For thousands of years an open genocide has been taking place against various indigenous cultures. The individuals within these cultures who refused to adapt with the values of the established control systems have been sought out and eliminated since at least the times of the inquisition, if not earlier.
Throughout the ages those who have maintained the dominant control systems have always tried to eradicate any resistance to their rule, and any traces of individuality within the reaches of their kingdoms. Although a good many of the citizens who participate in a society, both now, and throughout history, may be rebels with subversive ideas, if they live within the confines of that society and abide by its norms, they are still in many ways beholden to the people who control that society.
This is why the indigenous tribes of the world have always presented a unique problem for the established orders of the time, because they don’t abide by these norms and in most cases aren’t even aware of them. They are self sufficient and not dependent upon the kingdom for survival or to give their lives meaning. To make matters even more complicated for the establishment, these cultures have many lessons to teach the world, lessons that could cause a major shift in the current power structure. This is the situation today and this was the situation thousands of years ago.
The indigenous cultures of the world may have been forced off into remote corners, but the struggle is far from over. All over the world there are indigenous groups fighting for their land, their cultures, and their ideas. In fact, this week alone there were a number of stories in the international news about native struggles, some of them have even been rather successful considering the current situation.
Last week, Canada’s aboriginals won a historic court victory for ancestral rights over their land.
The recent court ruling was in favor of the Tsilhqot’in tribe, whose population has dwindled to about 3,000, but this ruling could also have an impact on similar Native American claims currently pending in court.
“This is truly a landmark decision that compels us all to embark on a new course. The court has clearly sent a message that the crown must take aboriginal title seriously and reconcile with First Nations honorably. This decision will no doubt go down in history as one of the most important and far reaching ever rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada,” Assembly of First Nations spokesman Ghislain Picard told reporters. Picard is also the regional chief for Quebec and Labrador.
During that same week in Central America, local indigenous populations took to the street at 29 different locations all over Guatemala to protest against the treatment of the native Mayan people.
Lolita Chávez, Maya Quiché, and member of the political commission of the Mayan People’s Council, explained: “We want the Government to respect our way of living and the society we want, and in which hydroelectric and mining projects as well as monocultures have no place.”
Eliu Orozco, another member of the Mayan People’s Council, added that: “The initiative to call for a national strike was aimed at creating an understanding of what significance the Mayan population has sustaining the economy. Our political proposal is to institutionalize the practice of “Vida Digna” in politics. Therefore, we promote the effective participation of the local authorities that have been elected in local assemblies and thus are legitimate representatives of the Mayan people. With respect for the rule of law, we have taken action through legal ways in order to demand the Government to respect our legitimate rights recognized in the Constitution and in international conventions. However, we continue to accumulate ‘NOs’, that is, to express that we lack rights.”
The protest was said to involved over 50,000 people and members of the Mayan People’s Council promised more throughout the rest of the year.
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