Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

Free, Prior and Informed Consent: Protecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights to self-determination, participation, and decision-making

“Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is one of the most important principles that Indigenous Peoples believe can protect their right to participation. It is embedded in the right to self-determination.

Hear Us! Mam People of Guatemala Express Their Voices Through Community Consultations

The survival of Indigenous Peoples’ heritage depends on their ability to assert equal civil rights, including the right to participate in decision-making processes.

Lost in Translation? Maya in Belize Hope to Set Historic FPIC Precedent

Imagine this scene: a bus hurdles over the dirt roads of thick, tropical rainforest in southern Belize. It travels from village to village picking up Maya who are panicked and confused about oil drilling on their ancestral lands. Instead of going directly to the meeting, the Maya must first listen to a two-hour presentation by the oil company.

Climate Change, Forest Privatization, and Apocalyptic Prophecies in Quintana Roo, Mexico

Tensions are brewing in the Máasewal communities of central Quintana Roo (known as Zona Maya) between those who want to continue the current system of ejido and those succumbing to the pressure to sell their ejido rights. Ejido was established during the Mexican Revolution as a system of communal land tenure that bestowed land rights to peasants and Indigenous groups.

Writing Remembrance in Guatemala: The Process of Poetry

On July 7–8, 2012, representatives from community radio stations across Guatemala gathered in San Mateo, Quetzaltenango, at Radio Mujb’ab’l Yol (Meeting Place of Expressions) to participate in a workshop led by Cultural Survival staff exploring historical memory and the Guatemalan civil war. The armed conflict formally ended with the Peace Accords in 1996.

We, Maasai: Revitalizing Indigenous Language and Knowledge for Sustainable Development in Maasailand, Kenya

We, Maasai, still have much of our culture, customs, and tradition as we did thousands of years ago. Because the Maa society does not have a clear written history, it is difficult to say precisely where it originated. According to linguistic research, the Maa language is hermetic and not one of the numerous Bantu languages on the African continent.

Justice for All: An interview with Grand Chief Edward John

In our series spotlighting the work of our Board members, Cultural Survival is honored that Grand Chief Edward John (Akile Ch’oh), chair of UN Permanent forum on indigenous issues,took time out of his schedule to speak with Cultural Survival Quarterly about his background and current work.

Bazaar Artists: Project Have Hope — Investing in Women and the Future of Uganda

“I have really changed. I am now a doctor for coldness by providing sweaters. I can now support my family.”— Adul Doreen, vocational training graduate

Reviving Passamaquoddy: A Community Finds Healing in Its Own Words

The first school was built in Motahkomikuk, a Passamaquoddy community in northeastern Maine, in the late 1930s. St. Ann’s Indian Mission School, run by Catholic nuns, enrolled children from Motahkomikuk and nearby Sipayik, the two reservations where most Passamaquoddy live. The children, who spoke Passamaquoddy, came to school only to find that English was required.

I Am the River and the River is Me: The Implications of a River Receiving Personhood Status

When an agreement recently signed in Aotearoa (New Zealand) proposed the acknowledgement of the Whanganui River as a legal person, many saw it as an innovative resource management solution.

Power to the People: A Rights-Based Approach to Energy Development. An Interview with Hawaiian Activist Mililani Trask

Her voice is warm, assertive, and iconic; her passionate tone and straightforward message are instantly recognizable. With an internationally renowned reputation as an Indigenous expert in international law and human rights, Mililani Trask has been advocating for the rights of Native Hawaiians and Indigenous Peoples worldwide for over three decades.

Celebrating 2012, Maya Style

December 21, 2012, the end of the Oxlajuj B’ak’tun cycle of 5,128 years—not the end of the world, as commonly, falsely interpreted—is fast approaching, and for Maya in Guatemala, that means it is time to start celebrating.