Imagine growing up in a world without the beauty of diversity and of ancestral differences.
Imagine the deepest wisdom about our planet and of our ancestors, being preserved purely in history books, just memories of practices that faded away many years ago and that no-one now truly understands.
Imagine a world where the beautiful images of tribal children running through the Amazon are just that…images. What if they cease to exist and we lose a piece of this Worlds rich tapestry?
If you’re wondering why I chose to run next years London Marathon for Survival International, just imagine how deeply our World would be affected without the tribes that currently inhabit some of the most secluded and isolated places on the globe.
So many of us bemoan modern life, and all its trappings…these are people, who against the odds have maintained their own culture, customs and habits. They do not intrude upon our homes, nor do they expect/want anything from us.
Tribal Peoples just want to live their lives.
What Survival International think about Tribal Peoples:
“They know what’s best for themselves, and have the right to choose to live differently.
Tribal peoples are not backward, primitive or Stone Age. They have invaluable and unique knowledge of their environment, particularly plants and animals. Most of the world’s staple crops, feeding billions, were developed by tribal peoples. Many of the principal drugs used in ‘modern’ medicine originate with them.
Their survival is in the interest of all humanity. Their diversity shows us how alternative ways of living can be successful. They show us what is really shared by all human life, and what is just social conditioning.
Their disappearance is not inevitable.”
So, what problems do Tribal People face?
Violence: Tribal people are still violently attacked, and sometimes killed, particularly in parts of South & Central America, Africa and Asia.
Violence, often self-inflicted, is also a big problem in wealthy countries, which have largely dispossessed their indigenous peoples (such as Canada and the USA, Australia and New Zealand).
Slavery: In some areas, tribal people are still held in a form of slavery, called ‘debt-bondage’, a situation in which they are forced to produce raw materials to pay a supposed debt to an outsider.
Racism: The view that tribal people are ‘primitive’ and not able to make rational choices about their own future derives from a colonialist, racist ideology. It is still used to justify their dispossession.
Land theft: Tribal peoples are generally self-sufficient and dependent on their land to provide their food and support their way of life. It also forms the bedrock of their identity. It is stolen for ‘development’, such as mining, dam-building, farming, etc., as well as for ‘conservation’ projects.
Resource theft: Even where the land itself isn’t taken, its resources often are. These can be timber or minerals.
Forced progress: All people are changing, all the time, but changes forced on tribal peoples in the name of ‘progress’ result in a far lower quality of life than before, with increased illness, suicide, imprisonment, substance abuse and dependence etc. Changes should be under the control of the people themselves.
Survival International are working to change racist attitudes towards, and false beliefs about, tribal peoples. Our vision is to foster an understanding of, and respect for, tribal peoples and the choices they make about their futures.
They aim to catalyze a growing alliance of people around the world who support tribal peoples and their rights, and turn it into effective action.
Survival International work with hundreds of tribal communities and organizations. We are funded almost entirely by concerned members of the public and some foundations. We will not take national government money, because governments are the main violators of tribal peoples’ rights, nor will we take money from companies which might be abusing tribal peoples.
About 250,000 supporters from nearly 100 countries have helped Survival International financially; millions now routinely seek our information, published in seven languages. We never restrict our information or materials only to those who can pay. We want everyone to know about tribal peoples.