Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

The Story of Ten Brothers and the Sea Lion

The following story is a Hul’qumi’num legend recorded by Ella Elizabeth Clark in 1960.

Speaking Out

The Maori Party formed in 2004 around Tariana Turia, a former Labor Party member and cabinet member, largely in response to the Foreshore and Seabed Bill. At the abbreviated hearings about the bill in November 2004, Turia gave an impassioned speech against the legislation. Excerpts from that speech appear below.

Review: The Struggle for Indigenous Rights in Latin America

The Struggle for Indigenous Rights in Latin America is a collection of seven separate country case studies and is the result of a 2003 conference at Cochabamba that discussed the diversity of indigenous struggles throughout the region. The subject countries are Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and Mexico.

Review: Bushman Shaman: Awakening the Spirit through Ecstatic Dance

Sincerity and a willingness to travel literally and metaphysically to the farthest reaches of humanity define Bradford Keeney’s Bushman Shaman: Awakening the Spirit Through Ecstatic Dance. Keeney’s work is a deeply personal story of one non-indigenous man’s spiritual exploration and maturation.

Profits of Bloom: How indigenous people can save the world, and make money doing so

It is now an accepted fact that human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are changing the global climate. Indeed, the climate may be changing with greater speed and intensity than scientists previously thought.

New Treaty, Same Old Problems

For most native peoples in Canada and the United States, treaty negotiations are the stuff of history—vital history to be sure, and a cruel history of lands stolen and promises breached. For the Hul’qumi’num Mustimuhw (Hul’qumi’num peoples) of British Columbia, however, the concept of a treaty is utterly contemporary, as they are now negotiating their first one with the Canadian government.

Cultures Within Cultures: When laws ignore reality

When compared to the Americas, African practice on indigenous rights protection is unguided by law. This state of affairs is largely the result of Special Rapporteur Martínez-Cobo’s famous 1984 Study of the Problem of Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations, which literally made all Africans indigenous, without any need for extra protection of any particular group.

An Imbalance of Powers: Maori Land Claims and an Unchecked Parliament

Aotearoa/New Zealand is not known for egregious breaches of indigenous peoples’ rights. Nonetheless, New Zealand’s legal system is ineffective at implementing international and domestic laws that protect the rights of Maori.

After the Verdict

Nicaragua is a multiethnic, multicultural, and multilingual nation. Internally it is divided into 16 departments, nine regions, and three special zones.

A Snapshot of the Nu

There is scant literature in English about the Nu people of China, but the mention of poison arrows and the Nus’ odd way of cutting notches in sticks to mark significant events made me curious about them.

The Current State of International Law

Largely as a result of their own advocacy at the international level, indigenous peoples are now distinct subjects of concern within the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and other international institutions. Through their efforts over the last three decades especially, indigenous peoples have been able to generate substantial international sympathy for their demands.

Ombuds Offices: A Handrail on the Bridge Between Law and Reality

Notwithstanding the many programs that have been implemented throughout Latin America to reform the administration of justice, in most countries judicial systems cannot yet guarantee that the rights of indigenous peoples are respected. In addition, there continue to be tensions between national justice systems and indigenous conflict-resolution methods.

Indigenous Leader Elected President of Bolivia

In the election of December 18, 2005, Bolivians made history, as 54 percent of the country’s voters chose Evo Morales, the Aimara leader of the combative coca-growers’ unions. “500 years of campaigning and popular resistance by indigenous people has not been in vain,” Morales said at his inauguration.

Guatemala Radio Project Goes on the Air

Cultural Survival’s Guatemala Community Radio Project (see the summer 2005 issue for a full description) was officially launched in January when representatives of six community radio station associations and their larger umbrella organization, Consejo Guatemalteco de Comunicación Comunitaria (CGCC), signed an agreement with Cultural Survival.

East African Drought Takes a Toll on Maasai Cattle

The ongoing drought in East Africa has dealt a devastating blow to the survival of pastoralists in the area. Seasonal rains in November and December didn’t fall, leaving an already arid land parched and lifeless.

Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The following text is the version of the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, proposed by Luis Enrique Chavez, Chairman of the Working Group on the Draft Declaration, and submitted to the Human Rights Commission in February 2006.

Declaration on the Verge of Independence

After more than 10 years of debate and discussion, the United Nations’ Working Group on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples appears close to reaching agreement on a text.

Bridging the Gap

During the first United Nations International Decade on the World’s Indigenous People (1995-2004), there were a number of positive developments for the world’s indigenous peoples. Many countries adopted legislation concerning land, resources, culture, language, education, justice, intellectual property rights, and in some instances, legal pluralism, autonomy, and self-governance.

A Sea Change at the United Nations

After nearly a quarter-century of negotiation, the past six months have seen significant momentum towards a final text of a United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. If it continues at this pace, the U.N. General Assembly could adopt a final text before the end of the year.