(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

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.

Guatemalan indigenous peoples campaign for equal rights, 1977-1981


On February 4, 1976, a massive earthquake hit the highlands of Guatemala and displaced more than one million people. Indigenous groups from the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, and Quiche were hit the hardest and the weak response from the national government brought to light the racial inequalities affecting indigenous peoples.

Brazilian Indigenous protest construction of Belo Monte Dam on Xingu River in Brazilian Amazon, 2008-2011


During the 1970s, when Brazil was ruled by a military dictatorship, the proposal of building several hydroelectric dams on the Xingu River was first presented. These dams were suggested as a way to increase energy supply to Brazil. The location of these proposed dams, along the Xingu River, was within the Brazilian Amazon in the region of Para, Brazil. The proposal was eventually put on hold, due to controversy regarding the dams’ potential location on idigenous land.

Attawapiskat students win new school (Shannen's Dream), Ontario, 2007-2012


Attawapiskat First Nation is a small community located on James Bay approximately 220 kilometers north of Moosonee, Ontario. Attawapiskat was home to a courageous and passionate young woman named Shannen Koostachin. Shannen led a campaign of school children to fight for the right to “safe and comfy” schools and quality, culturally based education for First Nations children all across Canada.

Canadian Aboriginals stop a constitutional amendment (Meech Lake Accord), 1990


The context for this campaign starts in the early 1980s with the repatriation of the legislation that founded Canada: the British North America Act of 1867. The idea of repatriation had been around since the 1920s and was finally brought to realization in 1982 by the then Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

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