Browsing by Subject "Indigenous Peoples"

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  • Falcão, Pedro (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In the past few decades, media has assumed an increasingly important role in shaping social and political understandings of the world. This is true across the world and its importance is magnified whenever the society it depicts is one of imbalances and inequalities. Such is the case in Bolivia, where centuries of colonialism, exploitation, discrimination, and injustices have created an immense gap between the Indigenous majority and a criollo minority, across all aspects of social, economic, and political life. After Evo Morales’ ascent to the presidency in 2006, Indigenous Peoples became the archetype for national citizenry, in a sharp contrast with their image under much of Bolivia’s history as a country. After the refounding of the nation as the Plurinational State of Bolivia in 2009, Indigenous Peoples were given a sociopolitical emphasis befitting of their representativeness, a volte-face contested by many. Coupled with these great changes in Bolivian society was the media (and particularly online media) growth registered in the last few decades. Its role as a political watchdog and as a social tone-setter became exponentially magnified, especially in its portrayal of Indigenous Peoples, no longer a marginal sociopolitical player in Bolivia but at the front and centre of national politics. This study analyses how Bolivian media portrays the country’s Indigenous Peoples in its online publications. This research focused on the second half of Evo Morales’ third term in office, when the new role of the indigenous person as a citizenship archetype had already been modestly consolidated. This study focuses on four distinct newspapers, relying on content analysis and framing analysis of articles dealing with and representing Indigenous Peoples as a methodology. The four newspapers were chosen either for their size and importance (El Deber, La Razón, Página Siete) or their political affiliation with the State (Cambio). As vehicles of information, the publications analysed convey heavily biased stances, widening the gap between one side and the other in an already deeply divided society like Bolivia’s. This polarisation acts as a tool of division, stoking flames of conflict and eroding the fertile middle grounds of dialogue, debate and compromise. Some media still portrays Indigenous Peoples as ossified relics of a pre-Columbian past, relying on binary oppositions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous, others discredit differences under the guise of mestizaje, while some focus on Indigenous Peoples’ agency to highlight what has been achieved and how their own volition can shape the course of their social, economic, and political path. Indigenous Peoples’ representations in Bolivia are, therefore, quite divergent, even amongst bigger and mainstream outlets, creating their own kind of echo chamber; depending on the media consumed and the sociopolitical predispositions of the readers, two quite divergent portrayals are real and coexist side by side. This very contradiction could be an object of future studies, in an attempt to study what is the role of the media in broadening social divides. This is especially true in a society like Bolivia, where the differences between the “haves” and the “have-nots” are stark and the media is openly and partially biased, enacting a role that is more opinion-based and less informative than the common canons of journalistic objectivity.
  • Gao, I-An (2018)
    This paper examines long-term care for the elderly as a point of departure for critically engaging with the debate on the self-determination of Indigenous peoples. By employing the case of the Arctic Indigenous peoples, the Sámi Parliament (Sámediggi) in Norway and Government of Nunavut in Canada, are utilised as central cases from which to explore the institutionalization and self-determination. The thrust of the paper calls for a critical re-investigation of the contingency of long-term care for the elderly in the context of claims of Indigenous sovereignty. Specifically, I examine the landscape of population ageing and the organisation of care among the Sápmi and Nunavut populations, focusing on colonisation from a circumpolar perspective. The functions and practices of Sámediggi and Government of Nunavut are analysed to illustrate how self-determination is exercised and to what extent they safeguard the rights of elderly people. Sámediggi and Nunavut government as institutional arrangements that mark significant advancements in Indigenous peoples’ reclamation of power and restoration of sovereign rights are discussed. Unfortunately, the political functions that would allow self-determination and self-government to be effective continue to be limited for the Inuit in Nunavut and the Sámi in Sápmi on the Norwegian side.
  • Fernandez-Llamazares Onrubia, Alvaro; Cabeza-Jaimejuan, Maria Del Mar (2018)
    Several intergovernmental policy instruments, including the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO and the Convention on Biological Diversity, have proposed to develop integrated strategies to build bridges between biological and cultural diversity agendas. We contend that to succeed in this endeavor, it is crucial to link biocultural revitalization to conservation practice. Our hope with this review is to call attention to indigenous storytelling as an option worth adding to the repertoire of conservation practitioners who aim to: (1) link conservation actions to indigenous worldviews; (2) foster connections between indigenous peoples and their landscapes; (3) facilitate intergenerational transfer of indigenous knowledge; (4) support dialogue over conservation; and (5) promote local participation in conservation. Because indigenous stories are full of resonance, memory, and wisdom—in a footing that is structurally free of power imbalance between conservation practitioners and local communities—, we contend that they can be crucial to guide future efforts in biocultural conservation practice. Our review shows that deeper consideration and promotion of indigenous storytelling can lead to enhanced understanding of diverse values and perceptions around biodiversity, while offering a constructive approach for greater inclusion of indigenous peoples in conservation pursuits.
  • Fernandez-Llamazares Onrubia, Alvaro; Terraube, Julien; Gavin, Michael C.; Pyhälä, Aili; Siani, Sacha M.O.; Cabeza, Mar; Brondizio, Eduardo S. (2020)
    Indigenous territories represent ~45% of land categorized as wilderness in the Amazon, but account for <15% of all forest loss on this land. At a time when the Amazon faces unprecedented pressures, overcoming polarization and aligning the goals of wilderness defenders and Indigenous peoples is paramount, to avoid environmental degradation.
  • Huntington, Henry P.; Zagorsky, Andrey; Kaltenborn, Bjorn P.; Shin, Hyoung Chul; Dawson, Jackie; Lukin, Maija; Dahl, Parnuna Egede; Guo, Peiqing; Thomas, David N. (2022)
    The Arctic Ocean is undergoing rapid change: sea ice is being lost, waters are warming, coastlines are eroding, species are moving into new areas, and more. This paper explores the many ways that a changing Arctic Ocean affects societies in the Arctic and around the world. In the Arctic, Indigenous Peoples are again seeing their food security threatened and cultural continuity in danger of disruption. Resource development is increasing as is interest in tourism and possibilities for trans-Arctic maritime trade, creating new opportunities and also new stresses. Beyond the Arctic, changes in sea ice affect mid-latitude weather, and Arctic economic opportunities may re-shape commodities and transportation markets. Rising interest in the Arctic is also raising geopolitical tensions about the region. What happens next depends in large part on the choices made within and beyond the Arctic concerning global climate change and industrial policies and Arctic ecosystems and cultures.
  • Fernandez-Llamazares Onrubia, Alvaro; Brondizio, Eduardo S. (University of Helsinki, 2021)
    This Research Brief for decision-makers explores the crucial role of Indigenous Peoples in conserving the Amazon's unique biodiversity, and the importance of Indigenous Knowledge for safeguarding the innumerable contributions of the largest standing tropical rainforest to local and national societies, and to the whole planet. Based on advanced geospatial analyses, and benefiting from long-term field-based ethnographic engagements with different Indigenous groups, we show the critical importance of Indigenous lands in safeguarding biological and cultural diversity across the entire Amazon biome.
  • Suvanto, Sophie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Indigenous peoples and local communities’ traditional knowledge are essential for the protection of global biodiversity as 80 % of the global biodiversity lies within land managed by indigenous peoples. Traditional knowledge has been misappropriated since before the 15th century. Today, traditional knowledge is misappropriated when corporate entities monopolise and patent the knowledge, without the communities’ approval. Knowledge is also lost due to environmental disruption by development and infrastructure projects. The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol protects traditional knowledge through access and benefit-sharing obligations. The Nagoya Protocol further holds an obligation to consider community protocols, in accordance with domestic laws, when implementing state obligations concerning access and benefit-sharing. As it is only the Nagoya Protocol that directly refers to community protocols and only as an obligation to consider them in accordance with domestic law, the benefit of community protocols and their ability to protect traditional knowledge, depends on the support and regulation of community protocols at both the national and international level. The aim of this study is, therefore, to examine the protection of traditional knowledge by using community protocols, by analysing how community protocols are regulated and supported at the local, national and international level. To determine how community protocols are regulated and supported at the international level, the Nagoya Protocol and decisions by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity are examined. To conclude how community protocols are applied and upheld in practice, national legislation and practices regarding the support and development of community protocols are reviewed. At the local level community protocols by the Raika community in India and the Kukula Traditional Health Practitioners Association in South Africa are analysed, together with an analysis of the national legislation relating to the protection of traditional knowledge. This thesis finds that at the international and national level, the use of community protocols is encouraged as an instrument to assist in the access and benefit-sharing process. They are not regulated or supported as an instrument that can protect environmental sustainability, which would also indirectly safeguard traditional knowledge. However, at the local level community protocols are seen as a more versatile tool that can be used to protect the environment, provide access to restricted land and clarify the access and benefit-sharing procedure. Community protocols are by no means regulated or supported as a panacea for the protection of traditional knowledge and the regulation and support for them at the local, national and international level differ. Nevertheless, community protocols are considered to be a versatile instrument that can be adapted to suit the indigenous communities’ needs depending on the states willingness and the communities understanding of their rights both nationally and internationally.