Tag Archives: Indigenous

Global Event: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Discrimination and Disparity in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Covering the nearly two-year span of the COVID–19 pandemic to date, this roundup is a collection of reporting and research on communities around the world that have experienced the dual perils of discrimination and disparity. In addition to bearing the brunt of the disease, marginalized communities around the world have become the pandemic’s scapegoats and the targets of rumor, distrust, and disinformation campaigns, resulting in the “racialization” of the virus and creating further insecurities during the crisis. Beyond local inequalities, the coupling of discrimination and disparity has generated transnational inequities such as the outbreak of anti-Asian racism, the targeting and marginalization of migrants and refugees, and the disproportionately worse illness outcomes of Indigenous and Black people.

The situation has created obstacles to protecting communities against the ongoing effects of COVID–19. Among historically persecuted communities, longstanding distrust of government brought about by historical injustices has cultivated resistance to state-driven medical interventions such as vaccine campaigns. And local inequalities have been exacerbated by structural inequalities at the international level, with the wealthy West accused of hoarding health resources such as vaccines.

This collection contains more than 160 news reports, research articles, and data sources covering conditions and developments at the global, regional, and national levels. Data and information in older items are likely outdated and should be treated as historical records, reflecting emergent problems and understandings that have produced the current social, political, and economic landscape of the pandemic. However, the unfolding of coverage reveals how knowledge of the differential impact of the pandemic has shifted, from early awareness of racial and ethnic mortality disparities and reports of discrimination to recent concerns about vaccine nationalism and the long-term economic impacts of the pandemic.

Continue reading Global Event: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Australia News | Immigrants, Muslims & People of Color

Demands for government to deal with far-right extremism grow in Australia

  • Groups such as the now-defunct United Patriot Front and the Lads Society and the current National Socialist Network have created space for White nationalists in Australia to organize both online and offline.
  • All 27 currently listed terrorist organizations are extremist Islamist groups, despite the fact that the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (AISO) reported that far-right terror accounted for 40% of its caseload; in the two decades since membership in a terrorist organization was criminalized in response to the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., no far-right group in Australia has been classified as a proscribed organization.
  • The increasingly transnational dimensions of far-right organizing have posed a particularly difficult challenge, including the influence of the mainstreaming of far-right politics in the U.S. and fallout from the 2019 Christchurch massacre in which an Australian national killed 51 in an attack on the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.

Read

How Australia’s anti-terror regime has failed to rein in far-right extremists” (The Guardian | January 2021)

‘Peddlers of hate’: Australia’s growing legion of far-right extremists hail US Capitol invaders” (The New Daily | January 2021)

Neo-Nazis go bush: Grampians gathering highlights rise of Australia’s far right” (The Sydney Morning Herald | January 2021)

Study

Listed terrorist organizations (Government of Australia)

Australian Security Environment and Outlook (Australian Security Intelligence Organization)

Brazil News | Indigenous

Bolsonaro referred to Hague tribunal for ecocide and crimes against humanity

  • A Paris-based lawyer submitted a request for a preliminary tribunal on behalf of two prominent Indigenous leaders in Brazil, alleging environmental crimes and anti-Indigenous actions.
  • Under Bolsonaro, the Indigenous affairs agency has been stripped of land-oversight powers, incursions and raids on reserved land have more than doubled in the last two years, and poor COVID–19 response has left Indigenous people, already disproportionately affected by the disease, especially vulnerable.
  • On the environmental front, deforestation has accelerated to levels not seen in more than a decade, key environmental protections have been rolled back, and fines for environmental crimes have decreased by nearly 50%.

Read

Brazil’s Indigenous Leaders Sue President Jair Bolsonaro For Crimes Against Humanity” (The Huffington Post | January 2021)

Jair Bolsonaro could face charges in The Hague over Amazon rainforest” (The Guardian | January 2021)

Brazil’s collapsing health service, new COVID variant, raise Indigenous risk” (Mongabay | January 2021)

Study

“Pushing the whole lot through”: The second year of environmental havoc under Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro (Observatório do Clima | January 2021)

Israel & Palestine News | Palestinian Bedoin

Israeli forces demolish homes of Palestinian Bedouin community in one of the largest operations in years

  • Israeli military forces demolished most of Humsa Al Bqai’a, a Palestinian Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank.
  • As international attention focused on the U.S. presidential election, the Israeli operation rendered more than 70 (including 41 children) homeless.
  • Despite being in violation of international law, nearly 700 Palestinian structures have been destroyed to date in 2020, resulting in homelessness for 869 Palestinians.

Read

West Bank witnesses largest demolition in years (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs | November 2020)

Israel razes most of Palestinian Bedouin village in West Bank on U.S. election day” (Reuters | November 2020)

Israel Demolishes Tents, Shacks Housing 74 Palestinians, Drawing International Rebuke” (Haaretz | November 2020)

Israel makes 41 Palestinian children homeless as world watches US election” (Middle East Eye | November 2020)

Connect

B’Tselem

Global Event: Anti-Police Violence Protests

Global Protests:
#BlackLivesMatter / Anti–Police Violence

Nearly four years ago, Outlas published a catalog of media coverage focused on global protests connected to the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement. Today, the murder of Black American George Floyd by the police has re-galvanized demonstrations across the world’s continents, promoting diverse forms of solidarity across movements focused on affirming Black lives, eliminating racism, and ending police violence.

Floyd’s death is one among many that have pushed people into the streets of cities from Honolulu to East Jerusalem, drawing together accounts of the criminalization of people of color and other minority groups around the world. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, protesters around the world have gathered to interconnect their causes, demonstrating the resilience of a global anti-racism and anti–police brutality movement despite the lull in media coverage in recent years. This collection has gathered more than 150 articles, statements, and multimedia stories documenting the recent surge in protests and their interconnection.

Key Global Cases
Global/Interregional
U.S.
Canada
Latin America and the Caribbean
Europe
Africa and the Middle East
Asia and the Pacific


Key Global Cases

Global/Interregional

Source: The Telegraph

A number of media outlets have mapped the development of demonstrations around the world and compiled media and accounts from protests, summarizing the connections between the diverse sites and expressions of solidarity journalists have uncovered.

U.S.

Source: NBC News

The U.S. has experienced more than a week of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. His death was the latest in a series of events that had drawn attention to ongoing violence and threats of violence faced by Black people in public space across the U.S., from racist vigilantism in Georgia to a dead-of-night police break-in and murder in New York. Protesters across all 50 states mobilized to contest police violence, prompting spectacular forms of police repression—including tear-gassing, beatings, tasing, and shootings—captured on video and circulated across social media platforms.

Local Protests

Canada

Source: Global News

Canada has experienced its own widespread condemnation of police violence in the U.S., organizing massive demonstrations from Vancouver to Halifax in honor of the memory of George Floyd. Participants have also drawn attention to recent fatal incidents involving police—including the recent death of Afro-Indigenous woman Regis Korchinski-Paquet—and the disproportionate effects of police violence experienced by Black and Indigenous Canadians and other Canadians of color.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Source: Agence France-Presse

Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and allied Latin American communities have also expressed solidarity with Black Americans, highlighting both the ongoing forms of marginalization experienced by Afro-descendant people in Central American countries and the complex relationships to racism across the Caribbean. Brazil, in particular, has been grappling with an entrenched police brutality problem that overwhelmingly threatens Afro-Brazilians—particularly those living in poor communities. The recent killing of 14-year-old João Pedro has reignited protests, with demonstrators drawing explicit connections to anti-Black police violence in the U.S.

Transnational

Brazil

Mexico

Europe

Source: France 24

Massive protests across Europe have centered not only the injustice of George Floyd’s death, but also ongoing forms of racism across the continent. In France, George’s death scratched at the wound of the 2016 murder of Adama Traoré in a suburb of Paris. In the UK, protest participants were quick to shut down any attempt to distance the UK from U.S.-style racism, highlighting ongoing discrimination experienced by Black communities in the country. Whether in the commemoration of colonial leaders responsible for the death of millions of Africans or stubborn denials of institutional racism, contemporary manifestations of racism drew the ire of demonstrators of all backgrounds.

Transnational

Belgium

France

Germany

Italy

The Netherlands

Spain

U.K.

Africa and the Middle East

Source: France 24

Solidarity with protesters in the U.S. found diverse expression across Africa and the Middle East, from a mural in the rubble of an obliterated Syrian building to an open letter signed by dozens of African writers demanding accountability and pressuring African governments to do more. African political leaders, for their part, took the rare step of condemning the situation in the U.S.. But activists across the region also worked to draw attention to local police brutality problems as well, including the killing of autistic Palestinian Iyad Halak by Israeli border security and high levels of violence against women (both by police and by others not held to account by police) in Nigeria.

Transnational

The Gambia

Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Kenya

Nigeria

South Africa

Turkey

Asia and the Pacific

Source: The New Zealand Herald

In the Asia-Pacific region, a range of responses to unrest in the U.S. has emerged. In a tit-for-tat with the U.S. government, Chinese officials have used the situation to draw attention to human rights violations in the U.S. as the U.S. has condemned China for its crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong. Elsewhere, police brutality has been a longstanding issue with respect to the treatment of indigenous communities. Thousands of protesters across Australia and New Zealand expressed solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement while also integrating the long history of anti-Indigenous violence into their calls for change. Similarly, the outbreak of protests in U.S. and the resurgence of global anti-racism consciousness provided an opportunity for activists and members of the Papuan diaspora to highlight the ongoing discrimination and violence experienced by indigenous Papuans at the hands of the Indonesian government.

Australia

China

India

Indonesia

Japan

New Zealand

CITATIONS | Global Indigenous Security

Citations:
Global Indigenous Security

Historically tied to forms of settler-colonial social organization and subjugation, Indigenous identities today—including Aboriginal, Native, First Nations/Peoples, and “tribal peoples”—have proliferated alongside contemporary efforts to secure political recognition, concentrate resources, redress historical wrongs and entrenched inequities, and form widespread networks.

The political success of the category, however, has been uneven. In some regions, such as the Americas, states have long recognized Indigenous peoples as coherent social groups with unique interests distinct from non-Indigenous groups. In others, such as much of Asia and Africa, indigeneity remains, at best, only partially recognized, even as governments acknowledge historical priority, cultural and economic distinctiveness, and entrenched territorial connections. Some groups that would in one context be identified as Indigenous avoid or refuse identifying as such, often the result of complex political negotiations. Given the tremendous—and perhaps irreconcilable—diversity that exists between different Indigenous communities, how can the many groups caught in the gravity of the concept of “the indigenous” be discussed together? What commonalities might link them?

Sidestepping the scholarly debate on the coherence of “Indigenous” as a global identity category, this special content collection highlights several thematic “centers of gravity” around which self-identifying Indigenous or “tribal” groups have come to cluster, focusing on issues of material security in line with the broader scope of Outlas as a project. It presents news and resources covering social and political developments affecting i/Indigenous* communities around the world from early 2019 through the present. A snapshot of issues and events shaping global, regional, and local conversations on Indigenous communities, it organizes content around six thematic areas: culture, conflict, health, environment, mobility, and politics. A final section contains links to government, civil society, and international resources of relevance to international Indigenous research and advocacy efforts.

* Although this collection will primarily capitalize “Indigenous” as an identifier, it will distinguish where necessary between contexts involving general conditions of historical distinctiveness with respect to territorial antecedence, livelihood, and/or culture (small-I) and those involving self-identified Indigenous/Aboriginal/Native/First/tribal communities (capital-I).

Continue reading CITATIONS | Global Indigenous Security

U.S. Feature | Indigenous Asylum-Seekers

The U.S. Immigration System’s Indigenous Language Problem

The surge of asylum-seekers from Central America in the mid-2010s revealed critical language gaps in the asylum system: namely, the lack of competent Mayan-language interpreters. Language shapes each stage of the immigration process, from Border Patrol interrogations and detention to credible-fear interviews and post-approval integration. Non–Spanish-speaking indigenous children are at particular risk, with five of the six children who have died in Homeland Security custody having been indigenous and others traumatized by separation from their families in an unfamiliar language environment.

With three Guatemalan Mayan languages ranking among the top 25 languages used in immigration courts last year, the demand for interpreters exceeds supply, with the U.S. government relying on an uneven landscape of third-party companies and non-profit volunteers. The New Yorker highlights how skill deficiencies, U.S. President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, and a strained asylum system have combined to produce unique vulnerabilities for indigenous asylum-seekers.

“The indigenous population was likely the least able to understand their rights, and may therefore have been more susceptible to losing their children and waiving away their own asylum rights.” 

Read

A Translation Crisis at the Border” (The New Yorker | December 2019)

Previous Coverage

Anyone Speak K’iche’ or Mam? Immigration Courts Overwhelmed by Indigenous Languages” (The New York Times | March 2019)

Indigenous immigrants face unique challenges at the border” (High Country News | June 2018)

Ancient Mayan languages are creating problems for today’s immigration courts” (Los Angeles Times | August 2016)

Connect

Asociación Mayab (English version)

The Mayan League

Brazil News | Indigenous

Brazilian president strips indigenous affairs agency of land reservation capability

  • President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree shifting the ability to create and define the boundaries of indigenous land reservations from the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) to the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Bolsonaro previously announced intentions to loosen environmental and indigenous protections, even as farming and mining groups carry out armed attacks against indigenous communities.
  • The order was the first of Bolsonaro’s presidency, issued only hours after taking office.

Read

Bolsonaro strips agency of right to decide native land in Brazil” (Agence-France Presse, via Yahoo! News | January 2019)

Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro rolls back Indigenous tribe protections” (The Associated Press/Reuters, via ABC News | January 2019)

Brazil’s FUNAI Calls Army to Help Protect Isolated Indigenous Tribes” (The Rio Times | December 2018)

Connect

FUNAI

Mexico News | Indigenous

Indigenous communities throughout Mexico protest presidential election, press for self-rule
  • Residents have banned political parties, destroyed protest signs, patrolled streets for campaign paraphernalia, and blocked ballot delivery throughout small towns in the western state of Michoacán as anti-government sentiment has grown.
  • Seven municipalities covering 16 towns and at least 50,000 voters have decided to opt out of the election, and Maya communities in Guerrero and Chiapas have begun mobilizing as well.
  • Although popular leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has advocated for Mexico’s indigenous communities in the past, historical and ongoing neglect by and corruption in the government has led many indigenous Mexicans to disengage and push for greater autonomy.
Read

Indigenous Mexicans spurn presidential vote with blockades, bulldozers” (Reuters | June 2018)

The Mexican indigenous community that ran politicians out of town” (The Guardian | April 2018)

Mexico’s Indigenous Council Continues Campaign Despite Violence” (teleSUR English | January 2018)

Australia News | Indigenous

Indigenous leaders in Australia seek formal legal and political representation with government
  • More than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander leaders met in Uluru to discuss political recognition, agreeing formal treaties were necessary beyond proposed symbolic representation in the constitution.
  • The government issued an apology for historical injustices in 2008, although community leaders and activists have sought legal commitments to reparative measures beyond symbolism.
  • The push is likely to face strong opposition as the Australian Constitution has only been amended eight times in 44 attempts in its 116-year history.
Read

Uluru talks: Indigenous Australians reject ‘symbolic’ recognition in favour of treaty” (The Guardian | May 2017)

Australia’s Aborigines seek treaties in drive for more than symbolic change” (Reuters | May 2017)

Why doesn’t Australia have an indigenous treaty?” (BBC News | May 2017)

Additional

The Australian Constitution

(Image Credit: Calla Wahlquist/The Guardian)

Australia Feature | Mixed-race Aboriginal

Australia’s “Stolen Generation” Speaks

For six decades across the 20th century, the Australian government pursued a ruthless policy of the forced assimilation of its indigenous population, tearing mixed-race children from their communities and creating “stolen generations” deprived of access to the culture of their aboriginal roots. The policy, similar to those pursued in Canada and the U.S., forced children into boarding schools, church missions, and adoptions to erase connections to their communities. Canadian photographer Matthew Sherwood has documented the stories of those in the Northern Territory through his photo series Generations Stolen, profiled in The New York Times.

Read

Australia’s ‘Stolen Generations’ Tell Their Stories” (The New York Times | May 2017)

Brazil Feature | Black, Brown & Indigenous

The Uncertain Task of Defining Race in Brazilian Affirmative Action

The redress of racial injustice in Brazil, long stymied by the country’s reputation as a “racial democracy,” has gained increasing political attention thanks to the work of black activists across the nation. Brazil’s recent attempts to install socioeconomic and racial quotas in public university admissions have created a number of challenges as fraud and race-policing have pitted student against student in ensuring fair enforcement, particularly as verification committees decide race based on appearance rather than heritage. Foreign Policy and The Globe and Mail examine the volatile debates surrounding Brazil’s new affirmative action policies and the general uneasiness the country has experienced as it has begun to address the long history of discrimination against its black, brown, and indigenous citizens.

Read

Brazil’s New Problem With Blackness” (Foreign Policy | April 2017)

Black or white? In Brazil, a panel will decide for you” (The Globe and Mail | January 2017)

(Image Credit: Tiago Mazza Chiaravalloti/NurPhoto, via Foreign Policy)

Australia & Canada Feature | Indigenous

The Fight for Indigenous Equality, from Australia to Canada

As increased attention to negative outcomes in indigenous communities has pushed their governments to address racial disparities, Australian and Canadian indigenous advocates have drawn attention to the markedly similar ways in which English settler colonialism and systemic racial inequality unfolded in their countries. In both countries, indigenous peoples make up at least a quarter of the prison population, 40% of incarcerated children, and half of those in the child welfare system. Similar policies of forced family dissolution, detention, and delayed dismantlement of legal inequality have pushed advocates an ocean apart to come up with comparative solutions to the persistent indigenous/non-indigenous gap in their countries.

Read

‘It’s the same story’: How Australia and Canada are twinning on bad outcomes for Indigenous people” (The Guardian | April 2017)

(Image Credit: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)

U.S. News | Native American

Designation of two new national monuments works to protect integrity of Native American lands
  • President Obama designated two new national monuments, placing more than 1.6 million acres of land under federal stewardship and protecting the areas from development and looting.
  • The Bears Ears National Monument comprises 1.35 million acres in southeast Utah, which includes more than 100,000 Native American cultural and archaeological sites and will be jointly managed by federal and indigenous leaders.
  • The Gold Butte National Monument, located in southern Nevada, encompasses 300,000 acres that include sites of Native petroglyphs and critical habitats.

Read:
Two New National Monuments Created in Utah and Nevada” (Scientific American | December 2016)
Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres” (The New York Times | December 2016)
Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres” (EcoWatch | December 2016)

(Image Credit: UIG/Getty Images, via Scientific American)

Brazil News | Indigenous

Budget cuts and proposed land rights and environmental rollbacks threaten indigenous communities in Brazil
  • Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI), the government agency responsible for the protection of indigenous communities, faces large budget cuts under President Michel Temer’s government that advocates say could increase the insecurity of indigenous groups, particularly of the more than 100 uncontacted groups in the country.
  • A draft decree seeks to increase the level of scrutiny applied in the demarcation of indigenous land reservations, annulling certain previously secured land rights and making the recognition of new claims considerably more difficult.
  • A proposed bill seeks to overhaul environmental licensing protocol, shifting from federally managed licensing procedures to flexible, state-based determinations of licensing necessity for agricultural and land-use projects.

Read more:
Temer government set to overthrow Brazil’s environmental agenda” (Mongabay)
Brazil’s plan to roll back environment laws draws fire: ‘The danger is real’” (The Guardian)
Brazil budget cuts put uncontacted Amazon tribe at risk, say activists” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Ricardo Stuckert/The Guardian)