Indigenous People of the Amazon Rainforest

Slothino blog - Indigenous People of the Amazon Rainforest

Indigenous people have called the Amazon rainforest home for well over a thousand years. While the Amazon indingeous population is now only a fraction of what it once was, it is still home to around 400 tribes according to Survival International.

A 2018 research by National Geographic published in the respected scientific journal Nature shows that the pre-Columbian Amazon population was much larger than previously thought. Unfortunately, these numbers were decimated as millions of indigenous  died due to diseases and clashes with European colonizers.

Much like their ancestors, indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest still face serious danger. Logging, farming, mining, drug trafficking and other illegal practices have found their way into the indigenous territory. Having little to no protection from local and national authorities, these tribes are often forced off their territory. Despite the dangers, risks and threats, indigenous people of the Amazon still try to preserve their lifestyle.

Raising awareness about this situation is an extremely important environmental topic. Slothino, as an eco-conscious and socially responsible casino brand, always brings important matters to light. Before grabbing some of the best casino bonuses, join us once again as we take a look at the life of Amazon rainforest tribes, the risks they currently face and what is being done to help them.

How Do Ingineous People of the Amazon Live?

Despite coming into contact with outsiders far more often, indigenous people of the Amazon still try to live their lives in the same way as their ancestors. In some cases, tribes have integrated new habits while keeping some of the old traditions. Living inside indingeous reserves, these tribes regularly buy products from local markets and also sell their own excess production.

But other tribes have managed to preserve their lifestyle. The Amazon rainforest houses more than half of the isolated tribes in the world. These tribes live a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle, relying primarily on the forest for resources. Nomadic tribes live exclusively from fishing, hunting small animals and collecting vegetables,nuts, fruits and roots. Semi-nomadic tribes do rely on these same methods to gather resources. However, these tribes also grow crops and build temporary settlements. Once the resources are exhausted, the tribe moves on to a different patch of territory. Doing so allows the forest enough time to recover and renew itself. Such knowledge continues to be passed down from one generation to another, which is a defining trait of indigenous education. Kids learn about the forest from their parents and the tribe elders, and will eventually pass it on to their own children in the future.

The Threats and Dangers to Indigenous People of the Amazon

Well over 500 years after the arrival of Columbus, indigenous people face risks and threats. In fact, some of these dangers haven’t changed at all. Many tribes, such as the Awa in Brazil, the Nukak in Colombia and the Peruvian isolated tribes have been massacred in constant clashes with loggers, drug traffickers, ranchers and miners. Not only that, but coming into contact with outsiders also brings the risk of diseases. Since indigenous people, especially isolated tribes, lack immunity to the common cold, the flu and other relatively common respiratory diseases, an infection could potentially bring devastating consequences.

Demarcation of indigenous lands is also a major issue. While activists have been extremely vocal, this problem is often ignored by national authorities. Even after having their territory officially recognized, indigenous people still face the same dangers. A lack of proper protection leaves them completely exposed to outside threats. Logging and the expanding agriculture have made their way into indigenous land. Authorities continue to ignore this issue, giving a free pass to illegal activities.

Indigenous People and the Right to Self-Determination

For a very long time, the United Nations failed to recognize that indigenous people also had the right to self-determination. A resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007 finally changed that. This must be considered the backbone of this topic moving forward.

Self-determination means that indigenous people must have a say on what happens inside their territory. It provides them with the necessary legal tools to protect their culture and lifestyle. Of course, as we’ve seen time and time again, there is a long way to go before making this into a reality. Protecting indigenous people and enforcing their right to self-determination must be a priority for authorities. Aside from the social impact, this matter also causes a significant environmental impact.

A 2019 study by researchers at the University of California and Columbia University confirms that deforestation declined significantly inside indigenous territory. Preserving their rights allows tribes to protect and preserve their lands, which consequently causes a positive impact on the environment. Indigenous people have known for thousands of years about this. It’s time to finally start listening to them.

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