Millions of people worldwide still identify themselves as indigenous. They choose to remain in the land of their ancestors and have learned how to co-exist with new people who become dominant. They have their own unique cultures, traditions, and customs. Their way of living is very different from what we are accustomed to. And because their beliefs are different from ours, they are often treated as inferior and second-class people.
Effects Of Empathy
During the early days, indigenous people suffer from too much discrimination. But with the civilization moving forward, people learn about empathy. And I believe as new people become more empathic, the discrimination and prejudice against them have decreased. Both groups have learned to co-exist peacefully, although biases cannot be avoided from time to time.
In fact, many non-government organizations extend help to indigenous people. They send help and assistance during calamities. Some advocates bring in health care to have them checked by specialists and be given treatment for those suffering from sickness. But all these are just temporary or short-term remedy to their needs. They need more permanent or long-term care, not only a temporary solution.
Indigenous people may have a unique culture and tradition. But no matter how odd they may be, they have to be educated, both in academics and personal health care. Providing them access to education is a vital means for them to understand proper hygiene, grooming, and self-care. Understanding these things combined with their usual tradition can help them improve their health and well-being, especially women.
Women carry the babies in their womb for nine months, take care of them once they are born, and nurture them until they mature. Women should be educated on how to properly care for themselves to improve their mental and physical health. Only with a healthy mind and body, they can be good role models, mothers, and teachers to their kids.
Indigenous people are born industrious. They have means to make a living, although often not enough. They missed opportunities mostly due to lack of infrastructure, education, and support from the government.
Cooperatives and entrepreneurship are now being taught to indigenous people for them to learn how to be able to sustain their needs. Some groups of people (usually from business and government sectors) are lending capitals so they can start livelihood projects.
Most of our indigenous people live in poverty and women are marginalized. They are often left behind when it comes to planning the living. They are seen as just mere caretakers of the children and elderly. But with education, women are now able to have their livelihood right in their backyard. They are now bringing in income to the family and at the same time taking on the responsibility of raising the kids.
Being able to give their kids proper education and provide for their families, indigenous people are becoming more confident about their future and the future of their children. They used to be threatened that they will be driven off their ancestral lands. They used to be dying from curable diseases like measles, smallpox, and TB. But with the long-term care provided by education and livelihood, they have more peace of mind. Their children will no longer live in trauma and anger. Having access to education, they will be their families provider in the future.
Nowadays, there are still some nation who look down on indigenous people. Discrimination will do us no good, but providing them with long-term care will benefit us all.
Promoting their rights and educating indigenous people are the long-term care they need to improve their well-being and enrich the land passed on to them by their ancestors. Technology and tradition combined will enable them to prosper and be a better contributor to society.