The world isn’t just losing its biodiversity; human cultures are at risk as well. Across the globe indigenous peoples suffer from discrimination, poverty, and health and developmental issues. Cultural Survival is both a social movement and online radio station that gathers stories from indigenous peoples around the world, bringing together ‘the voices of the native peoples of Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas’.
Originally broadcasting in English and Spanish, but now featuring indigenous languages from the Far East to South America, the station aims to let communities know their rights under national and international law. But Cultural Survival is more than an altruistic information service. By creating a dynamic conversation around indigenous peoples’ experiences of key issues such as climate change, education, land ownership and women’s rights it seeks to actively empower endangered cultures.
When isolated, indigenous peoples can be easy prey for governments and commercial institutions that covet their land or potential as cheap labour. But by coming together and learning about their common struggles, and sharing innovative solutions to the problems they face, indigenous peoples will be better able to protect their homelands, languages and cultures.
Michael is a former British Magazine Writer of the Year and two times Columnist of the Year. He is a regular contributor to Wired, author of a social history of the AK47 and his cultural and travel writing appears in the Financial Times and New Statesman.
Suzanne Benally, Executive Director