Attack on Indigenous Heritage

As society has progressed our outlook on the indigenous people of various areas has progressively gotten worse. From the creation of the Serengeti National Park in 1951 to the climbing of Devils Tower there are many things which have happened and continue to happen which disregard indigenous cultures and heritage.

tnz_serengeti_main

An image of the Serengeti wilderness.

The Serengeti National Park was created in 1951 as a way to preserve the land. The issue being this was not put into place by the local people, but rather by the British. They did this in order to preserve the beauty of the landscape for future generations, but in doing so they forced the indigenous people of the land to either leave or stay while maintaining the beauty of the land, which in this case meant not being allowed to use various agricultural practices. Today, because of these stipulations put in place some communities near and within the park now are dependent on tourism.

Map-Serengeti

A map of the Serengeti National Park and the surrounding areas.

Some places have had dominant cultures overtake their heritage, and this has brought up the issue of indigenous heritage. In the past Devils Tower was a sacred place for various Native American tribes, one of the more prominent being the Lakota tribe, but today this monolithic structure is a commonly used climbing destination. The Lakota have made various attempts to prevent people from tampering with this sacred site, but the most they have been able to achieve are voluntary bans on the climbing of the tower during the months of June.

Devils_Tower_CROP

Devils Tower

The Lakota people have been severely limited in their ability to practice their traditions. Currently, the Lakota, and various other tribes and people of various other cultures, have inhabited much more space then they currently do. They have been forced out of their native living space and currently have to make do with substantially less than they once had or ever will have. In many cases indigenous cultures are not in the position to fully reclaim what they once had, and this is because of modern societal views. To give back to Native American tribes would be to take away governmental land in either America and to give back land to the tribe in Africa would lead to the destruction or the reduction of a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ayers Rock Under a Blue Sky

Uluru. Although not explicitly mentioned, the structure is also an example of indigenous heritage having to deal with outside cultures.

The issues surrounding indigenous heritage largely deal with what a group once had, and what is appropriate for them to gain back. It is a difficult subject, and because of that there is a lot of strife in the discussion of indigenous heritage.

 

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2 Responses to Attack on Indigenous Heritage

  1. bvasquez5 says:

    The debate between what is right and wrong for the land is such a hard decision for the government to make. Not only are indigenous people looked over, but they typically are the first ones to have the land as theirs then it is taken from them. Places such as Devils Tower should implement days in which people cannot climb out of respect for the Native Americans. This was part of their land and even having one to two days shows that we, as a nation, are trying ,although it may be little, to respect the natives.

  2. rhenke2014 says:

    I feel that the indigenous people deserve to be shown more respect. People need to find ways to compromise but making compromises is difficult.

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