It has been exciting times. The United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is coming up next month, and we have been engaging with three very thoughtful online campaigns/events meant for indigenous peoples. Based in a land of tribes, it is very inspiring for us to see people across the world uniting and choosing to understand that the lifestyles of indigenous peoples are precious, and in many ways, more sustainable. So to celebrate this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, play a part and participate in these events.
1. Indigenous Peoples Week (Aug 5-11, 2013): In its 3rd year now, it is an unconference which takes places everywhere at once, and is hosted by Planeta.com, a pioneering website about eco-friendly travel curated by Ron Mader. The theme of the event is social web storytelling about indigenous peoples and tourism around the world. Which means there are many ways you can participate. For beginners, go ahead send out tweets, post on facebook and google plus with the hashtag #ipw3. There are also event pages, poster making contests and hangouts. Share photos in Flickr of indigenous peoples. As Ron puts it “Don’t wait for August. Our conversations have already begun.” For more details, visit the wiki page for the conference.
2. Proud not Primitive: Launched by Survivor International, it is a campaign aimed at challenging the prejudices that tribal peoples are ‘backwards’ and ‘primitive’, and with them the harm done to tribal peoples across India. With the rapid growth of the 21st century overshadowing India, tribal people across India are today fighting for rights to protect their land and natural resources from urban projects such as dams and factories. An example of this are the Dongria Kondh People of Odisha, who are fighting against a mine by Vedanta Resources on their land. A Vedanta spokesperson has even publicly said, ‘As enlightened and privileged human beings, we should not try to keep the tribal and other backward people in a primitive, uncared-and-unprovided-for socio-economic environment.’ Another example are the uncontacted tribes of Andamans & Nicobar who live in a life threatening condition of coming in contact with the modern world. To join and show your support to this campaign, you can register at www.notprimitive.in.
3. Proud to Be Indigenous: Organized by First Peoples Worldwide, this is a simple online campaign where indigenous peoples from all over the world can share why they are proud to be indigenous. To be a part of this global vibe, you can post your photos, videos and stories online across the social web with the hashtag #Proud2BIndigenous. Visit the campaign’s Facebook page and look out for the hashtag across twitter.
Supporting the indigenous peoples across the globe, for the next couple of weeks we be showcasing the many tribes who reside in Northeastern India. We live in a region with an incredible cultural diversity of more than 250 tribes and subtribes which trace their ancestry to faraway lands in Mongolia and Southeast Asia. It is important that these cultures along with their priceless traditional knowledge are preserved, so that we all can benefit from the simple sustainable ways of indigenous lifestyle.
To begin this series, three photographs of indigenous peoples we have come across during our travels.