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Tag archives for Indigenous peoples

Young Micronesians Explore Nan Madol: A New UNESCO World Heritage Site Located In Their Backyard.

Last month, UNESCO officially announced 21 new additions to the World Heritage Sites list. One of these — located on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei — is the ruins of Nan Madol. In celebration of their island treasure being recognized as a World Heritage Site, a group of local Pohnpeian college students took on the responsibility of providing the international community with their own local stories and images of Nan Madol.

The tribes of Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley in Photographs

    The Omo River rises on the mountainous plateau of Ethiopia’s Shewan Highlands, then flows for hundreds of kilometres through lush grasslands, acacia plains and riverine forests, until it reaches Kenya’s Lake Turkana. The river’s lower valley, in the southwest corner of the country, is a wild, beautiful, remote region.  In the mud and volcanic…

A Pacific salmon hub is under threat

The Skeena River snakes out of fir-lined fjords on the misty northern coast of British Columbia, and washes over a thousand-acre sandbar. Flora Bank is a biological bottleneck over which millions of finger-length young salmon enter the sea each spring. Scientist Allen Gottesfeld calls Flora Bank the “Grand Central Station” for the watershed. All streams…

The Arctic Is Changing … Or Is It?

While the world is captivated by the environmental changes in the far north, the people who live there are eager for changes of another kind.

Nomads of Dolpo

It is one of the last nomadic trading caravans in the world.  For more than a thousand years, the Dolpo-pa people of Nepal have depended for their survival on a biannual journey across the Himalayas. Once the summer harvest is over, the people of Dolpo sew flags and red pommels into the ears of their yaks,…

Uncontacted Indians of Acre State, Brazil

  ‘In the forest, we see with our ears,’ says José Carlos Meirelles, an expert on Brazil’s last uncontacted tribes.  During his recent expeditions into the remote rainforest of Acre state, contacted Indians told him that uncontacted Indians imitate different animals to express emotions: wild pig when they are scared, macucau bird to let people…

Everything is Connected | Chapter 3: Ancient Woods

Like other indigenous First Nation communities throughout Canada, the Tla-o-qui-aht people are survivors. Over a century of cultural genocide, Christianisation, forced assimilation, land alienation and re-settlement reduced their numbers tenfold and pushed them to the brink of extinction. But despite environmental, social and cultural upheavals, the Tla-o-qui-aht are slowly but surely strengthening their ability to cope…

Everything is Connected | Chapter 2: Enchanted Echachist

Like other indigenous First Nation communities throughout Canada, the Tla-o-qui-aht people are survivors. Over a century of cultural genocide, Christianisation, forced assimilation, land alienation and re-settlement reduced their numbers tenfold and pushed them to the brink of extinction. But despite environmental, social and cultural upheavals, the Tla-o-qui-aht are slowly but surely strengthening their ability to cope…

Everything is Connected | Chapter 1: Survivors

Like other indigenous First Nation communities throughout Canada, the Tla-o-qui-aht people are survivors. Over a century of cultural genocide, Christianisation, forced assimilation, land alienation and re-settlement reduced their numbers tenfold and pushed them to the brink of extinction. But despite environmental, social and cultural upheavals, the Tla-o-qui-aht are finding creative holistic solutions and restoring their…

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK): An Interview With Dr. Michael Hutchins

The following interview is my 12th in a series with my esteemed colleague Dr. Michael Hutchins. Michael recently joined the American Bird Conservancy, as the organization’s National Bird Smart Wind Campaign Coordinator. The distinguished ecologist has agreed to answer my questions about indigenous knowledge and the impact of such informational resources on the management of…

Of Kangaroos and Caribou

At first glance, Australia and Canada could not be more different. Separated by more than 7,500 miles (12,000 km), one country known for its hot, dry lands and kangaroos and the other for its cold, wet forests and caribou. But at a symposium at the International Congress for Conservation Biology last July, which I co-chaired…

World Heritage and Climate Change: Lessons From Indigenous Peoples of Altai, Russia

Shaman Maria Amanchina stands over the tomb of the Ukok Princess Kadyn. Photo © Gleb Raygorodetsky. The sacred Ukok Plateau at the heart of the Golden Mountains of Altai World Heritage Site, Russia, is changing because of climate. For local people, dealing with climate change means restoring and sustaining the role of the ancestral burial kurgans…

Changing With the Land: The Skolt Sámi’s Path to Climate Change Resilience

This photo essay offers a glimpse of the challenges that climate change presents for indigenous and local communities in northern Europe. An Arctic people of northern Finland whose livelihoods depend largely on their environment, the Skolt Sámi are searching for ways to remain resilient in the face of climate change. _____________________________________________________________________________ The land around Rautujärvi…

Pulsating Heart of Nature: How to Ensure Our Collective Bioculturally Resilient Future

  The remarkable variety of life’s interdependent phenomena and processes — what we call ‘diversity’ — is being eroded by the modern forces of homogenization. The rich tapestry — woven from a countless multitude of mutually reinforcing strands of biological, cultural and linguistic relationships — is wearing out. Our increasingly fatigued world is losing its…

Blockade by Earth’s Most Threatened Tribe Paralyzes Brazilian Railway

ON the forested western edge of Maranhao state in north-east Brazil lives the Awá tribe. One of only two nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes left in Brazil, the Awa have long lived in this area, which lies between the equatorial forests of Amazonia and the drier savannas to the east.  They are the most threatened tribe in…