February 1, 2021, the day on which the newly elected parliament had scheduled its first official parliamentary session in Myanmar after the election held in November 2020. Just hours before the scheduled sessions, the military conducted a house-raid and arrested several elected leaders and politicians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, politician, diplomat, author, and a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and president Win Myint and other senior government figures. The Myanmar military then declared a state of emergency and imposed curfews putting restrictions on public gatherings.
The Ainu people, who are approximately 20 000 in number are the only officially recognized indigenous peoples in Japan. After lengthy battles by the Ainu people, the Japanese government finally recognized them as Indigenous Peoples of Japan, which is a real victory for the Ainu community, but Ainu indigenous peoples’ representatives say that the struggles of Ainu are not over yet. They continue to face discrimination, they are not yet free to celebrate their culture, to speak the Ainu language or to express their distinct identity.
Indigenous Rights Radio Producer Avexnim Cojtí Ren investigates the movement to repatriate sacred objects, remains, and cultural patrimony taken without consent from Indigenous Peoples by governments, collectors, and individuals. Concepts of ownership, histories of oppression, methods of legal recourse, and recent examples of repatriation attempts all play an important role in the prospects for the return of heritage items to Indigenous Peoples.
November 25th is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Cultural Survival remembers Sarah Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman who, under Dutch colonization of her homeland, was taken captive and coerced to participate in public shows and medical examinations which relied on a falsified science of racial difference. We honor her life as a testament to the urgent necessity of having an international day when the world renews its commitment to end violence against women, especially Indigenous women and women of color.