Battling The Odds: Stories Of Success Of Indigenous People
Ask any person their impressions on indigenous people all around the world. Often, you will hear about a story which involves their struggles with community issues such as education, housing, human rights, and more. What you won’t hear is their stories of hope, stability, prosperity, and success.
You may not be familiar that indigenous people have a significant contribution to the economic growth of each country. Some of them are included in their country’s labor force while several names carry the flag of their indigenous origins due to their remarkable success stories in life.
With that, here are some examples of success stories of indigenous people who battled the odds against their communities.
U’wa Nation Of Colombia
The U’wa Nation of Colombia has a deep and intimate spiritual connection to the environment as part of their rich culture and way of life. However, uncooperative government officials and evil corporations are the main frontrunners in threatening the environmental relationship. The threats on both tourism and oil extraction became their main community struggle.
Around two decades ago, the U’wa saw the damages that have continually been experiencing by Zizuma, a sacred snow-capped mountain which is located at the Cocuy National Park of Colombia. The issue with this was that the Park Service wanted to open the said park to more tourists. However, U’wa was worried about the potential destructions and adverse effects it can cause on their lands.
Another issue which surfaced was the problem caused by the oil companies which were operating in the Corrientes Region of Northern Peru. Once the company entered their lands, there were problems of oil spills which resulted in both contaminations of water and the ability of plants to grow. It wasn’t long that the people in their indigenous communities began experiencing these adverse effects – in the form of getting sick and going hungry.
Because of all the things happening in their beloved environment, the indigenous people attended the Summit in the Defense of Life, Territory, and Natural Resources in Colombia. This summit became a space for them to meet and interact with filmmakers, activists, and international lawyers. Through this event, they began working with these people by filing lawsuits and holding corporations accountable.
After six years of hard work, U’wa and the companies were able to settle. The companies agreed to carry out various community development projects to their community to be able to turn around the damages they have caused to their lives.
Metis Registered Nurse
In a hospital in northern Alberta some time in 2015, a couple tried to search for a staff who can explain to them how to change their baby’s feeding tube. However, due to the massive size of the hospital, alongside the busy operations, the couple couldn’t find someone to ask. Luckily, they were able to bump into a registered nurse who patiently oriented them with the step-by-step process.
Sherri Di Lallo was the hospital’s first Metis indigenous child health nurse coordinator. She started as a poor and shy child. However, due to her love for both medicine and children, Sherri decided to advocate for children’s healthcare. She spearheaded a better follow up care operation in Metis communities whenever families go home. This initiative lowered the mortality rate in the Metis community.
Despite her lack of funding for her advocacy, she crawled her way up by doing her best in her education while sustaining all of her expenses through her numerous part-time jobs.
It is not a surprise that indigenous people all around the world experience soft racism. However, you should keep in mind all of these success stories to give a new light on who indigenous people really are.