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Centre for International Study and Development

Activities: Tribal & Indegeneous,Research & Doc,Others

Centre for International Study and Development About CISD

The Center for International Study and Development (CISD) is dedicated to creating a world where all peoples can maintain their unique cultural identities while living lives of mutual respect. CISD is particularly concerned with the plight faced by tribal and nomadic peoples in a rapidly globalizing world.About three hundred seventy million indigenous people in the world, especially tribal and nomadic peoples, are in danger of cultural extinction. Environmental, economic and political factors are driving nomads from lands they have inhabited for thousands of years and forcing them to abandon their traditional lifestyles. The difficult process of assimilation leaves many impoverished and lacking access to basic services. The Center seeks to preserve the distinctive cultural heritage and linguistic identities of indigenous populations around the world while working to improve their standard of living.The Center will emphasize education and political advocacy in nations where indigenous peoples have traditionally been marginalized. We believe that education is the surest method of increasing the representation of nomadic peoples in society as well as enabling economic empowerment.

Issue Statement  History is littered with examples of conflict between indigenous and expansionist cultures. However, the fragmentary accounts of these interactions almost inevitably represent the viewpoint of only victorious colonizing peoples. This one sided narrative reinforces negative perceptions of tribal peoples as backwards or savage.

“Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law.”

- Article I, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples in modern society are often marginalized and excluded from the economic benefits of the land they have lived on for thousands of years. In general, these conflicts occur when dominant groups seek to use indigenous peoples land for agriculture, settlement or resource extraction. These issues have been tackled to varying degrees by government programs in collaboration with international organizations. However, the avenues of empowerment available to indigenous people are in many cases still limited. Particularly troubling is the difficulty faced by children forced to choose between assimilation or maintaining their cultural identity in the face of destitution and exclusion from modern society.

CISD seeks to raise global awareness of the struggles faced by these too often forgotten peoples through research and advocacy. Our research aims to spread understanding of the variety of tribal, nomadic and indigenous ways of life, as well as those elements of modernization that threaten them. Our programs and projects will build on that knowledge, providing innovative solutions to the peoples with the most pressing need. CISD tries to bridge the cultural gap between nomads and the settled world, and the assistance gap between indigenous peoples and their governments.

CISDs Strategy

CISD aims to bridge the gap between indigenous, nomadic and tribal populations and the rapidly changing societies in which they are enmeshed. Traditional lifestyles are increasingly in danger of extinction as the world continues to move in the direction of urbanization and globalization. CISD  provides a variety of social development services to indigenous, nomadic and tribal peoples while working to maintain their unique cultural and linguistic identities so that individuals may live the lives they choose more easily.CISD recognizes that the most important part of any development project is continuity and community buy-in. Rather than attempting to quickly overhaul a groups lifestyle and then disappearing, CISD approaches our projects with a commitment to understanding the needs of those we are trying to work for and focusing our efforts on providing services that clients want. Essential in this approach is a deeply held commitment to anthropological research and cultural understanding.Our projects are organized around 12 pillars of development that we support depending on the specific requirements of the location. Education, Economic and Social Development, Women’s Issues,  Agriculture,  Democracy / Human Rights, Culture and  Language, Health, Environment, ConflictResolution/Prevention, Migration, Globalization and Urbanization, Self-determination. We believe that these twelve areas are the foundation for a successful society and need to be addressed comprehensively to bring about lasting change.

Personal Message from CISDs Founder

 My vision for the twenty-first century and beyond is make changes in the lives of tribal, nomadic, and indigenous people. Today, there are more than 370 million in today’s world are completely isolated.As a young boy, I would listen to my grandfather talk about his life. He lived in a tribal society and would talk about his exploits or battles; he lived by the sword! My father was more concerned with the pursuit of education and made sure that we went to school. He said that “education is more important than your father’s wealth.” My choice in life was far different than my grandfather’s. I and many of my generation chose to make changes through non-violence, self determination through democratic elections, promotion of human rights, and equal treatment of men and women.

Because we live in a world today that is globally connected it is imperative for us to find ways to make life better for others. In order for peace and prosperity to exist, there must be understanding among the nations, which comes through education. Even in the 21st century, there are parts of the world that have no means to educate and give their children a better life. Economic desperation exists in many continents, i.e., Asia, Africa, Central or South America. Where there is extreme poverty, people are forced to resort to extreme means in order to survive. Given the fact that we can reach any place on this planet in twenty-four hours, we are now truly “one village.”

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