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Indigenous Perspectives on International Development

by Simon Brascoupé From: Indigenous Economics. Towards a Natural World Order. Akwesasne Journal, Summer 1992. pp. 6-17 Sustainable development is now the focus of international attention and Indigenous peoples have become the focus of international attention because of their philosophies, knowledge, and their sustainable economic systems. The Bruntland report suggests that Western industrialized nations could learn a lot about sustainable development from Indigenous peoples: "These communities are the repositories of vast accumulations of traditional knowledge and experience that link humanity with its ancient origins." The report concluded that the West could learn from traditional methods of managing complex ecological systems. It is now generally acknowledged by the international development community that Western development models have collapsed because they were not sustainable. Indigenous peoples have suffered from the effects of these theories, including removals, colonization, and exploitation. Development theory has its roots in misguided classical evolutionary theories that contributed to ethnocentric beliefs that development and modernization are inevitable and could be pushed forward by acculturation or assimilation into the Western model. Read the complete article...
DEUTSCH EDAI Economic Development for Amerindians

Science meets Indigenous Peoples

 A new peer-reviewed study, released today at the start of the UN climate conference in Peru, reveals the unprecedented amount of carbon stored within the nine-nation network of Amazonian indigenous territories and protected natural areas. Accepted for publication in Carbon Management, the paper entitled, “Forest Carbon in Amazonia: The Unrecognized Contributions of Indigenous Territories and Protected Natural Areas,” suggests that protecting the vast amount of carbon stored above ground in the forests of indigenous and protected lands – totaling 55% of the Amazon – is critical to the stability of the global climate as well as to the cultural identity of forest-dwelling peoples and the health of the ecosystems they inhabit. Read the complete article...