Indigenous People In Latin America

Indigenous People In Latin America – They are the first inhabitants of the American continent, they speak 560 languages ​​and have diverse and very rich customs: they are the 42 million indigenous people of Latin America.

Yet despite the fact that 70 million Latin Americans rose from poverty in the last two decades, the continent’s first settlers were left out of the bonanza and today almost half of them are poor, according to a new report by The World Bank Indigenous Latin America in the 21st Century.

Indigenous People In Latin America

Indigenous People In Latin America

There have been improvements in the representation of indigenous people in the political life of the region, as well as in access to primary education (the same levels of schooling were achieved among indigenous and non-students in Mexico, Nicaragua and Ecuador), electricity ( almost 50% more in Panama and Peru) and sanitation (60% increase in Peru, Bolivia and Costa Rica).

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But there are still significant gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous populations. “Being born to indigenous parents dramatically increases the likelihood of growing up in a poor household,” the report said.

Indigenous People In Latin America

They also face new realities: for example, almost half of the indigenous people in the region already live in cities, which presents new challenges on how to preserve their culture and respect their identity.

To prevent the disappearance of indigenous peoples, ECLAC recommends that Latin American governments “include indigenous peoples and their contribution to the development of the region; to consolidate improvements in their well-being and living conditions, political participation and territorial rights; and promoting the building of multicultural societies that benefit us all.”

Indigenous People In Latin America

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And the reality is that it is the duty of governments to defend the indigenous population, the original peoples of Latin America, from the threats of the big extractive companies, which exploit and destroy their ecosystems to extract natural resources and therefore complete their path. . of life and their chances of survival. “Just as it is ‘normal’ to take a class on other knowledge traditions, so it should be to take a class on indigenous studies or Quechua or Navajo,” says Americo Mendoza-Mori. , lecturer in Latin studies.

Across Latin America, millions of people speak indigenous languages ​​that are considered endangered by the United Nations. Americo Mendoza-Mori, lecturer in Latin studies and faculty director of the Latinx Studies Task Force, is determined to help bring them back.

Indigenous People In Latin America

Mendoza-Mori’s work in Latin America and with Latino communities in the United States made him aware of how little scientific work was done on native languages, which rely heavily on oral tradition. He had a special interest in the Quechua language, the former language of the Inca Empire which is currently spoken by approximately 8 million people across the Andes.

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“There are speaker community movements that are not only trying to ensure that the language continues because it is an endangered language, but they are also building a whole movement of cultural recovery,” he explained. This repetition of language occurs not only in the Andes, but also in the wider diasporic communities of migrants in the United States.

Indigenous People In Latin America

Before coming to Harvard, Mendoza-Morey started the Quechua language program at the University of Pennsylvania, with courses focused on the language and culture of the Andes. He also founded the Quechua Alliance, a coalition between the University of California Berkeley, the University of Illinois, and the Quechua Program at the University of Pennsylvania. The alliance organizes annual meetings to promote Quechua and Andean culture in the United States.

Mendoza-Morey hopes that more programs dedicated to indigenous languages ​​will bring additional opportunities for indigenous scholars and students, while expanding opportunities for exposure to others.

Indigenous People In Latin America

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“We understand that maybe not everyone can take a Quechua class or an Indigenous Studies class, but just as it is ‘normal’ to take a class in other knowledge traditions, so should it be to take an Indigenous Studies class to follow. Quechuan or Navajo,” he said. Mendoza-Mori plans to teach a Quechua language course next fall, as well as organize events and research opportunities through the task force.

“To make these indigenous studies programs or indigenous language programs part of the academic infrastructure is a way to also acknowledge that there is a colonial legacy of knowledge production,” he said. “There is a reason why people, including speakers of those languages, may despise or think that speaking those languages ​​or practicing the traditions” is somehow an inferior activity because they are culturally are devalued.

Indigenous People In Latin America

“Acknowledging that colonial legacy, that academic institutions were also part of creating these hierarchies, is a way to send a message to change things,” he said.

Central American And Northern Andean Indian

Mendoza-Morey noted that academia largely treats indigenous cultures as “a thing of the past,” instead of focusing on how indigenous communities “resist, thrive and [how] they participate in contemporary and even global conversations .” Those communities have recently received a boost from social media and other digital technologies, dispelling the myth that native languages ​​belong in the history books. For example, on TikTok, native creators share their languages ​​and cultures with the world through the hashtag #NativeTikTok, which has attracted billions of views.

Indigenous People In Latin America

Mendoza-Mori said that both academic institutions and international organizations such as the United Nations can play an important role in providing a platform for these languages ​​and customs. As an example, the Peruvian activist and interdisciplinary scholar pointed out that the UN declared 2019 the year of indigenous languages ​​and recently made 2022 the beginning of the decade of the mother tongue. Both designations represent opportunities to raise awareness of these cultures, he said.

Mendoza-Morey is not only interested in indigenous languages; it also examines the complex nature of these cultural identities in Latinx communities, as well as the inequities experienced by Latinx people in the United States.

Indigenous People In Latin America

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This semester he teaches a course on Indigeneity and Latinidad, one of several specialized seminars offered by the Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights to challenge notions of Latinidad, which refers to the common cultural identity of all Latino peoples, regardless of race, language , or immigration status. The course also aims to shed light on the different communities that live in the United States.

“In the case of Latin America, and it has [also] been adopted for the Latino community in the United States, the term

Indigenous People In Latin America

, or that they are all mixed, prevails for a while. “Just understanding that Latino identity is mixed makes it seem like a subtle problem, when in reality it’s more complex,” Mendoza-Morey said. Claiming that everyone of Latino heritage was mixed made it “easy” to dismiss indigenous or African heritage in the community, he added.

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Are crucial to understanding Latinidad for both people who identify as Latinx and those who do not. Mendoza-Mori pointed to Central American migrants from Mayan communities who are labeled as Latino or Hispanic even though they do not speak Spanish as an example of the complexity of Latinidad.

Indigenous People In Latin America

“For the Latinx community, it’s an opportunity to expand the concepts of Latinidad,” he said, although the same conversations could lead to the dismissal of Latinidad.

Mendoza-Morey hopes that by offering a Latinx studies program, Harvard can participate in contemporary conversations about this kind of diversity. “One approach to promoting diversity can be seen as a service,” he said. “But another approach to promoting diversity is actually a way to stay in the conversation and be at the [front] of the conversation.”

Indigenous People In Latin America

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Next Arts and humanities A classic you can’t refuse Arts and humanities A classic you can’t refuse Marlon Brando (right) and Salvatore Corcito in The Godfather, which premiered in New York on March 15, 1972 . © Paramount Pictures 1972 Lima, August 9 (EFE).- The abuse and mistreatment of indigenous communities in South America remains one of the most important social problems for the continent, where little progress has been made in the last two centuries has been made about this problem.

Indigenous People In Latin America

While indigenous customs and traditions change from country to country, minority communities throughout Latin America continue to be victims of violence and discrimination, while being ignored by their governments.

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Brazil’s indigenous people have witnessed an increase in violence and abuse since far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro came to power in January 2019.

Indigenous People In Latin America

“Since democratization, we have never experienced such a violent scene as we see now, it can only be compared to the years of military dictatorship (1964-1985),” Dinamam Tuksa, one of the executive coordinators of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples. from Brazil, says Efe.

Encroachment on indigenous lands, illegal exploitation of resources and damage to indigenous heritage by illegal loggers, miners, hunters and fishermen have skyrocketed since 2019, increasing by 137% compared to the year before Bolsonaro came to power.

Indigenous People In Latin America

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According to the Indigenous Missionary Council, 263 cases of aggression were reported in 2020 and 182 indigenous people were killed, 61% more than in 2019.

“This regression is a direct reflection of the hate speech promoted by Bolsonaro,” said Tuxa, referring to the president’s support for the exploitation of indigenous reserves and the reduction of environmental protection laws.

Indigenous People In Latin America

Tuxa foresees no improvement in the near future and says that even if former president Lula da Silva returns to power

Map Of The Percentages Of Indigenous People In Latin America By…

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