There are many tribes in the country of Suriname, but all of the tribes are suffering from the same issues. The people know that they are entitled to rights like some groups in Suriname (slaves, Javanese and other groups), but they are denied them and ignored by the government of Suriname. Because of the lack of attention and protection from their own government, foreigners come and take their native land away from them, deny them developments for the future of their own people, and caused health related issues for them. The tribes of Suriname have lived there even before the discovery by Columbus, and their land was used of course for the livelihood of the people. Now foreigners come in and claim their land, without their consent, because the government says they have papers. The United Nations has provided a General Assembly and the government of Suriname has adopted it, but has not implemented the provisions of the General Assembly. The provisions of the General Assembly state that they have rights to their land that is part of their culture and background. The government has ignored these provisions and taken their land away from them. The next issue is that the leaders of the tribes wanted to make some changes to better their community, but cannot because they have no access to their own resources; in the video, the captain of the tribe wanted to obtain electricity for the children’s learning but cannot. However the provisions of the General Assembly state that the indigenous people have the right to make changes that will benefit the development of the surroundings. The last issue is the health issues that are prevalent in the test people because of the mercury in their water. The people are suffering from a range of elevated risk to high risk of mercury. These are all because of the works of foreigners, but the people have no say in the very things that affect them. The video shows the point of view of the tribes in Suriname, and helped me to learn about their sufferings and complaints. It also made me think about how emotion affect how I viewed the plight of these people. The way the old men were speaking about how they cannot help their people because they are not acknowledged by their own people, and even the tone of their voice made a difference. In addition, the statistics that were made on mercury level affect how someone felt about the health issues they were experiencing (the scale showed higher labels for high risk than all the other levels, so one can question are the statistics reliable); the pictures of the people made me feel very sad when they talked about those tested for high levels of mercury. The speakers in the video had good reasoning behind their desires to have the rights they are entitled to and live the way they should, which are outlined in the General Assembly, which their government has adopted. It made me think about how the desires of others can prevent the cultural development in the case of the tribes of Suriname. Something one of the speakers said that was very powerful was that they are not cared about because they are not understood by foreigners, so they are ignored and looked over. I think that people don’t consider them because they are seeking their own wealth and power. My perception of their government and justice, is that they are evil and that democracy has its flaws. Democracy is supposed to protect the rights of the people, but on the other hand they exploiting the resources of the people; not a very good government.~Linda E.
Thanks for posting!! Swift