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Indigenous Knowledge Systems

African Indigenous Food Security Strategies and Climate Change Adaptation in South Africa

Citation:

Tlhompho, Gaoshebe. 2014. “African Indigenous Food Security Strategies and Climate Change Adaptation in South Africa.” Journal of Human Ecology 48 (1): 83-96.

Author: Gaoshebe Tlhompho

Abstract:

The paper used a participatory and case study research approach to investigate the role of African Indigenous Food Security Strategies for climate change adaptation in Ganyesa Village, South Africa. The study revealed that local people, especially women, have over the years developed local food security strategies for climate change adaptation. These included knowledge of behaviours of living organisms, wind directions, position of stars as early warning indicators of changing weather conditions, selection of appropriate seeds and animal species, mixed cropping, and water harvesting technologies and food preservation techniques such as fermentation and sun drying for food security. These knowledge systems tend to be marginalized in the search for sustainable solutions for food security and climate change. The study recommends their documentation to inform policy, incorporation into educational curriculum. This will also assist in identifying gaps to be improved through interface with other knowledge systems.

Keywords: indigenous knowledge systems, climate change, women, food preservation, early-warning systems, educational curriculum

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Households, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

An Ethos of Responsibility and Indigenous Women Water Protectors in the #NoDAPL Movement

Citation:

Privott, Meredith. 2019. “An Ethos of Responsibility and Indigenous Women Water Protectors in the #NoDAPL Movement.” American Indian Quarterly 43 (1): 74–100.

Author: Meredith Privott

Abstract:

This work builds upon Elizabeth Archuleta's (Yaqui) term “ethos of responsibility” by contextualizing it within the #NoDAPL movement and applies a cultural rhetorics methodology to constellate an understanding of an ethos of responsibility utilized by Indigenous women water protectors in the #NoDAPL movement, as seen in video-recorded interviews selected from the #NoDAPL digital archive. This study attempts to understand the rhetoric of Indigenous women water protectors through the lens of Indigenous feminism(s), Indigenous rhetoric(s), and Dakota/Lakota/Nakota history and worldviews. When speaking from an ethos of responsibility, the water protectors featured in this study locate agency in traditional teachings and in the experience of Indigenous women, including responsive care in/to the interconnectedness of life, the special role of women in the care of water, and the collective survival of Indigenous women in colonial and patriarchal violence.

Keywords: indigenous women, Indigenous feminisms, cultural rhetorics, water protection, Standing Rock, activism, decolonization, ethos, sexual violence, #NoDAPL

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Digging for Rights: How Can International Human Rights Law Better Protect Indigenous Women from Extractive Industries?

Citation:

Morales, Sarah. 2019. "Digging for Rights: How Can International Human Rights Law Better Protect Indigenous Women from Extractive Industries?" Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): 58-90.

Author: Sarah Morales

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’expansion des industries extractives dans les territoires des peuples autochtones a été et continue d’être un processus éprouvant pour les gouvernements, l’industrie et les peuples autochtones du monde entier. Bien que les avantages économiques liés au développement des ressources soient substantiels, on donne trop souvent priorité à ces considérations au lieu de voir les effets profonds et durables des répercussions pour les collectivités, sur le plan social et culturel, en particulier pour les nations autochtones. La recherche a démontré que ces répercussions sont aggravées quand les personnes se trouvent à la croisée de plusieurs collectivités, comme c’est le cas pour les femmes autochtones. Dans le présent article, on se demandera si les lois internationales concernant les droits de la personne peuvent ou non protéger efficacement les femmes et les filles autochtones contre les effets négatifs du développement de l’industrie extractive. En réfléchissant au droit à l’autodétermination, tel qu’il est présenté dans la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones, l’auteure soutient qu’à notre époque d’extraction croissante, la meilleure façon pour faire en sorte que les lois internationales protègent les droits des femmes autochtones est de prévoir un mécanisme qui rendra opérationnelles les lois et les coutumes autochtones. Pour cela, il faut faire de la place aux femmes autochtones dans les processus de consultation afin qu’elles y partagent leur savoir et qu’elles puissent en influencer réellement le cours. La promotion des droits procéduraux des femmes autochtones est la meilleure façon d’assurer la protection de leurs droits substantiels corolaires.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The expansion of extractive industries into the territories of Indigenous peoples has been, and continues to be, a challenging process for governments, industry, and Indigenous peoples all over the world. While the economic benefits of resource development are important, too often these considerations are emphasized at the expense of appreciating the deep and lasting social and cultural effects of these impacts on communities, in particular, Indigenous communities. Research has illustrated that these impacts are compounded when one considers those individuals at the intersection of these communities, such as Indigenous women. This article will examine whether or not international human rights law can effectively protect Indigenous women and girls from the negative effects of extractive industry development. By focusing on the right to self-determination, as captured by the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples, it argues that the most effective way international law can work to protect Indigenous women in this period of increased extractive development is by providing a mechanism through which Indigenous laws and practices can be operationalized. This means creating space during consultative processes for Indigenous women to share their knowledge and influence the process in a meaningful way. The promotion of the procedural rights of Indigenous women is the best way to ensure the protection of their correlating substantive rights.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights

Year: 2019

Conceptualizing Subsistence as a Response to Capitalist Violence against African Indigenous Women

Citation:

Ahmed, Fathima. 2018. “Conceptualizing Subsistence as a Response to Capitalist Violence against African Indigenous Women.” Agenda 32 (4): 22-31.

Author: Fathima Ahmed

Abstract:

Africa, a continent whose economy is constrained by state and capital, fails to meet the basic needs of the population amidst worsening inequalities and violence. Subsistence producers globally, including indigenous small-scale farmers, pastoralists and hunter gathers, meet the basic needs for the majority. Two-thirds of these producers are women who work autonomously of the state and the market using relations of commoning. These are systems of sharing, collective labour and equal access to and care over nature. ‘Commoning’ is important to indigenous livelihoods, identity and survival, reflecting a strong relationship with the land. Resource-rich indigenous lands are as crucial to capitalist production as they are to anti-capitalist alternatives found in subsistence, and to life itself. African indigenous claims represent grassroots mobilisation for cultural self-determination in the wake of recent enclosures. Enclosures are turning commons into militarised zones, threatening the existence of indigenous peoples. These zones reflect a deliberate cultural packaging of misogynistic violence. Women are an important socio-ecological medium through which corporate-state violence impacts indigenous lives, livelihoods and bodies. As their reproduction and care responsibilities are land-dependent, ecological destruction harms women first. Using indigenous knowledge and practices, women are at the forefront of defending relationality with the land from capitalist destruction. They symbolise both an alternative and a threat to capitalism. As this article demonstrates, violence on the land and violence on women’s bodies are linked. Hence, feminist Lierre Keith contends that “militarism is a feminist issue, rape an environmental issue, and environmental destruction a peace issue” (Rebecca Weiss, ‘Sexism in the Olympics? You shouldn’t be surprised’, Patheos Catholic: Suspended in Her Jar, August 15, 2016). This activist article, using indigenous and anti-capitalist transnational feminism, highlights women’s agency and knowledge in providing life-centered and peaceful alternatives to the socio-ecological crisis across the continent, through a subsistence perspective.

Keywords: subsistence, indigenous women, commons, relationality, anti-capitalism

Topics: Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

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