Indigenous Rights

Maori Women and Sacred Tattoos

The moko kauae, a sacred female chin tattoo for the Maoris of Polynesia, is making a revival amongst the indigenous women of the region. This body and facial tattooing is known as Ta moko, and amongst the Maori women, "was a rite of passage, maeking the passage between girl and adulthood." This meant to signify family and social heritage, along with beliefs regarding the afterlife. The tattoos are of intricate design, none alike in their make, and used to be made through a chiseling tool and black ink.

Tales from the Historic Native American Oil Pipeline Protest

A protest of incredible and historical scale is happening near Cannonball, North Dakota. Thousands of Native Americans have gathered at the Standing Rock preservation in camps to protest the building of the $4 billion Bakken Pipeline. Considered the largest gathering in over a 100 years, this one includes members from 280 indigenous tribes. They have travelled from all across America to protest the building of the oil pipeline which will run through Dakota, crossing hundreds of waterways down to the Midwest.

Words on Water - Documentary about displacement caused by Narmada Valley Dam

Above is a YouTube link to a 4-minute trailer of the documentary, Words on Water by Sanjay Kak. This documentary is about the mass displacement of indigenous populations caused by the building of the Narmada Valley dams. Rob Nixon mentions this project when discussing the work of the writer-activist, Anudharti Roy, in his book that we read in Human Rights class.

GMO Mosquito - A violation of human rights?

For the last five years, the biotechnology company Oxitec has been developing a plan to experimentally release GMO mosquitoes in the Florida Keys, which scientists hope could eventually impede the spread of the Zika virus. However, there has been much community uproar in the Keys due to a perceived violation of human rights. 

As a community member states: “It’s about human rights – this can’t be pushed down our throats without consent,” said De Mier, who views her mission as helping mould policy on genetically modified animals for the country.


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