Empowering Indigenous and Minority Groups


This page develops resources mainly on indigenous groups. It begins with two starter diagram that reflect indigenous economy and students attempt to develop an understanding of indigenous existence. A number of resources then focus students' attention on the challenges and role of indigenous people in modern society. There is a learning walk activity in the classroom based on the resources and information on the Cultural Survival website. Students then go on to explore the problem of the 'second stolen generation' in Australia before completing a noting sheet based on the 100 Black Men in London NGO as well as a NGO of their own choosing.

Enquiry Question

What are the challenges of indigenous and minority groups and how can they be empowered?

Lesson Time: 1 Hour

Lesson Objectives:

  • To describe the challenges associated with indigenous and minority groups
  • To explain how NGOS work to empower indigenous groups

Teacher Notes:

Starter - What is Indigenous? - Students should study the two diagram and state what they learn on the characteristics of indigenous, economy, knowledge and culture.

1. Indigenous Groups Text - Students should read the article and make notes on the characteristics of indigenous people and the challenges that they face

This can be followed by a discussion on the challenges indigenous people face when confronted with more powerful groups

2. The Role of UN - Students can then watch the UN video and make further notes on the role and challenges of indigenous people.

3. Learning Walk - Students can then walk around the class collecting information on the challenges of indigenous people and the ways the organization Cultural Survival is helping empower them.

4. Radio for Empowerment - Show the Cultural Survival video on how radios are being used to foster indigenous community empowerment

5. 'The Second Stolen Generation' - Students can then answer the questions based on the modern-day treatment of Aboriginal people in Australia in the video provided

6. Student Assessment - Research Task - Student should then complete the worksheet based on their research into the organization 100 Black Men in London as well as an organization of their own choice.

Starter Activity_An Integrated Model of Indigenous Economy_Processes

Study the gallery below and state what you learn from each image in regard to the characteristics of:

  1. Indigenous Economy
  2. Indigenous Knowledge
  3. Indigenous Culture

Student Activity_ Introduction to Indigenous People_Processes and Power

Read the text below and identify:

  1. The characteristics of indigenous people
  2. The challenges they face

Indigenous People Introduction

    Introduction to Indigenous People

    Indigenous people is defined as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness from other populations that are often politically dominant

    There are more than 300 million indigenous people, in virtually every region of the world, including the Sámi peoples of Scandinavia, the Nenets in Russia, the Maya of Guatemala, numerous tribal groups in the Amazonian rainforest, the Dalits in the mountains of Southern India, the San and Kwei of Southern Africa, Aboriginal people in Australia, and, of course the hundreds of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as in North America.

    Despite the enormous diversity that exists among indigenous people across the globe  they share some common values derived in part from an understanding that their lives are part of and inseparable from the natural world. 

    Onondaga Faith Keeper Oren Lyons once said, “Our knowledge is profound and comes from living in one place for untold generations. It comes from watching the sun rise in the east and set in the west from the same place over great sections of time. We are as familiar with the lands, rivers, and great seas that surround us as we are with the faces of our mothers. Indeed, we call the earth Etenoha, our mother from whence all life springs.” 

    When contemplating the contemporary challenges and problems faced by indigenous people worldwide, it is important to remember that the roots of many social, economic, and political problems can be found in colonial policies, and these policies continue today across the globe. The most basic rights of indigenous people are disregarded, and they are subjected to a series of policies designed to dispossess them of their land and resources and assimilate them into society and culture. Too often, policies result in poverty, high infant mortality, rampant unemployment, and substance abuse, with all its attendant problems.

     To access the remainder of activities for this lesson click here

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