Indigenous Rights

AP Photo

Globalization has brought huge benefits to billions of people. But one of the drawbacks to it has been the acceleration of the disappearance of many indigenous languages around the world as a few dominant languages like English replace them.

In North America, there are 278 different languages that are classified as vulnerable or endangered by the UN. In some cases, like that of the Ho-Chunk people in Wisconsin, only a few dozen people speak the language fluently.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at efforts to revive North American indigenous languages in danger of extinction.


AP Photo

Globalization has brought huge benefits to billions of people. One of its drawbacks has been the acceleration of the disappearance of many indigenous languages around the world.

In North America, there are 278 different languages that are classified as vulnerable or endangered by the UN. In some cases, like that of the Ho-Chunk people in Wisconsin, only a few dozen people speak the language fluently.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at efforts to revive North American indigenous languages in danger of extinction.


AP Photo

Earlier this year, a 51-year-old Mexican man named Isidro Baldenegro López was shot to death in Mexico’s Chihuahua state.

Mr. López was a well-known environmental activist and advocate for the indigenous Tarahumara people. For years he had campaigned against the deforestation of old growth pine-oak forests in the Sierra Madre range - even winning the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2005.

Unfortunately it’s just one of a large and growing number of cases of environmental activists slain in Latin America.

AP Photo

They survive by hunting and gathering in the forest or by cultivating gardens with handmade tools. In some cases, they don't wear clothing and speak languages that aren't understood by almost anyone else on Earth.

In today's hyper-connected world, there are still a few dozen groups of people that live with virtually no contact with the outside world. Nearly all of these tribes live in remote reaches of the Amazon in Brazil and Peru.

But these so-called "uncontacted tribes" face increasing pressure from loggers, miners and missionaries.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at some of the humanitarian and ethical challenges of our interactions with these people.