Monday, August 08, 2022

Indigenous Communities Need Support

  Hollywood has constantly depicted the “indians” as savage and ruthless, uncivilised people who devastate the lands of well-intentioned colonisers, burn their homes, steal their horses, kill them, and hang their scalps as trophies.

The number of indigenouos peoples is estimated at nearly 500 million, similar to the combined population of the European Union’s 27 member countries, or the total inhabitants of two of the world’s biggest nuclear powers–the United States and the Russian Federation. The figure refers to those who identify themselves as being indigenous or indegenous descendants. Many others opt for no admitting themselves as such, due to worldwide growing wave of xenophobia.

According to the United Nations, Indigenous Peoples consider 22% of the world’s land surface their home. They live in areas where around 80% of the Planet’s biodiversity is found on not-commercially-exploited land.

And at least 40% of the 7,000 languages used worldwide are at some level of endangerment. Indigenous languages are particularly vulnerable because many of them are not taught at school or used in the public sphere.

Century after century, the indigenous peoples have been living in their lands in perfect harmony with Nature, on which their life dependens. They know how to guard precious natural resources and are the custodians of 80% of biodiversity.

Their right to self-determination, self-governance and control of resources and ancestral lands have been violated over centuries.

The giant private corporations,  the big businesses of timber, livestock, intensive agriculture, mono-culture, mining, carbon, oil, dams, land grabbing tourist resorts, golf courses and general urbanisation, have been systematically depleting those natural resources for the sake of making profits.

  • While humanity used to cultivate more than 6.000 plant species for food, now instead fewer than 200 of these species make major contributions to food production, now only 9% account for 66% of total crop production. Once depleted, big business supplants Nature with synthetic food.
  • Over the last 50 years, the global economy has grown nearly fivefold, due largely to a tripling in the extraction of natural resources and energy that has fuelled growth in production and consumption.
  • Three-quarters of the land and two-thirds of the oceans are now impacted by humans. One million of the world’s estimated 8 million species of plants and animals are threatened with extinction, and many of the ecosystem services essential for human well-being are eroding.
  • Around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

  • The planet is losing 4.7 million hectares of forests every year – an area larger than Denmark.
  • here are in fact more than 476 million Indigenous Peoples in the seven socio-cultural regions of the world, in 90 countries, belonging to more than 5,000 different groups.
  • Asia has the largest concentration of Indigenous Peoples with 70.5 %, followed by Africa with 16.3 %, and Latin America with 11.5 %. In Canada and the United States of America, Indigenous Peoples represent 6.7 % of the total population.
  • Indigenous Peoples make up 6.2% of the global population with the majority living in middle-income countries.
  • Indigenous Peoples represent more than 19% of the extreme poor.
  • Indigenous Peoples’ territories encompass 28% of the surface of the globe and contain 11% of the world’s forests.
  • Indigenous Peoples’ food systems have high levels of self-sufficiency ranging from 50 % to 80% in food and resources generation.
  • Globally, 47% of all Indigenous Peoples in employment have no education, compared to 17% of their non-indigenous counterparts. This gap is even wider for women.
  • More than 86% of Indigenous Peoples globally work in the informal economy, compared to 66% for their non-indigenous counterparts.
  • Indigenous Peoples are nearly three times as likely to be living in extreme poverty compared to their non-indigenous counterparts.
  • Indigenous women particularly suffer high levels of poverty; low levels of education and illiteracy; limitations in access to health, basic sanitation, credit and employment; limited participation in political life; and domestic and sexual violence

 the world’s human ancestors have systematically fallen defenceless victims to subjugation, marginalisation, dispossession, exclusion, stigmatisation and discrimination.

Simply, claiming their due rights implies losing business profits.

Indigenous Peoples - Of the Far West, the 'Good Cowboys'… And the ‘Bad Indians’ | Inter Press Service (

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