzilnaodithle,” Venaya Jay Yazzie says on her website, “I would pinch the damp, sweet earth between my fingers and place it on my tongue. There is no other taste like it. I have always carried this memory with me; it is what inspires me as a modern Diné/Hopi artist.” Raised by her maternal grandparents on the reservation at Dzilnaodithle (Huerfano…

Bully Baiting

In a schoolyard fight, you can tell when you’ve landed an effective blow against a bully: that’s when he gets angry in earnest. With that in mind, we might take some solace from two new laws passed in Papua New Guinea and Panama. (It would be the only cheerful aspect of these laws.) The legislation in Papua New Guinea is particularly outrageous. Passed by the legislature on May 28, it amends…

Voices from the Edge

A Mayan community shares stories of its struggle to avoid forced eviction by a nickel mine. A Contested LandIt was the middle of May, just days into the rainy season when we made the trip to Lote 8, one of the dozens of Maya-Q’eqchi’ villages scattered within, and against, the steep and perennially green Sierra de Santa Cruz in far eastern Guatemala. Clouds built and dissipated over the Western…

Gold on Hold

In Guatemala, the Indigenous anti-mining movement is 600,000 strong and growing, but it’s still David facing the Goliath of the transnational mining industry. They arrived in pickup trucks, in school buses and on foot: thousands of highland Mayans, each wearing their community’s distinctive traje, covered the Zaculeu pyramid in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. They came to witness a visit from…

Tears from a Grandmother's Story

On a hot spring afternoon, my mother brought my sister and me to visit our grandmother. The three of us were sitting at the kitchen table with our only living grandparent. Such a beautiful afternoon it was, with the sun shining through the windows and onto the clean floor, the Rocky Mountains in the distance, and the hills close by. Surely I couldn’t have asked the Creator for a better day to…

34-3 Fall 2010

September 2010