(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

Ogharefe women protest against Pan Ocean oil industry, 1984


The Ogharefe people of Nigeria suffered from the effects of oil pollution and oil exploration. The Ogharefe community was afflicted with a number of health issues, ranging from skin rashes to stomach ailments, from the gas flares and release of "oil production water." Additional damage from oil production included heavy metals in the water, the eroding of iron roofs due to corrosive ash from gash flares, and the decline of productive fishing ponds and farming land.

Peruvians in Cajamarca stop the building of giant gold mine, 2011-2012


In February 2010, U.S.-based Newmont Mining Company proposed a joint venture with the Peruvian company Mina Buenaventura to build the Conga mine, a new gold mine, in the Cajamarca region of Peru. Newmont proposed investing $4.8 billion in the project, the largest investment in Peru’s history, and the mine would become the second largest gold mine in the world. Newmont hoped to begin production in either 2014 or 2015, upon getting permission from the Peruvian government. Newmont submitted an environmental impact study for the Conga mine, which the Peruvian government approved.

Tibetans boycott Chinese vegetable vendors, Qinghai, Tibet/China, 2011


Tibetans in Nangchen County, Qinghai province, China/Tibet, bought vegetables from Chinese vendors until early 2011, when the prices began to increase dramatically. In Chinese-owned vegetable shops, the price of 1 kg of apples increased from 2 yuan to 8 yuan, and the prices of other staple foods, such as cabbage, onions, and potatoes, also increased. The price increases put financial strain on Tibetans.

Lagos market women campaign to remove income tax, Nigeria, 1940-1941


Women market workers in Lagos, an area in western Nigeria, in the 1920s were organized into a powerful group known as the Lagos Market Women Association (LMWA). In 1932, a rumor emerged that the British colonial government was going to begin taxing Lagosian women, which had never been done before, although taxes for men had been introduced in 1927 (in spite of coordinated resistance by different groups). The market women felt that a tax was unfair and that they were already struggling to make a living.

Mapuche political prisoners win hunger strike in indigenous struggle in Chile, 2012


South-central Chile includes a considerable population of the indigenous Mapuche people. The Mapuche resisted conquest by the Spanish settlers for centuries. Mapuche people continue to demand autonomy and land rights.

Pare people in Tanzania defeat new tax system, 1945-46


In the 1940s the British colonial government in Tanzania proposed the implementation of mbiru, which was a graduated local tax system. On 14 July 1944, delegates from nine chiefdoms in Tanzania met and drew up their objections on the mbiru ta system, noting that the tax was foreign and un-African. The delegates sent letters to the Chief Secretary in Dar es Salaam to voice their objections about the mbiru tax.

The letters were ignored.

Native Americans occupy Alcatraz for land rights, 1969-1971


In the 1950s the Eisenhower administration enacted the Relocation and Termination programs in regard to American Indian federal policy. The first part meant that Native Americans were to relocate from their respective reservations into big cities. In doing this, Native Americans would lose the unity of the immediate communities as they individually integrated as citizens into separate cities. Meanwhile, the reservation lands would be liquidated into the hands of the federal government. The second part, termination, was a broader result of the relocation.

Peace Camps in Quebec and Manitoba to support the Mohawks in the “Oka Crisis”, Canada, 1990


In the summer of 1990, Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Canadians gathered at a “Peace Camp” in Oka, Quebec, Canada and a “Peace Village” in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada. Their goal was four-fold:

  1. To support the Mohawks of Kanehsatake and Kahnawake Quebec who were in a stand-off with the Canadian government and military

  2. To bring attention to issues of injustice towards Aboriginal people in Canada

Indigenous allies in Ontario defend Lubicon Cree land against logging, Canada, 1991-98


The right to Aboriginal reserve land has been a contested issue throughout Canadian history, but perhaps one of the most disturbing violations of Aboriginal land rights is illustrated through the Lubicon Cree, a First Nations band in northern Alberta.

Ahmedabad textile laborers win strike for economic justice, 1918


A heavy monsoon season had destroyed agricultural crops and led to a plague epidemic claiming nearly 10 percent of the population of Ahmedabad in 1917. During the period of intense plague outbreak from August 1917 to January 1918, the workers of the textile mills in Ahmedabad were given ‘plague bonuses’ (some of which were as much as 80 percent of the workers’ wage) in an attempt to dissuade the workers from fleeing during an outbreak of a plague.

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