Indigenous People and Globalization



Cooperation Made Easy by Globalization Summary

  • The Lakota people of North America are, in some ways, very similar to the Yoruba people of West Africa.  For example, both groups of indigenous people are incredibly spiritual.  Both the Lakota and the Yoruba have unequivocal and unbreakable ties to the land, as land can be and is considered sacred within both cultures.
  • The Lakota and Yoruba peoples also have similar histories in that the Europeans colonized both groups.  Both groups know the sorrows of mass displacement, suffering, and oppression, and both are still dealing with the ramifications of colonization today.
  • Technology and globalization have made the indigenous peoples of the world aware of each other’s existence.
  • Once groups started to see that there were others like them in the world they realized that these other groups were facing similar hardships and oppression at the hands of their colonizers.
  • These indigenous groups had been fighting their colonizers for their basic human rights for decades, if not centuries, but to little to no avail.
  • Because of globalization and growing awareness indigenous groups were able to acknowledge their numbers and recognize how potentially forceful they can be if they combined their numbers.
  • The formation of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1982 is one of the first victories for indigenous peoples on the international stage.
  • The UN eventually forms three bodies that are specifically designed to address indigenous peoples’ issues: the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples.
  • 1993 is the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People.  The overall aim of the Year is to establish a new relationship between indigenous peoples and the international community based on “mutual respect and understanding”
  • 1995-2004 is the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.  This decade is aimed at increasing the United Nation’s commitment to “promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide.”
  • One decade devoted to international cooperation with indigenous peoples is simply not enough, so the UN has declared that 2005-2015 be the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.  The theme of this decade is “partnership for action and dignity,” a sentiment that reinforces the notion that globalization is aiding the indigenous peoples of the world by providing allies.
  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted on September 13, 2007.  It has been regarded as “the most comprehensive statement of the rights of indigenous peoples ever developed.”  The United States was one of four states that voted against the Declaration.

- Elaine McCartin

Works Cited

Abimbola, Wande. “Religion, World Order, and Peace: An Indigenous African Perspective.” Cross Currents. Sep. 2010: 307-9. Print.

Kaba, Amadu Jacky. “The Spread of Christianity and Islam in Africa: A Survey and Analysis of the Numbers and Percentages of Christians, Muslims and Those Who Practice Indigenous Religions..” Western Journal of Black Studies. 29.2 (2005): 553-70. Print.

“Mandate.” About Us – UNPFII – United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 2006. Web. 11 Feb 2011. <http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/about_us.html>.

Omojola, Bode. “Rhythm of the Gods: Music, Spirituality, and Social Engagement in Yoruba Culture..” Journal of Pan African Studies. 3.9 (2010): 232-50. Print.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 13 September 2007.

Wedll, Don. “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Its Relevance to American Indians in Minnesota and Beyond..” Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy. 30.1 (2008): 387-401. Print.

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