Thursday, 1 May 2014

The fate of indigenous peoples

Indigenous Peoples all over the world suffers the same fate. They are the most marginalized and disenfranchised peoples in the world. This is a situation not unique to the Bushmen but it applies to them even more so. First Peoples Worldwide, an organization that campaign for the rights of these peoples, describe the threats to indigenous  peoples in no uncertain terms. Following is an abstract from their briefing defining active threats to Indigenous Peoples: 

● State discrimination, such as withholding citizenship or rights afforded other citizens, the tactical use of violence to intimidate and control, and legislation that defines basic Indigenous activities as illegal and punishable by imprisonment, torture and death.
Eviction from our native lands, carried out by governments, so that our assets can be exploited by outside interests.
● The physical removal or “stripping” of our natural assets, including mineral resources, timber, water, and agricultural lands for business interests. Not only does this process impoverish the land on which we depend for sustenance, it also destroys our sacred sites and upsets the ecological balance that forms the foundation of our cultures.
Eviction from our native territories in the name of conservation. Despite the fact that our lands remain intact and healthy because of our continued stewardship, outside conservation efforts have led to the eviction of millions of Indigenous people in order to create “pristine,” human-free protected areas.
Exploitation of intellectual property, such as our stories, traditional ways and artwork, without compensation because we do not have access to patents or other legal framework for ownership.

All these threats in one or more ways applies to the Bushmen and threatens their survival indeed. These threats provides good direction for interventions by organizations rendering support and services to the Bushmen. 

Bushmen Contemporary Art : Kuru Art Project

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