Posted by: Khepera | Sunday, 26 September 2010

Indigenous Survival — A Global Challenge

This is from a close friend & colleague of mine, the indefatigable Runoko Rashidi

This article raises some critical question in this very important discussion — the discussion which brings focus & attention to the adverse impact of globalization, capitalism and the western cultural retrovirus in devouring living human museums around the planet.  If we consider the well known African proverb

“When an elder dies, a library is lost.”

then what is it when a village dies, when a people dies?  For this reason, genocide is considered so heinous.  IMHO, globalization is simply a euphemism of cultural homogeneity. It is this aspect which China and many Arab nations hold up as the righteous justification for their choice to buttress themselves & their people from the cultural contamination of the west.

In the final analysis, no human being has the scope of vision or the wealth of knowledge to make the judgment call on which lifeforms should survive, and which should die off, be they plant, animal or least of all human.  At some point, this exaggerated sense of privilege which Europe has assumed must be terminated, for the sake of the planet as a whole.  Western culture has become the Borg of the planet…but most of us still know resistance is not futile, but a crucial necessity.

Again, none of us fully comprehends the scope of the knowledge base that a given indigenous people possesses, and maintains.  None of us fully comprehends what happens to the food chain when artificially concocted foods — with deleterious effects on animals and humans — gets into the food chain.  We have fish who ingest plastic fragments from bags choking our seas(also here), which are in turn ingested by other fish, animals and humans.  As long as these indigestible substances remain, they are passed along in the food chain to contaminate those who unknowingly feed on on the compromised flesh of these other animals.  The same goes for the ingestion of GMO’s, as addressed in earlier posts(and here also). We have forgotten that the old name for farming is “husbandry“, as in animal husbandry — we are mates, spouses to Mother Earth, and our consistent pattern of abuse is more than just cause for divorce….and we all know what that means.

It may be worth considering that there is an equivalent dynamic within the human cultural dynamic — do you really want to ingest/digest the cultural plastic garbage of western culture?  If we are what we eat/ingest — by mouth, eye, ear or mind — then nutrition is not only about the health/integrity of the body.  If biodiversity is crucial for planetary health, then the same can be said for cultural diversity.


Native Island Tribe Redefining Survival

by Julienne Gage

It has taken several hundred years and one radical proposal, but the last Carib natives in the Caribbean, the Kalinago, are taking steps to preserve their culture by redefining what it means to survive as a people.

Indigenous peoples are among the most affected by poverty worldwide. And this week the United Nations hosted the Millennium Development Summit to discuss progress on its goal of halving global poverty by 2015.

The Kalinago tribe, on the island of Dominica, is under some historic population pressure. The vast majority of the West Indies’ Carib and Arawak natives died from disease, murder or suicide during the first few hundred years of colonization. The Kalinago survived as a tribe because of their location high in Dominica’s rugged terrain, which was less appealing for colonial plantations.

For the full article

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