Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

Traditional Birth Attendants In Mexico: Advantages And Inadequacies Of Care For Normal Deliveries

September 25, 2019

In Mexico, traditional birth attendants (TBAs) are an essential resource for health care, especially in small rural communities where they attend approximately 45% of all deliveries. Both rural and urban women seek care with the TBAs because, amongst other things, they share the same cultural codes. In this study, qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the concepts, resources, and process of care during birth in rural areas of the state of Morelos. Results show that the socio-economic characteristics of the TBAs are similar to those of the patients, that they share the same precarious living conditions and the resources to which they have access for providing care during births. When choosing a TBA as a health care provider, both the economic aspect and the importance of a shared symbolism come into play. We observed advantages in some of the traditional practices which should be incorporated into the medical system, for example, protection through the massage of the perineum at the moment of expulsion. Nevertheless, there are inadequacies for which the implementation of training programs is fundamental, before articulate primary care programs using the TBAs can be promoted.

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On Mexican Folk Medicine

July 01, 2019

In this paper, traditional medical beliefs and practices in a Mexican village are described and interpreted. The analysis focuses on the notion that health is a balance of hot and…

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Nine ways to support the rights of indigenous people

June 11, 2019
Categories: Publications,

What are the practical steps to push for recognizing the rights of indigenous people around the world? Our shares their thoughts

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CWIS response to the Questionnaire concerning the Review of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Mandate answering the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Outcome Document

June 11, 2019
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The Anáhuac Knowledge System: a Dialogue Between Toltecs and Descartes

June 11, 2019

Indigenous political leaders and indigenous peoples’ diplomatic representatives urge states’ government and international organization representatives to sit at the negotiating table to ensure that traditional knowledge becomes incorporated in local, regional, and international agree- ments aimed at mitigating and organizing adaption strategies to remedy the adverse effects of climate change. How can traditional knowledge be employed along with conventional sciences? When indigenous peoples’ advocates call for scholars, representatives of states’ governments,
and international institutions to recognize and respect “traditional knowledge,” what features
of traditional knowledge should they recognize and respect? How will they know the difference between conventional knowledge and traditional knowledge—are there differences and what are they? Can traditional knowledge inform modern climate change food security adaptation strate- gies, and if so what form does the application of traditional knowledge take? In this essay I offer an answer to these questions by explaining a Fourth World scientific method for deciphering the knowledge system of proto-historic West Mexico (600 CE to 1540 CE) and blending that method with conventional scientific methods. I discuss a method of multi-variant domain retrodiction and the transposition of elements of the ancient Anáhuac scientific system into a contempo-
rary structure blended with aspects of conventional scientific methods, thus providing details about the construction, internal coherence, and conceptual foundations of a knowledge system that extends throughout the western hemisphere. The conceptual framework presented can be incorporated into agreements between indigenous peoples’ representatives and their counterparts in states’ governments as they seek approaches to mutually understanding strategies for tackling vexing complex problems. Discussing a method for “blending” the Anáhuac knowledge system with the Cartesian knowledge system that arose in 17th century Europe may be possible if the two systems are used “in parallel” to facilitate collaboration between indigenous scientists and conventional scientists permitting them to formulate adaptation strategies that help all popula- tions. The method of decipherment and transposition may have wider application when the need exists to blend ancient knowledge systems from various parts of the world with conventional knowledge systems used to address complex challenges in many parts of the world.

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Principles for Restoring Health with Culture, Food, and Nature

June 11, 2019
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Indigenous America: Facing Other Inconvenient Truths

June 11, 2019

Steven Newcomb’s essay on the UN High-Level Plenary Session called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples—that will convene in New York City on the 22nd of September, 2014—reflects the view shared by some of his readers that the World Conference is supposed to be a panacea to right all of the past wrongs done to indigenous peoples. He asks if the World Conference will reverse “the domination/subordination framework of U.S. federal Indian law and policy that has been and continues to be used against our originally free nations and peoples?” The answer is “not likely,” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t compelling reasons for participating, or that there aren’t other ways to address the relationship between the US and Indian nations.

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Honor the 4th World: An Alternative to State Domination

June 11, 2019

Let us stipulate from the very outset that international states own, control and regulate an institution called the United Nations. It is their organization and they can do with it…

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Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Knowledge

June 11, 2019

Indigenous knowledge takes many forms reflecting the culture and geographic location as well as historic influences introduced from outside forces. Western scholars view indigenous knowledge through intellectual lenses with frequently superficial interpretations of the actual content and meaning. Indigenous peoples and Western schoeslars have begun to practice collaborative sharing and knowledge negotiations. Participants learn from each other sharing knowledge that can be applied to human sustainability challeng.

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Between Indigenous Nations and the State: Self- Determination in the Balance

June 11, 2019

of his Fourteen Point Peace Program to the U.S. Senate.2 Both Wilson and Britain’s Prime Minister Lloyd George proposed new principles for inter- national cooperation and collective security, thus accelerating the break- down of empires and the making of what would become more than 150 states over the next sixty years. Despite this auspicious beginning, the United States today offers to lead world opinion in fundamental opposition to the application of the principle of self-determination to indigenous peo- ples, and particularly to American Indians. Under the administration of President William J. Clinton, the U.S. government has joined with China, Japan, France, Iran, Iraq, England and the likes of Guatemala and Peru to prevent the application of international standards of human rights to in- digenous peoples. The external U.S. position contradicts its internal policy of self-determination by distorting international law to favor authoritarian states in their efforts to suppress the rights of indigenous peoples.

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