Can Indigenous Societies Survive?

indigenous societies

I have done a fair amount of research on Indigenous Societies around the world. They fascinate me. Most Indigenous Societies that still exist seem to be in peril. I wonder, ‘how much longer can they survive’?

Many of the stories I have read are from The Global Oneness Project. Amazingly brave and talented artists, photographers and writers travel throughout the world to study Indigenous Peoples. Their stories and the photos taken may become the last tangible proof that Indigenous Societies still exist somewhere on the planet. It seems that only in the remotes places where nature fortifies its children against invasion do societies continue intact. This is the case with the Mustangs, monks living in an isolated corner of Nepal surrounded by high mountains which separate and protect them from the outside world.

a group of monks on horse back.
The Mustangs, monks of Nepal photographed by Taylor Weidman

    Besides wondering if Indigenous Tribes can survive is the question, ‘Why Are They Disappearing’? This is what I would like to focus on. Indigenous people are intimate with their natural environment. As more of nature is usurped by ‘civilized’ men for other uses, thrown out of balance by ‘climate change’ or outright destroyed by technological advancements’, the people whose land is a physical extension of themselves die as a culture. They individually may survive as the ‘American Indians’ did. But they were confined to reservations, raped of their culture, their dignity, their identity, their land and their spiritual connection to the earth and their natural world.
how the Indians were treated
Native American Tribe Policy from

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    The Mongolian Nomads, studied and photographed by Taylor Weidman, co-founder of the Vanishing Cultures Project. In both cases either man’s interference, climate change, desertification and the lure of a modern world are eating away at not only their cultural integrity but also their very survival. The damming of the Omo River is destroying the livelihood of half a million Africans. Climate change, desertification and the awareness of a modern life are transforming the Mongolian landscape.
    But there is some hope on the horizon. It is unlikely that many or any of the Indigenous Societies will survive as they have historically or geographically. But there is a strong desire to keep their rich cultural heritages alive and if possible, their way of living alive as well. In the case of a Yup’ik Eskimo town on the Western coast of Alaska, families are struggling to maintain the subsistence lifestyle of their ancestors.
    This story is one of destruction, devastation and at the same time an indominable spirit to keep some of the richest cultures on our planet alive. Whatever these people can do on their own or what others are doing to help, all of these Indigenous Societies will survive in our own hearts and minds as we connect to the Mother Earth Spirit that birthed us all.
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