Worldfocus producer Megan Thompson recently completed a series on climate change and small island nations. This report from Tonga explore the origins of tapa, an ornate papery cloth made from pounded tree bark, and the ta’ovala, the traditional woven mat worn around the waist, which is also derived from local plants.
Linguists predict that over half of the almost 7,000 languages currently spoken will disappear by the end of the century. Look at maps of endangered languages around the world, and watch a video of the last speaker of Berbice Dutch.
Worldfocus concludes this week's Indigenous Cultures series with a look at the Aboriginal culture of Australia. As we have seen elsewhere, the remnants of an ancient civilization are being threatened by the encroachment of the modern world. In Australia, as Deutsche Welle reports, a history written in the land is in danger of being erased.
During the Worldfocus series Indigenous Cultures, we have shown the severe threats facing native communities across the world. Worldfocus interviewed Renee Davis and Tiffany Waters, research associates at the Center for World Indigenous Studies about the movement for self-determination among indigenous people across the globe.
Our Worldfocus series Indigenous Cultures continues with a look at the Khanty people, who live inside the Arctic Circle in Russian Siberia. We chose this story because it illustrates how the drive toward what is often called "progress" can threaten a traditional culture. Jonah Hull of Al Jazeera English reports on the Khanty people of northern Siberia.
The creation of Canada's Inuit-majority Nunavut territory in 1999 marked a leap forward for indigenous self-rule. Worldfocus spoke with Stephen Hendrie of Canada's Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami for more on the issue, including the differences between Inuit in Canada and the U.S.
The Nukak, an indigenous Colombian people living on the edge of the Amazon basin, only had their first official contact with the outside world in 1988. Since making contact, the Nukak have seen their numbers drop significantly and face the possible extinction of their culture.
In the tiny Canadian Arctic town of Igloolik, where there are barely 1,500 inhabitants, around 5 young adults commit suicide every year. Filmmaker Linda Matchan, in association with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, is documenting the efforts of a circus troupe there called Artcirq, formed to offer young people hope.
The Japanese government is moving ahead with plans to improve relations with the Ainu people, the country's indigenous inhabitants. Mostly living in the northern island of Hokkaido, Ainu are believed to descend from people who lived in Japan as early as 13,000 years ago. Harry Fawcett of Al Jazeera English has more, and bloggers offer their perspectives.
In February 2008, newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a historic apology to Australia's Aboriginal population. No other Western leader has made such an unqualified acknowledgment of wrongdoing toward an indigenous population. Two years later, Rudd has reported to parliament on what he promised would mark a new chapter in Australian history.