1 Progress cankill contains images some may find distressing a Survival International publication
2 OUTSIDERS WHO COME HERE ALWAYS CLAIM THEY ARE BRINGING PROGRESS. BUT ALL THEY BRING ARE EMPTY PROMISES. WHAT WE RE REALLY STRUGGLING FOR IS OUR LAND. ABOVE ALL ELSE THIS IS WHAT WE NEED. Arau, Penan man, Sarawak, Malaysia, 2007 THESE PLACES [RESETTLEMENT CAMPS] HAVE TURNED OUR PEOPLE INTO THIEVES AND BEGGARS AND DRUNKARDS. I DO NOT WANT THIS LIFE. FIRST THEY MAKE US DESTITUTE BY TAKING AWAY OUR LAND, OUR HUNTING AND OUR WAY OF LIFE. THEN THEY SAY WE ARE NOTHING BECAUSE WE ARE DESTITUTE. Jumanda Gakelebone, Bushman, Botswana, 2007 Survival International Published October 2007 ISBN: Editorial team: Dr Jo Woodman and Sophie Grig Printed by Waterside Press
3 progress = forward moving towards a destination; development towards an improved or advanced condition Progress can kill Progress is questioned less today than ever before; it is simply thought to be good for all. Current notions of progress date from the colonial era, when the taking of resources and labour was supposedly justified by the giving of civilisation. So what is progress? For the poor citizens of the poorer nations, its main pillars are schooling, which they hope leads to more money, and healthcare, which they pray brings longer life. Progress can kill does not challenge this: some do see their dreams fulfilled, though others just get poorer. It is different for tribal peoples, particularly those with less contact with outsiders. Forcing progress on them never brings a longer, happier life, but a shorter, bleaker existence only escaped in death. It has destroyed many peoples and threatens many more. There are tribes who are aware of this and choose to remain isolated. Others have a closer relationship with outsiders some of these receive healthcare intended to mitigate the devastation they face. But in a deadly catch-22, the modern healthcare available to tribal peoples even in the richest nations is never enough to counter the effects of introduced diseases and the devastation caused by losing their land. This study does not deny the genius and achievements of science, or support a romantic view that harks back to a mythic golden age. Nor is it a rejection of change all societies change always. The truth is that tribes who live on their own land controlling their own adaptation to a changing world are poor in monetary terms, but their quality of life and health is often visibly better than their compatriots. Indices show that when tribal peoples are forced off their land, their health and well-being plummet, while rates of depression, addiction and suicide soar. These are provable facts. Recent attempts to measure happiness in different populations bring no surprises to those familiar with tribes still in control of their own lives: the world s richest billionaires are no happier than the average Maasai herder. Projects which remove tribes from their land and impose progress cause untold misery. This is not surprising: progress the conviction that we know best shares with colonialism the effect of taking over native lands and resources. Tribal peoples do not survive it. On the other hand, when on their own land choosing their own development, they simply thrive. 2 3
4 progress the end* * 90% of many Amerindian tribes died following contact with Europeans, mostly from disease. Others were wiped out entirely. 4 5
5 * Measles gradually spread throughout the whole of the Great Andaman Half, if not two thirds, of the whole of the Andamanese died from its effects This epidemic was the most serious disaster which has befallen the Andamanese, and owing to the effects of it our treatment of them underwent a change; all attempts to force them to settle down to an agricultural life were abandoned M.V. Portman, Officer in charge of the Andamanese, 1899 What we are really doing is a crime. When I enter into contact with Indians I know that I am forcing a community to take the first step on a road that will lead them to hunger, sickness, disintegration, quite often to slavery, the loss of their traditions, and in the end death in complete misery that will come all too soon. Antonio Cotrim, FUNAI (Brazil s Indian affairs department), 1972 contact The British brought progress to the Great Andamanese by putting them in a home to give them a better way of life. Of 150 babies born, all died before their third birthday. Overall, 99% of the tribe died, leaving just 53 people today. They survive on handouts, many have tuberculosis, and most men are alcoholics. Their neighbours on the Andaman Islands, the Jarawa, have been on their land for around 60,000 years five times longer than the ancestors of the British have been in Britain. The Jarawa have remained isolated and self-sufficient, and are still very healthy. Their survival is now threatened by a road which cuts through their land, bringing poachers and new diseases such as measles. The Indian supreme court has ordered the road to be closed, but the local administration has refused to comply, and it remains open. population Great Andamanese population year A Jarawa child stands by the Andaman Trunk Road which runs through the Jarawa s land. 6 7
6 * life expectancy Progress has brought displacement, impoverishment and the destruction of communities to the Aboriginal peoples of Australia. Compared to other Australians, Aborigines are: On average, Aborigines live 10 years longer when on their own land, than those in resettled communities. The health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is disastrously poor... the fundamental cause is disempowerment, due to various factors including continued dispossession from the land, cultural dislocation, poverty, poor education and unemployment. Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), times more likely to die as an infant; 6 times more likely to die from a stroke; 8 times more likely to die from lung or heart disease; 22 times more likely to die from diabetes. Their life expectancy at birth is years less than other Australians. Life expectancy (years) The first step in the 90 journey of healing is to 80 reconnect with the land. 70 It symbolises so much 60 to us: it s our family, our parents, our grandparents. It s the umbilical cord, the bond between mother and children. Doris Pilkington Garimara, Aboriginal author of Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence, Canada New Zealand Australia women: all women: Aboriginal men: all men: Aboriginal 8 9
7 progress HIV/AIDS* * In 2002, over 40% of deaths of Gana and Gwi Bushmen in one resettlement camp were due to AIDS
8 * The infection of the Parakanã with venereal diseases was not an isolated case: it was symptomatic of brutal attitudes to newly contacted Indians along the new roads. John Hemming, 2003, Die If You Must I want to go and be buried in my home in Molapo [in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana]. I am sick now, I am about to die We were the first people from Molapo to be evicted. Here in New Xade [government relocation camp] there are different kinds of diseases that we do not recognise When you get sick, you die. Bushman woman who died of AIDS in 2006, aged 29. Before they were moved to resettlement camps, there were no reported Bushman deaths due to this disease. HIV/AIDS Progress, from road building to relocation, brings prostitution, the abuse of tribal women and children, and sexual diseases. In 1971, Brazilian government efforts to establish friendly contact with isolated Indians brought gonorrhoea to the Parakanã. Thirty-five Indian women were infected by government workers; some of their children were born blind. Indonesian occupation is disastrous for indigenous Papuans. Their rate of HIV/AIDS infection is 15 times the national average and rising rapidly. However, health education and testing is focussed on the Indonesian population, not the indigenous tribes. Soldiers take prostitutes and alcohol to tribal leaders to bribe them to give up their most precious wood, which is sold for incense. Many Papuans even believe that the Indonesian army is deliberately introducing HIV as a tool for genocide. Some tribes now face annihilation from the disease. Confirmed cases of HIV/AIDS in Papua A nurse helps move an indigenous patient dying of AIDS, Papua New Guinea. HIV/AIDS is predicted to reach epidemic proportions in both PNG and Papua
9 progress starvation* * Guarani children are dying of starvation. In one of Brazil s wealthiest regions, 14 15
10 * starvation In 2005, most Guarani Mbyá children in Iguazu, Argentina, were malnourished. In the following year, 20 children died from starvation in just three months. These Indians are losing 10% of their land annually, and just cannot grow enough food. Over the border lies one of Brazil s wealthiest regions where over 11,000 Guarani Indians live, squeezed into an area which can barely support 300. Their children are dying of starvation. Almost no other tribe has suffered such an extreme loss of land and survived. The forests which gave the Guarani their food are being rapidly cleared for cattle ranches, and soya and sugar plantations. The government s response is to give out oil, rice and flour, but the Indians can no longer even find the wood to cook these meagre handouts. Tribes who choose their own way of life on their own land may occasionally go hungry, but malnutrition is extremely rare. The Guarani need their land back or they will simply not survive. Aché women starving after being forced out of the forest, Paraguay. We were a free people who lived surrounded by abundance. Today we live dependent on the government s aid. It is like having a gun cocked against our heads. Guarani-Kaiowá leaders, Brazil, 2005 I always remember one old man said, The whites they re going to finish you off. They re going to finish off our houses, finish off our fish, even our crops. And once all our forest is gone, we as a people will be finished. It s all going to change and our land will become very small. And you know, that man, all those years ago, calculated absolutely right. Paulito, an elderly Guarani shaman, Brazil
11 progress obesity* * In Australia, 64% of urban Aborigines suffer from obesity
12 * Without urgent action there certainly is a real risk of a major wipe-out [due to diabetes] of indigenous communities, if not total extinction, within this century. Professor Zimmet, International Diabetes Institute, 2006 The human costs of unrestrained development on our traditional territory, whether in the form of massive hydroelectric development or irresponsible forestry operations, are no surprise for us. Diabetes has followed the destruction of our traditional way of life and the imposition of a welfare economy. Now we see that one in seven pregnant Cree women is sick with this disease, and our children are being born high risk or actually sick. Matthew Coon-Come, Cree, 2002 obesity & diabetes Tribal peoples without land are forced into a sedentary life and many become dependent on processed foods. This change in lifestyle and diet from high-protein to high-fat food is often disastrous, leading to obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. In the Pima reservation (Arizona), more than half of Indians over the age of 35 have diabetes; while those living in the mountains suffer far less from this condition. The International Diabetes Federation predicts that excess weight and diabetes will lead to earlier deaths and disabilities. If untreated or detected late as is common with tribal peoples diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, strokes, heart disease and amputations. The impact on future generations will be catastrophic. Protein and fat in traditional and shop-bought foods (grams per 100g) Caribou Beaver Moose Luncheon meat Steak Frankfurter fat protein Indians and Inuit are two to three times more likely to suffer from diabetes than other Canadians
13 progress suicide* * Between 1985 and 2000, over 300 Guarani-Kaiowá committed suicide. The youngest was nine years old
14 * Young people are nostalgic for the beautiful forests... A young person told me he didn t want to live anymore because there was no reason to carry on living there is no hunting, no fishing, and the water is polluted. Amilton Lopes, Guarani, Brazil, 1996 suicide Tribal people across the world suffer from the trauma of forced relocation and settlement. They find themselves in an environment they are not used to, where there is nothing useful to do, and where they are treated with racist disdain by their new neighbours. Their children may be taken to boarding schools which separate them from their communities and often forbid or ridicule their language and traditions. Alienated and without hope, many take to drugs and alcohol. Domestic violence and sexual abuse soar. Many resort to suicide. In Canada, Indian groups who have lost their connection to their land have suicide rates up to 10 times the national average; those with strong links often see no suicides at all. The Guarani are committing suicide because we have no land. We don t have space any more. In the old days, we were free, now we are no longer free. So our young people look around them and think there is nothing left and wonder how they can live. They sit down and think, they forget, they lose themselves and then commit suicide. Rosalino Ortiz, Guarani Ñandeva, Brazil, Suicide rates for indigenous and national populations for men aged years (per 100,000) 50 0 Canada Denmark (incl. Greenland) national suicide rate indigenous suicide rate USA In 1995, 56 Guarani Indians took their own lives more than one suicide per week. The Guarani have asked Survival to use images such as this one to publicise their plight
15 progress addiction* One third of Innu children sniff petrol. *Many start as young as five years old
16 * We were ashamed of ourselves [We had] lost our mastery. Our sons were ashamed of us. We had no self-respect and nothing to give our sons except violence and alcoholism. Our children are stuck somewhere between a past they don t understand and a future that won t accept them and offers them nothing. Boniface Alimankinni, Tiwi Islands, Australia, 2006 addiction Dispossessed and alienated tribal peoples often take to drugs, usually the cheapest and most easily available such as alcohol and petrol. The health of individuals and families collapses. Babies are born with foetal alcohol syndrome, children get little care from addict parents, teenagers follow suit, and once-respected elders are alienated from younger generations. Cycles are fixed which cannot be broken by merely treating individuals or symptoms. The entire society falls apart. Among Innu youth, sniffing petrol is an acute problem. In the long term this addiction can cause convulsions and permanent damage to the kidneys, eyes, liver, bone marrow and heart. In 2000, 11-year-old Charles Rich died by accidentally setting himself on fire when sniffing petrol. A child who witnessed this horrific death said: The [Bushman resettlement] camps looked like abandoned mine camps with little or no economic activity. At both camps, alcohol abuse was visible from the many people My name is Phillip. I m a gas [petrol] sniffer. I sniff gas with my friends. In wintertime, we steal skidoos and we steal gas... I don t go home because I sniff gas. And I sniff gas because both my parents are drinking and I m mad at that... At one point Charles ran towards me when (old and young) seen drunk The settlements do not provide any visitor with a sense of hope and future he was in flames, but because I was sniffing gas and the fumes were very strong on me, I ran away. I was afraid I would be caught on fire too. for the residents. African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, 2006 Alienated Innu children turn to sniffing petrol 28 from plastic bags. 29
17 We want to participate actively and have close control over healthcare in our indigenous areas, because we know our reality and the needs of the communities we represent... We do not accept that a nonindigenous organisation... with no experience of working with indigenous peoples health, can take over indigenous healthcare. Brazilian Indian leaders, 2006 I feel a lot better about myself out here in the country. In the reserve all I do is drink I like it here. It s peaceful. There are no drunks or drugs. Jonathan Walsh, Innu, Canada, 2006 health & freedom The Yanomami story The Yanomami Indians of Amazonia suffered catastrophic decline in the 1980s and 1990s when miners invaded their territory, bringing disease and violence. Twenty percent died in seven years. Brazilian government assistance achieved little: what the Yanomami really needed to survive and recover was their land and their own healthcare. It happened. In 1992, after a 23-year campaign led by Survival and the Pro- Yanomami Commission (CCPY), the Yanomami Park was created. This gave these Amazonian Indians control over almost 10 million hectares of rainforest. During this time, independent medical staff were recruited to work alongside traditional Yanomami healers. This new health initiative, Urihi which was supported by Survival reduced the number of deaths by half. In 2004, the Brazilian government took it over by decree. Spending was doubled, but disease rocketed. Some communities saw fatal cerebral malaria increase four-fold. The model for proper healthcare amongst tribal peoples is tried, tested, and cheaper than alternatives: outsiders must treat the people and their own knowledge with respect; tribespeople must be trained themselves to give all but the most specialised treatment; and outside health workers must build a mutually supportive relationship with the communities they work in. * Tribal people living in freedom on their own land, making decisions about their own lives, are far healthier than those who have been uprooted and had progress forced upon them. If they suffer from diseases introduced from outside, they need appropriate healthcare delivered with respect and sensitivity. Tribal people are damaged by racism and a clash of cultures when links to their land and identity have been broken. Helping them to rebuild those links is the most effective and efficient cure of all. It is simple common sense, but the major obstacle facing tribal peoples is the archaic notion held by governments and many aid organisations that the problem facing tribal peoples is their lack of progress. It isn t
18 It is not that the Yanomami do not want progress, or other things that white people have. They want to be able to choose and not have change thrust upon them, whether they want it or not. I am not saying I am against progress. I think it is very good when whites come to work amongst the Yanomami to teach reading and writing and to plant and use medicinal plants. This for us is progress. What we do not want are the mining companies which destroy the forest and the miners, who bring so many diseases. These whites must respect our Yanomami land. The miners bring guns, alcohol and prostitution and destroy all nature wherever they go. For us this is not progress. We want progress without destruction. Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami shaman, Brazil, 2003 * act now we need your help * Pledge your support and count on me! get active for threatened tribal peoples. Visit our website to find out how: progresscankill * Help make sure the world raise awareness hears the voice of vulnerable tribes, and takes action. * donate Survival accepts no government funding. Without your support, we can do nothing. With it, we can help give tribal peoples a future. * Join our online blog at, have your say To read the full report, Progress can kill: how imposed development destroys the health of tribal peoples visit: To get involved, and to help stop injustices against tribal peoples, please contact us. We help tribal peoples defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures. Survival International (head office) 6 Charterhouse Buildings, London EC1M 7ET, UK T: +44 (0) Survival International 2007 Photo credits: front cover: Yanomami father and son, Brazil Victor Englebert 1980/Survival; inside cover: Yanomami mother and child, Brazil Antonio Ribeiro; p7 Salomé/Survival; p9 Mikkel Ostergaard/Panos; p13 David Gray/Reuters; p16: Guarani mother and child, Brazil João Ripper/Survival; p17 Don McCullen/Survival; p21 Dominick Tyler/Survival; p25 João Ripper/Survival; p29 Dominick Tyler/Survival; p30: Gana Bushman boy, Botswana Stephen Corry/Survival; p31: (far left) Yanomami woman, Brazil Jerry Callow/Survival; p31: (centre) Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami, Brazil Fiona Watson/Survival. 32
19 WHAT KIND OF DEVELOPMENT IS IT WHEN THE PEOPLE LEAD SHORTER LIVES THAN BEFORE? THEY CATCH HIV/AIDS. OUR CHILDREN ARE BEATEN IN SCHOOL AND WON T GO. SOME BECOME PROSTITUTES. THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HUNT. THEY FIGHT BECAUSE THEY ARE BORED AND GET DRUNK. THEY ARE STARTING TO COMMIT SUICIDE. WE NEVER SAW THAT BEFORE. IS THIS DEVELOPMENT? Roy Sesana, Gana Bushman, Botswana, ISBN
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Change Cycle Change often involves a process. The Bible describes five significant stages of change that are important to understand. They include Rebellion, Realization, Remorse, Repentance, and Restoration.
Take Steps to Control TB TUBERCULOSIS When You HaveHIV What s Inside: People with HIV are are also at risk for getting TB. Read this brochure today to learn about TB and HIV. 4PAGE 5PAGE About TB infection
Healthy ageing and disease prevention: The case in South Africa and The Netherlands Sebastiana Kalula, 1 Ger Tielen 2 and Monica Ferreira 1 Medical advances, improved health care and prudent health behaviour
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