Indigenous People

Topics: Hawaii, Indigenous peoples, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 13 (4777 words) Published: May 15, 2001
Indigenous People
Indigenous people are those that are native to an area. Throughout the world, there are many groups or tribes of people that have been taken over by the Europeans in their early conquests throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by immigrating groups of individuals, and by greedy corporate businesses trying to take their land. The people indigenous to Australia, Brazil and South America, and Hawaii are currently fighting for their rights as people: the rights to own land, to be free from prejudice, and to have their lands protected from society. Indigenous People of Brazil and South America

The people indigenous to Brazil and South America are an extremely noteworthy group. The Brazilian population originally derives from four ethnic sources. From the beginning, the country has been a mixture of many "races" of people. Of these, are the native Indians, the colonizing Portuguese, the enslaved African blacks, and the various immigrant groups from Europe and Asia. Many of the indigenous tribes are quarreling with Brazil's officials and businesses. Rainforests are depleting at a rapid rate and, as they are a home to many indigenous tribes, is causing great turmoil. Although the Constitution of 1988 claims to recognize the indians' "original land rights to the lands they traditionally occupy" and promise that these lands will be "demarcated" and "protected", the Government Agency Funai is charged with the demarcation of of nearly fifty percent of the lands(PeaceNet). The report claims that, "in reality, most most indian lands whether demarcated or not are coveted for some form of development." This claim is substantiated by the fact that "mineral concessions have been made on fifty-eight percent of all demarcated indian lands, while thirteen percent are affected by hydroelectric projects," (PeaceNet) The link between global environmental change and the rights of indigenous populations results from the close relationship between indigenous people's cultural and economic situations and their environmental settings. Therefore, if the environment of the native Indians of Brazil continues to be changed and removed, the people born on these lands will be exterminated out of existence. Additionally, many societal views of the indigenous people is killing them. The Amnesty International report, as commented upon by PeaceNet cites one occasion in which a thirty-five year old Macuxi Indian by the name of Damiao Mendes was found lying face down on a muddy riverbank, shot in the neck. Nearby lay his nineteen year-old nephew, murdered by the same means. Opposition from local ranchers stalled the demarcation of the land belonging to the Macuxi Indians. The Macuxi are a group whose ancestral lands lie on the plains of Roraima. The Indians' claim to the land has resulted in the attacks, and thusfar have forced many to abandon the ancestral grasslands. The report continues, "Damaio Mendes and Mario Davis were killed for land. The investigation into the killing was cursory. No one has been brought to justice. Dozens of Indians in Brazil have been murdered in similar circumstances."

One group, the leaders of the Mexica Movement, accuse Europeans of invading their lands in 1492 and and 1519, and breaking up "our lands that they call Mexico(1821), "Central America"(1823), and the "U.S. Southwest"(Texas in 1836 and the rest in 1848). (Mexica, 2)" They also point out that "In the last 500 years, in addition to the theft of our lands, we have seen the destruction of of our Anahuac cities, the execution of our leaders, the genocide if 23 million of our people (95% of our population killed), the theft of our wealth, the theft of out labor, and most importantly, the theft of our true Anahuac identity, history, heritage, and theology." They point out many of the successes of the Anahuac civilization, including developed sciences, agriculture, philosophies, all of the civilized arts, and three cities larger than...
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