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World’s tropical forests and people imperiled by legal rollbacks under COVID-19

Amazon Brazil deforestation

Mexico CityThomson Reuters Foundation Threats against Indigenous people and rainforests have risen during the coronavirus pandemic as governments have rolled back social and environmental safeguards to boost economic growth, land rights activists said on Thursday. Governments in five countries with tropical forests have weakened legal safeguards to aid economic recovery, while expanding projects near native […]

Stolen but not silent: Indigenous Australians protest national celebrations

Australia Indigenous Muruwari elder Rita Wright

Sydney, AustraliaReuters As Australia holds a national day of festivities on 26th January, Indigenous woman Rita Wright will be protesting the celebrations at a march in Sydney. Australia Day marks the date the British fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1788 to start a penal colony, viewing the land as unoccupied despite encountering settlements. Indigenous […]

“One and Free”: prominent Australian lawmaker urges change to national anthem

Australia Gladys Berejiklian Remembrance Day

Sydney, AustraliaReuters Australia should change the lyrics of its national anthem to honour its Indigenous people, the leader of the country’s most populous state said on Wednesday, becoming one of the most prominent lawmakers to endorse such an alteration.  Australia’s national anthem includes the line “we are young and free”. But Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of […]

Climate change seen endangering lives of Canada’s remote Indigenous people

Toronto, CanadaThomson Reuters Foundation A lack of action on climate change by Canada’s government is endangering Indigenous people in the far north, putting them at risk of food shortages and dangerously poor nutrition, a leading human rights group said last week. Climate change’s impacts like habitat loss and extreme weather are depleting First Nations’ traditional […]

In US race protests, Chile’s Indigenous youth see echoes of their own land struggle

Mapuche leaders

Bogota, ColombiaThomson Reuters Foundation Watching the US anti-racism protests from a rural town in southern Chile, 19-year-old Belen Curamil, an Indigenous youth leader, has felt a sense of shared experience. Curamil’s Indigenous peers have endured years of police violence: some have been jailed and others killed in clashes over land rights. Belen Curamil, third from […]

ESSAY: POPE FRANCIS PUNTS ON MARRIED PRIESTS

Pope Indigenous Peru

US Catholic commentator THOMAS REESE, in an article first published on Religion News Service, looks the Pope’s response to the Amazon synod’s recommendations issued this week…

Indigenous people left landless as traditional farming wanes in north-east India

India farming

Shillong, IndiaThomson Reuters Foundation Tribal people in north-eastern India are increasingly becoming landless and poor as their traditional farming practices are abandoned in favour of commercial plantations, Indigenous experts warned last week. “Jhum” is the practice by tribal groups in the north-eastern states of rotating land use for temporary farming, resulting in parts of forest […]

Indian states propose land rights amid citizenship fears

Citizenship protests Kolkata

Mumbai, IndiaThomson Reuters Foundation Authorities in the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal have vowed to protect the land rights of Indigenous people and refugees amidst protests against a new citizenship law that critics say discriminates against Muslims. In the north-eastern state of Assam, a planned law will prevent Indigenous people from selling land […]

Historic US island return to native tribe “path forward” for other land transfers

Dulawet Island

Washington, DC, USThomson Reuters Foundation A Californian city was expected to return a historic island to its former Native American owners on Monday, more than 150 years after the tribe was decimated, in a move which Indigenous groups said could inspire other land transfers across the country. The voluntary transfer of the 113 hectare Duluwat […]