Wednesday, 16 May 2012

State of the World's Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous peoples contribute extensibly to humanity's cultural diversity, enriching it withmore than two thirds of its languages and an extrordinary amount of its traditional knowledge. There are over 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries, living in all regions of the world. The situation of indigenous peoples in many parts of the world is critical today. Poverty rates are significantly higher among indigenous peoples compared to other groups. While they constitute 5 per cent of the world's population, they are 15 per cent of the world's poor. Most indicators of well-being show that indigenous peoples suffer disproportinately compared to non-indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples face systemic discrimination and exclusion from political and economic power; they continue to be over-represented among the poorest, the illiterate, the destitute; they are displaced by wars and environmental disasters; indigenous peoples are dispossessed of their ancestral lands and deprived of their resources for survival, both physical and cultural; they are even robbed of their very right to life.
Oma (Leon) Tsamxao join San delegation at the United Nations
Oma Tsamxao visits NYC
Oma (Leon) Tsamxao — grandson of Toma Tsamxao, whose extended family is at the center of John Marshall’s Kalahari films (including A Kalahari Family, The Hunters, and others) — was recently at the United Nations to participate in the 11th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). Oma had traveled to NYC as part of the San caucus of southern Africa, the first time representatives of San communities from the region had stood together as a collective group to speak on behalf of the rights of indigenous Africans. In a statement presented by Job Morris of Botswana, the San rejected the doctrine of discovery, and called for the national governments and regional, continental and international bodies to recognize their unique relationship to the environment and rights to land. The visit was documented by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). Check out their website for links to the Statement by the San Caucus to UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and Statement by the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee to the UNPFII. I met up with Oma and his colleagues from southern Africa the day after the meeting to hear about their experiences and for a bit of sightseeing. As we made our way past Ground Zero, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and through Chinatown, they shared their delight with the reception they had received and new contacts they made with indigenous people from around the globe; they were moved to learn that many of these groups were dealing with similar issues related to land, food security and water rights. They told me as well that the San in southern Africa had not previously worked across national borders. The experience of traveling together and standing as a single southern African caucus was an important one, and appeared to be the beginnings of a new collaboration.
— Alice Apley Educationalk Documentary Resources

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bushmen Photo by Dale Morris (Barcroft Media)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Naro speaking San (Bushmen) hear the Bible for the first time in their own language.

For the first time the Bible makes sense, and it feels as if God is talking to me," said one of the girls who helped the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) translator WRITE the Bible during the long and tedious translation process. But now she was HEARING it for the first time on an Audibible.™ Mr. Hessel Visser led the SIL translation team to study the culture and Naro language in North West Botswana for the Khoi-San (Bushmen) of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. He spent the last 21 years developing a written language for the 12,000 people speaking this very old language. When the language was completed, just 15 years ago, he started the task of translating the Bible into the newly written language, but very few of the Khoi-San could read it. To complicate matters, Hessel learned that he had terminal cancer. His prayer, along with many others, was that God would use the fruit of his "life's work" and quickly provide funding to record the Naro Bible in the newly written language for this ancient oral people group. His prayer was answered. "Funding partners" were brought together with the "translation partners" and the Davar audio recording team took the studio to the "bush." It recently produced an audio New Testament in the Naro language, and now the "Bushmen" can hear the Word of God in their own language for the first time. Translation of the Old Testament is almost finished, and will then be recorded for Audio as well.

6 Naro "readers" were used in the translation, as well as "proofing listeners" and technicians. The leader of the recording team noticed that one local member seemed to distance himself from the others. But the more he served as a "proofing listener" the more he wanted to engage in the newly recorded Word of God. He was even volunteering to work overtime and long long hours in order to get the job done. "It was contagious," said the Recording Director. Soon the whole community was involved and couldn't wait for the finished audio Bible. Please pray for the "Bushmen." Pray that their brand new Naro language Audibible™ will bring much Hope and Life in Jesus.