NPR on Brazil’s Surui Tribe

Here. An excerpt:

Chief Almir Surui, 38, has built alliances with American technology companies, environmental groups and lawmakers in the capital, Brasilia, and in cities far beyond Brazil. And the Surui reserve, called Seventh of September for the date in 1969 when the outside world made its first sustained contact with the tribe, has become a hotbed of technology designed to protect the jungle.

The Indians use smartphones to monitor illegal logging and Google Earth Outreach to show the world what their reserve is like.

“Our model calls for saving the forest and fighting for sustainable development,” says Chief Almir, as he stands in the middle of the forest surrounded by chirping birds and many species of trees. “It’s a challenge because it’s very important to do all this. But other countries do not always pursue responsible policies.”

Moulton Contracting v. British Columbia: Collective Rights vs. Individual Rights

Here’s an interesting case for civil disobedience-minded aboriginals to remember.  In Moulton Contracting v. B.C., several members of the Behn family of  Fort Nelson First Nation blockaded a logging road which they had traplines on.  They did so because, they asserted, British Columbia did not consult with Fort Nelson in any meaningful way and because the logging (done by Moulton Contracting) interfered with their Treaty 8 rights.

However, the trial judge struck these paragraphs of their statement of defence out (and the appellate court affirmed)  because, the court held, individual members of the Fort Nelson First Nation did not have standing to advance the legal positions set out in those paragraphs because the rights asserted were collective rights of the Aboriginal community. 

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