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Forum LockedSave Xingu peoples from Destruction!

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    Posted: 13-May-2009 at 11:28
Save Xingu peoples from Destruction!
 
 
Quote from the petitionsite:
 
"The native indigenous people of the Xingu river of the Amazon Rainforest are being threatened with destruction. These people have lived in Xingu river for thousands of years in a sustainable manner with the beautiful rainforest which they co-exist with and provides them with what they need. They depend on fish from the Xingu river and from the lands which surround it to grow their crops. We would be taking away the ability of these people to feed themselves, and destroying their traditional way of life as they have lived for thousands years.
These are some of the last remaining pre-columbian people, who still live the way they did before arrival of Europeans, who have escaped European conquest, until now. We have lost and disrupted the traditional way of life of most native peoples in the past, it is now time to not repeat the wrongs of the past. All of these things are being threatened, and the traditional way of life and culture of some of the last indigenous people on this planet. This is as a result of a massive dam project which could decimate fish populations in their river and destroy 400 square kilometers of the very rainforests that they depend on for survival. For too long we have caused the native traditional peoples such as this to vanish from the earth, and their culture and way of life.
It is now time we do the right thing to make up for hundreds of years of wrongs, now, and protect these last indigenous that remain now. These people have lived in this area for thousands of years and the river and land belongs to them.

The Brazilian government is planning to build what would be the world%uFFFDs third largest dam on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon. The Xingu River in northeast Brazil is a tributary of the Amazon River. The Belo Monte Dam, meant principally to fuel the expansion of aluminum foundries and other industrial plants in the Amazon, would require diverting nearly the entire flow of the Xingu, drying up the Big Bend of the Xingu and its tributary, the Bacaj%uFFFD, home to hundreds of indigenous people. Native people upstream would also be affected by the dam%uFFFDs impacts on fish stocks, their principal food source.

In May, one thousand indigenous people, in addition to social movements and environmentalists gathered in the town of Altamira, on the Xingu River, to protest the plans for Belo Monte and other dams on the Xingu. In the Xingu Forever Alive letter, they stated "We will not accept the construction of dams, large or small, on the Xingu and its tributaries". The Amazon basin with its intact rainforests and rivers is a critical ecosystem that must remain intact for the Planet to remain inhabitable. Please tell Brazil%uFFFDs President Lula and other decision makers in the Brazilian government that you support the position of indigenous peoples of the rainforest - that Brazil has better ways of providing its future energy needs than destroying the mighty Xingu River. The plans for the dams should be cancelled."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 13:59
Indigenous people should demand a good compensation. They could improve theirs lifes with the building of than dam. Native people aren't just curiousities for tourist to see and appreciate theirs "traditional" ways of life. To protect trees, just say so, but people is people and they shouldn't get stocked in prehistory. They need medicine, education, work, access to universities, etc. What matter is that they benefit from the change.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 12:48
Mostly the indigenous peoples are the last who will benefit from exploitation of natural resources and large scale changes in their environment. Mostly they are simply driven away from their lands and ends up in some sort of slum with powerty and a large amount of social problems and illnesses as a result.
The dam doesn´t just affect the indigenous peoples, it affects climate, environment and other things so also other groups of people will be negatively affected (one such effect is the large output of methane gas from rottening plant matter in the dams which affects climate on regional and maybe a global scale).
Today there are a lot of alternative energy sources one can use instead of the hopelessly antiquated use of dams.
And the Xingu people can of cource get medicine, education, work (todiy the actually have work,they work in  the context of their own way of living with farming, fishing, hunting and similar) and access to universities without a dam, it´s just a matter of priorities from the government and similar institutions.
The main aim to build the powerplant is not to help the indigenous people adapt to the modern worl, the main aim is to get energy that can feed aluminium smelting factories and other capitalsit exploitive enterprises, thus benefitting shareholders and similar and not the local population.
Important is also to listen to the indigenous people themselves and thousands of them has risen in protest against the dam (or dams since more dams are planned after the big Belo Monte dam). They want to change in their own way and not be forced to change to powerty after having been thrown of their own land (as in so many cases before).
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 13:51
What worries me it is that ecologist seems to be more interested in trees, boas and monkeys than people. On one side, Brazil needs those dams to progress, and the only alternative they have is nuclear power. On the other side, it is false natives always lost when in conflict with the power companies. I know a particular case where they got a lot of money for theirs properties and exchanged lands in return. A money that helped them to modernize.
Indigenous people in the jungle are not thrown into poverty. They already are poor. The solution is they get land in return and money. They have to fight for it with the help of outsiders, of course, but please, think in saving people and improving theirs lifestyle, not to preserve poors as extras for tourism routes!
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 15:18
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

What worries me it is that ecologist seems to be more interested in trees, boas and monkeys than people. On one side, Brazil needs those dams to progress, and the only alternative they have is nuclear power. On the other side, it is false natives always lost when in conflict with the power companies. I know a particular case where they got a lot of money for theirs properties and exchanged lands in return. A money that helped them to modernize.
Indigenous people in the jungle are not thrown into poverty. They already are poor. The solution is they get land in return and money. They have to fight for it with the help of outsiders, of course, but please, think in saving people and improving theirs lifestyle, not to preserve poors as extras for tourism routes!
 
One can always find some exceptions to every rule, but in general, historically speaking, the natives have mostly lost more than what they gained. There are even many examples of indigenous peoples that have not only lost their land but also their lives when they came in the way of different projects that was said to develop different areas or "civilize" the local population. One can for example mention the rubberboom, the gold mining, forest logging and petroleum hunting in the Amazon region that have cost countless of native lives.
 
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Indigenous people in the jungle are not thrown into poverty. They already are poor. The solution is they get land in return and money. They have to fight for it with the help of outsiders, of course, but please, think in saving people and improving theirs lifestyle, not to preserve poors as extras for tourism routes!
What worries me it is that ecologist seems to be more interested in trees, boas and monkeys than people. On one side, Brazil needs those dams to progress, and the only alternative they have is nuclear power. On the other side, it is false natives always lost when in conflict with the power companies. I know a particular case where they got a lot of money for theirs properties and exchanged lands in return. A money that helped them to modernize. 
 
 
Actually in most cases they have been thrown into much deeper powerty than before the exploitation. Not only do they loose land and the resources the land has given them, they also  loose social connection, lifestyle and purpose and meaning in their lives. Many are the indigenous peoples that ended up in the bottom of "modern" society in a life of criminality, drugs, discrimination, violence and early death. It is not often they get compensation in money and even more seldom in land. And if they get compensation in land it is often destroyed land, deprived of its natural resources.
 
And the objective of the dam is not so much to develop Brazil as a country. The prime motif is to fuel capitalist enterprices and generate money that goes into the accounts of private shareholders. The locals will not see so much of the money.
 
And of cource there are other sources of energy. A well thought of combination of different alternative energysources can create more energy than the dam. Actually the Belo Monte dam is not especially effective because of fluctuations over the year in the amount of water in the Xingu river. Because of this there are plans to build a whole system of dams that would drown immense areas of land.
 
And as stated, the increasing amount of greenhouse gases (most dangerous is methane which is 40 times more powerful than carbon dioxide) will have a both regional and global impact on the atmosphere and climate.
 
And once again, one most also take into consideration the will of the indigenous peoples themselves. It is their land! It is their lifestyle that is threatend!  You cannot just go against their wishes and kick them out of THEIR OWN LAND!
It is not just for fun that they are protesting against being robbed of their homeland.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 16:15

There is a further problem here. Green incorporated are using Indians for theirs own ideals. In my case in am concerned by the Indians only. I am for actions that help indigenous people to progress, and there are good examples of that. Even in Brazil there have been changes.

 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Maybe some environmentalist, like so many other outsiders, are using the indigenous peoples for their own purposes. But much worse than the environmental groups are the churches, different capitalist companies and enterprises, farmers, settlers and the state who just want to change the indigenous peoples and incorporate them into the capitalist economy, so they can use them as cheap labour, costumers and faithful churchmemebers who support greedy priests and missionaries.

 

Many times environmental issues and indigenous issues are linked together. In many places the indigenous peoples are the guardians of still realatively undisturbed and clean environments. If one goes outside the land belonging to these peoples one is met by destruction and pollution.

 

And the indigenous peoples are changing, no culture stands totally still. But they don´t need others to tell them how they shall change, they don´t need others stealing and destroying their lands and forcing them to change in a way they didn´t choose themselves.

 

Just listen to what these peoples say, listen to their prostests against the destruction of their environment and the land where they have their homes. They themselves must descide when and how they shall change, not greedy capitalists or corrupt state officials.

 
Hopefully Brazil will realise the value of it´s native peoples and also learn to respect these peoples right to their own land and their own way of living.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 19:39
Brazil has a large history of crimes against indigenous people. I agree on that.
 
I just pointed to you that disgust me quite a bit the concern for the environment those rich children of the industrial world have, and even more those environmentalist causes are using the Indians to preserve the planet. Manipulating them as puppets.
 
I preffer those activists that go to courst and defend the indigenous rights there, that teach natives to read, laws, technology and science, and that have a practical approach to theirs problems.
This is what I mean. Natives should use modern tech to trace and protect theirs lands. They also have to get money and lands in return to theirs lands.
 
 
A dam could produce millions of dolars to take people of the region out of poverty. Use your lawyers to make they achieve that. Forget environmentalism and focus on people.
 
And natives need education. You can't expect they could defend of capitalism and the rotten western way of living continuing in the innocence of jungle living. Forget it, they have to be better prepared to fight for theirs rights in equality.
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 15-May-2009 at 19:42
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 20:17
Most of the indigenous peoples of the amazon are far more aware of their situation than many people believe. And a dam will not get them medicine, education, lawyers, advocates and so on. The money generated by the dam will end up in the pockets of rich capitalists leaving the indigenous peoples with nothing left but a destroyed land and a life in powerty and slum with sicknesses, drugs, criminality, prostitution and violence.
To believe other is just to buy the official propaganda of the state and of the capitalists who will benefit from the dam.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 20:44

If you want to help natives in the Amazon, move there. Get lawyers, etc. There are foreigners that have died defending theirs causes and legitimate rights. That's the only way to help.

Your anti-progress agenda doesn't make much sense. The dam will be build anyways. What has to be protected are native rights, and figure it out how they can get resources comming from this conflict.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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I have friends over there so I will probably go there in the near future.

 

How can one talk about native rights if the native peoples doesn´t even have the right to keep their own land? What kind of right is that? What kind of right is it to have ones land destroyed, polluted, drowned and stolen? What kind of rights is it to see greedy capitalists and corrupt officials invading ones homes and coming with a lot of false promises about money, education and other things that they never will keep?

 

The dam has actually been stopped once before and can be stopped again, the indigenous peoples and their friends will do whatever they can to see to that. The indigenous peoples are very determined in this matter. They have faced so much abuse, gotten so much taken away from them and been promised so many things, things that they never got, that they really are prepared to do everything possible to stop the destruction of their homes, culture and life.

And they educate themselves, together with other indigenous groups, and other friends, so they will not be victims of the governments (and it´s allies) deceit and lies.

And there are actually a lot of truly progressive people that are prepared to help them in their struggle.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 21:44
The Xingu "peoples" is quite an euphemism. As for this project it goes back to 1989 with the announcement of various damning projects and is a particular bugbear of the Kayapó. None of the inhabitants of the Xingu valley are "isolates" and have long been in contact with first the colonial regimes and later the national governments. In fact, much of the region is divided into various "homelands" and firmly connected to the FUNAI bureaucracy.
There is little novelty here even on the Internet since the "saving" has been going on for quite some time as witnessed by this site:
 
 
I heartlly suspect that the Amerinds are being "exploited" by the international do-gooder squad as a good source for money raising. After all, more anthropologists have traipsed through the Xingu valley since 1949 than ever did any intrepid bandeirante.
 
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This is the words of the indigenous peoples themselves in a proclamation for their rights:
 
"

Xingu Forever Alive May 26, 2008

 

We, representatives of indigenous peoples, river bank dwellers, gatherers of forest products, family farmers, urban dwellers, social movements, and non-governmental organizations of the Xingu basin met in the Xingu Forever Alive encounter, in the city of Altamira, Par%uFFFD state, Brazilian Amazon, between May 19 and 23, 2008 to discuss, recognize, and repudiate the threats to the river which is ours, and of which we are part, in order to reaffirm the type of development that we want for our region.

We who are the ancestral inhabitants of the Xingu Basin, whose course and whose tributaries we navigated to meet here, from where we catch the fish that nourish us, on the purity of whose water we depend on to be able to drink without worrying about getting sick, on the regime of whose floods and ebb we depend for our agriculture, whose forest products we collect, and which we pay reverence to and whose beauty and generosity we celebrate with every new day; our culture, our spirituality, and our survival are deeply rooted in the Xingu, and we depend on it for our existence.

We who have maintained and protected our forests and the natural resources of our territories in the midst of the destruction which has bled the Amazon feel that our dignity has been demeaned and that we have not been respected by the Brazilian Government and private dam-building groups planning dams on the Xingu and its tributaries, principally Belo Monte Dam. At no time have they asked us what we want for our future. At no time have they asked us what we think regarding the building of hydroelectric dams, and not even the indigenous people were consulted %u2013 a right guaranteed to them by law. Despite this fact, Belo Monte has been presented by the government as a done deal, even though its viability has been questioned.

We are aware that diverting the Xingu at its Big Bend will cause permanent flooding upstream, displacing thousands of river bank families and residents of the city of Altamira, affecting agriculture, extractivism, and biodiversity, and flooding our beaches. On the other hand, the dam would practically dry up more than 100 kilometers of the river, making navigation, fishing, and the use of water impossible for many communities, including various indigenous lands and reserves.

We are also concerned about the construction of Small Hydroelectric Dams (PCHs), on the rivers at the headwaters of the Xingu. Some have already been built and others have been authorized, without any evaluation of the impacts that these dams will cause to the 14 indigenous peoples living in the Xingu Indigenous Park. These dams profane their sacred sites and can destroy the fish which nourish them.

Therefore, we, Brazilian citizens, publicly communicate to our society and to our federal, state, and local government authorities our decision to defend our rights and those of our children and grandchildren to live with dignity, to keep our homes and our territories, our cultures and ways of life, honoring our ancestors as well who left us a healthy environment. We will not accept the construction of dams, large or small, on the Xingu and its tributaries, and we will continue fighting against the imposition of a development model which is socially unjust and environmentally destructive, and which today is represented by the increase in the illegal grabbing of public lands, by illegal logging operations, by clandestine gold mines which kill our rivers, and by the expansion of agricultural monocultures and extensive cattle ranching which cut down our forests.

We, who know the river at its every bend, wish to tell Brazilian society and to demand from public authorities the implementation of our development project for the region, which includes:

1. The creation of a forum bringing together the peoples of the basin in order to permit a permanent conversation regarding the future of our river, eventually creating a Xingu River Basin Committee;

2. The consolidation and effective protection of Conservation Units and Indigenous Lands and the investigation and legalization of land titles on public lands in the Xingu basin;

3. The immediate creation of the Middle Xingu Extractive Reserve;

4. The immediate demarcation of the Cachoeira Seca Indigenous Territory, and the fair resettlement of its non-indigenous inhabitants, as well as the removal of invaders of the Parakan%uFFFD Indigenous Territory;

5. The taking of measures which effectively halt deforestation, including illegal logging and land grabbing;

6. Additional public policies providing incentives for sustainable extraction of forest products and support for family farming on an agroecological basis and which value and stimulate the commercialization of forest products;


7. Public policies capable of promoting the improvement and the installation of urban water and sewer treatment systems.

8. An increase in public policies to meet the demand for healthcare, education, transportation, and public safety, in a manner consistent with our reality;

9. Development of public policies which broaden and democratize social communication media;

10. More public policies for recuperation of gallery forests and areas degraded by ranching, logging, and mining;

11. Prohibiting the damming of the Xingu headwaters, as already took place with the construction of the Paranatinga II small dam on the Culuene River;

12. The effective protection of the great biodiversity corridor formed by the indigenous lands and conservation units of the Xingu.

We, who have protected our Xingu River do not accept the invisibility with which they wish to impose decisions upon us, nor the way we are treated with disdain by public officials. The way we are presenting ourselves to the country is through our dignity, the knowledge we have inherited, and the teachings by which we can transmit the respect that we demand.

This is our desire, this is our struggle. We want the Xingu forever alive.

 

Altamira, May 23, 2008. "

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-xingu-peoples-from-destruction

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 22:08
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

. None of the inhabitants of the Xingu valley are "isolates" and have long been in contact with first the colonial regimes and later the national governments. In fact, much of the region is divided into various "homelands" and firmly connected to the FUNAI bureaucracy.
 
Noone says they are isolates. They have never been isolates. Before they got into contact with the first Europeans they had a lot of extensive contacts with each other (the density of the population was larger in those days). Later they got in contact and got decimated and exploited by European invaders who also spread diseases that severly reduced the population.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

There is little novelty here even on the Internet since the "saving" has been going on for quite some time as witnessed by this site:
 
This is a part of an ongoing struggle against exploitation that the indigenous peoples have been fighting for many, many years.
 
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

I heartlly suspect that the Amerinds are being "exploited" by the international do-gooder squad as a good source for money raising. After all, more anthropologists have traipsed through the Xingu valley since 1949 than ever did any intrepid bandeirante.
 
 
The do-gooders "exploitation" is nothing compared with the exploitation by different companies who want to exploit natural resources, corrupt officials who want to have a part of the big Amazonian cake, large scale farmers who want to free some land for their farms and plantations, and many others who participate in the plundering of this area.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 22:13
Here is a little film where the Kuikuro people present themselves (including some words about earlier contacts with Europeans):
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 23:28
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

...
I heartlly suspect that the Amerinds are being "exploited" by the international do-gooder squad as a good source for money raising. After all, more anthropologists have traipsed through the Xingu valley since 1949 than ever did any intrepid bandeirante.


I suspect that as well. Money raising ecologist groups, do-gooders, have abused of many Amerindian groups.

After all, there is quite few really uncontacted Indians in  the Amazons. Most are under the protection of Brazil and other governments already. Now, that doesn't mean the fight for justice should stop.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2009 at 01:29
As I stated before, the "do gooders" are not the people who abuse the indigenous peoples, it is the "do-baders", the so called developers,  who come to steal and destroy the indigenous peoples land.
 
And long time before any so called "do-gooders" entered the stage the indigenous peoples also fought the people that wanted to steal from them and enslave them. Now they got themselves some allies, and those allies are being called a lot of nicnames and their motifs are always questioned. Better to question the motifs of those who want to drown the indigenous peoples under a gigantic dam.
 
In fact some of the allies are indigenous peoples from other parts of the Americas and even from other continents, people who share similar experiences and who can give good advice and contribute with good ideas about how to handle this situation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2009 at 02:06
The "do-gooders" have done more that a wrong against natives, either wanted it or not. For instance, many good intended missioners infected natives the contagious disease they carried, for which natives had no immunity. Also, I remember a French adventurer that wanted to build a Mapuche state in Chile, and that was the reason why the Mapuches lost its independence.
In short. Europeans should stay home. There are people in the Americas helping the indigenous people already.

Look at these projects, for instance. These are people that are really helping natives with the Shaman Apprentice program:

http://www.amazonteam.org/newsletter/newsletter_0707.html#7/07-9

"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2009 at 02:25
I usually dont count missionaries as "do gooders" I would rather call many of them "do-baders" since they in the the deep of their minds are hostile to indigenous religion and beliefs and want to replace it with christianity.
 
Today more and more indigenous peoples from different countries are starting to cooperate and help each other with advice, ideas and other kinds of support. Many of these peoples has shared similar experiences of abuse, land theft, discrimination and similar.
 
And yes, the Europeans should have stayed in Europe in the first place but as it is now sometimes people on other continents are more helpful to indigenous peoples than some of the American peoples who just see them as obstacles in developing their economies and exploiting natural resources.
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