If we want to continue living in the world we do with beautiful biodiversity, cultural diversity, language and religious diversity, we should be very concerned about the plight of the indigenous peoples of the world and how they are being affected by globalization. Without all this diversity in the world, we lose a part of who we are as the human race and as individuals. We need to stop thinking about our own wants and desires and consumerism and start thinking about the effects those have on the livelihoods of the indigenous peoples.
Indigenous people only make up 5% of the world’s population; however, they constitute over 33% of the world’s poor and rural people. They also sit on 80% of the world’s biodiversity, including the Amazon Rainforest. Through illegal logging, resource recovery, mass farming, and green energy plants, we are destroying their homes and their way of living. We have taken away their land for our selfish wants and desires, not needs, and are forcing the indigenous peoples of the world to live in poverty.
Another death occurring throughout the world is the death of language. Most times, the language dying or endangered is the language of an indigenous peoples. Usually, it dies through transformation, substitution, or absolute extinction. A language only truly dies through extinction. Transformation and substitution are merely mutations of the original language, so they technically don’t die. Languages die out through mostly cultural and economic globalization. If people want to prosper in today’s economic world, they need a job. Sometimes that means giving up your own language and learning a new one just so that you can get that much needed job. Those who speak languages outside the norm of English, Mandarin, French, Japanese, etc., are exposed to them through the media and other means of connecting with the outside world. Language is presented to them through cultural globalization, and they will learn those new languages and forget to pass on the indigenous ones.
Religion is also being affected throughout the world. The current Abrahamic and eastern religions are eradicating the primal religions of the world. Through mostly physical means of murder, destruction, and the peaceful means of missionaries, the primal religions are disappearing. Especially in the Western Hemisphere, the indigenous peoples have lost or are losing their primal (original) religions to Christianity.
Two examples of an indigenous people suffering in today’s world are the Wichí and the Guaraní of South America. Both are losing their land and their livelihoods due to agribusiness in their respective countries. Both societies live traditional lives and hunt, fish, and subsistence farm. Now, so much of their land has been taken away that they can barely farm for a living. The ranches and plantation owners have confiscated their land and pushed them off, so now they are fighting for their lives. Economic globalization is a main cause for the hardships of these indigenous peoples. The world and its people just want to make money so that they can compete in the global economy, and they are ruining the lives of the indigenous peoples. Globalization negatively affects all indigenous peoples because it destroys their lands, their livelihoods, and their cultures. It is an epidemic to be taken note of and to be stopped.