From the Arctic to the Amazon, much of our world’s fragile ecosystem is at risk. Multinational corporations and government development projects often engage in practices which threaten not only the environment, but the survival of indigenous cultures. To discuss this growing problem, representatives of Native communities from around the world came to Smith College to attend the week-long Arctic to Amazonia Tribal Lands Conference.
ARCTIC TO AMAZONIA features Native activists from North and South America presenting first-hand information on the impact of industrial development upon their land and cultures. They review the history of European colonization in the Americas, critique destructive patterns of consumerism, and contrast indigenous perspectives on the environment with corporate world views.
In excerpts from speeches presented at the conference, indigenous representatives talk about the struggles of Native communities to protect their land against ecological destruction. These battles range from northern Quebec, where the Cree and Inuit peoples are fighting massive hydro-dam projects, to Arizona, where the Havasupai oppose plans to mine uranium near the Grand Canyon, to the Brazilian jungles, where numerous Amazonian peoples have won important victories in the campaign to protect the tropical rain forest.
As the threat of global environmental disaster looms over us, mainstream society can learn much from Native peoples. ARCTIC TO AMAZONIA is an effective catalyst for discussion of environmental issues from an indigenous perspective.
"ARCTIC TO AMAZONIA features some of the best minds working on present struggles facing Native people. Development is supposed to signify advancement—the bettering of a condition—but to indigenous peoples of the world, development has caused the exact opposite. The presenters in the video illuminate the need for reassessment of present-day technology, as its effects are not only limited to indigenous peoples, but will impact the whole world."
"ARCTIC TO AMAZONIA reveals the strikingly similiar values that indigenous societies have about the Earth and the environment. This video shows the deep concern that indigenous people share about environmental exploitation and uncontrolled development. The impact of this documentary is most powerful because the views about ecological degradation are expressed in the voices of Native people themselves."
"The power of this film lies not only in the eloquence and presence of the Native people whose voices are clearly heard in it, but also in the absolute relevance of the messages they carry. No one is better prepared than the indigenous peoples to recognize the threats posed to the delicate web of life and I do not know of another video which does a better job in providing a forum for their thoughts.
RECOMMENDED SUBJECT AREAS
Indigenous Peoples and Cultures of North, South and Central America • Latin American Studies • Multicultral Education • Anthropology • Sociology • Environmental Studies • Contemporary Social Movements • Human Rights • Globalization • Economics • Economic Policy • Sociology of Developing Countries • Social Change
ARCTIC TO AMAZONIA
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