(mainly or initiated by) indigenous participants

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES. The GNAD uses the definition provided by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: "Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. . . . they are the descendants - according to a common definition - of those who inhabited a country or a geographical region at the time when people of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived. The new arrivals later became dominant through conquest, occupation, settlement or other means." Markers of "indigenous:"
  • Self- identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member
  • Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies
  • Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources
  • Distinct social, economic or political systems
  • Distinct language, culture and beliefs
  • Form non-dominant groups of society
  • Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities

Hawaiian longshoremen win 177-day strike in Hawai'i', 1949


By 26 January 1949, negotiations between the International Longshoreman’s Worker Union (ILWU) and the longshoreman employers had reached a standstill. Leaders Jack Hall, Harry Bridges, and Louis Goldblatt negotiated for pay raises for the Hawaii longshoremen. Workers were aware that longshoremen on the west coast of the U.S., who were employed by the same company and loading/unloading the same cargo, were being paid $1.82/hour whereas the Hawaii longshoremen were only being paid $1.40.

Indigenous groups in Peru massively campaign to protect the rainforest, 2008-2009


In April 2006, the United States and Peru signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which they planned to implement on 1 February 2009. The United States required that Peru make certain regulatory changes in law to allow access to the Amazon rainforest before implementing the FTA. In late 2006, President Alan García passed Law 840, known as the “Law of the Jungle,” which undermined the collective property rights of indigenous groups by giving land concessions to foreign investors.

Brazilian women advance conditions for rural workers (Margaridas' march), 2000


In Brazil in 2000, the Margaridas, or Daisies, formed in honor of Margarida Maria Alves, a union leader renowned for surmounting the embedded cultural stereotypes and obstacles for women, especially those working in rural areas. Alves became the president of the Rural Worker’s Union in her town, but was reportedly assassinated in 1983, at the age of 50, because of her advocacy for those working in rural or forested areas. After her death, she became a feminist icon in the fight for equality

New Brunswick Burnt Church First Nation campaign to defend their fishing rights, 1999-2002


The Mi’Kmaq people of New Brunswick have always fished in the Miramichi Bay and River. On 17 September 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the native fishing rights of Donald Marshall, who had been charged with fishing out of season, fishing without a license, and fishing with an illegal net. The "Marshall Decision" agreed on by the Supreme Court stated that its decision would uphold the honour and integrity of the Crown in its dealings with the Mi’Kmaq people to secure their peace and friendship. This decision caused chaos in New Brunswick.

Hawaiians strike against the sugar industry in Hawai'i' (Hawaii), 1946


The Great Hawai'i' Sugar Strike was launched against the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association and the “Big Five” companies in 1946. The “Big Five” were made up of a handful of corporate elite companies: Alexander & Baldwin, American Factors, Castle & Cooke, C. Brewer, and Theo. Davies. They exercised complete control over Hawai'i's sugar plantation workers and the majority of the island’s multi-ethnic workforces.

Algonquins campaign against uranium mining, Ontario, Canada, 2007-2008


The Frontenac Ventures Development Corporation received from the Ontario government in Canada a permit to begin exploratory drilling for uranium on 30,000 acres of Canadian Crown land in its eastern region of Sharbot Lake. In June 2007, the company began surveying. The company planned to dig trenches, log the forest, and remove core mineral samples.

Basotho people demand compensation for Lesotho Dam construction, 2001-2005.


In 1986, the national governments of South Africa and Lesotho jointly launched the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). The Project would involve the construction of several large dams, tunnels, bridges, and power lines, in an effort to transport water from Lesotho to South Africa and to produce electricity.

Ecuadorian indigenous workers strike for higher wages in Cayambe, 1930-1931


Rural Ecuador had functioned under the huasipungo land-tenure system since the 16th century. The tenant farmers, called huasipungueros, were mainly of indigenous descent and worked 3 to 6 days a week on hacienda estates in the highlands, owned by absentee elite white families. In exchange for their labor, the laborers received a small plot of land for subsistence, access to pasture land for cattle, and a small cash wage. The indigenous farmers were highly attached to their land although their plots were still owned by the hacienda.

Maoris in New Zealand regain Bastion Point by occupying their land, 1977-1978


In Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand, there is a coastal piece of land that overlooks Waitemata Harbour called Takaparawhau in Māori and Bastion Point in English. Before the colonization of the land by the British Crown, it provided shelter, rich fishing and farming areas for the Ngāti Whātua people, a Māori iwi (tribe).

Indigenous Maoris in New Zealand occupy Pakaitore to claim their sovereignty, 1995


Along the Whanganui River, which flows through the North Island of New Zealand, lies a contested piece of land that indigenous Māori call Pakaitore. The government calls this same land Moutoa Gardens, a public park they created in memorial to those who died in the Battle of Moutoa Island in 1864.

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