The Western view of native people is a cliched mixture of misinformation. The prevailing view has often been that indigenous peoples were merely obstacles to the onward march of progress. Even now the echoes of history remain strong.
Today, however, the lands of indigenous peoples are the new frontier full of the raw materials coveted by industrial society. This new colonization recalls the old: the same impetus to ‘civilise’ exists today in the minds of political leaders, World Bank officials and transnational corporations. Yet it is an ill-disguised bonanza with no thought for the long-term effects on the land, or the people who live there. Only the elimination of the colonial relationship itself can lead to a partnership of cultures.