Sunday, December 10, 2006

Harare and Indigenous Peoples-by George "Tink" Tinker

An Indigenous church building South East Church of Christ helped build.



"Why Are We Still Waiting," asked an Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus in an "appeal" to the World Council of Churches’ Eighth Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe, in December 1998. In a compelling document, the more than three dozen Indigenous delegates, advisors and "Padare" participants making up the pre-assembly Caucus named the character of their common struggles, concerns, needs and hopes. "We are still waiting," they said, "for true partnership, for full recognition of our rights."

Indigenous Peoples, especially those aboriginal nations of lands currently ruled by colonial settler states or states that have unilaterally expanded their territories to include other peoples and their lands, have much in common, both culturally and politically.(1) Most often, Indigenous Peoples are politically in tension with the states that claim hegemony over them and their lands. Their cultures and languages are continually threatened by the imposition of an artificial sense of unity and uniformity. Their access to economic well-being is usually related to their willingness to comply with the cultural and economic norms of the state in control. While state hegemony can be either overt or much more subtly veiled, it is always decisive and firm."

Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation
By: George Tinker

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