Mapping of Indigenous Cultural Resources

Mapping of Indigenous Cultural Resources
  • © Nigel Crawhall
  • Mapping with the San from the Kalahari Desert

UNESCO hopes to contribute to enhancing the identity of indigenous communities and fostering a sense of multicultural citizenship within the Organization’s Member States.

UNESCO considers it a matter of priority:

    • to encourage efforts to stabilize and revitalize the cultural identities of displaced, fragmented, and stigmatized indigenous communities;
    • to revive intergenerational cooperation and cohesion;
    • to assist in the free transmittal of knowledge to future generations that are the crucial aspects to sustainable intellectual, spiritual, social, and economic development.

The project endeavors to reinforce links between UNESCO’s various fields of competence by recognizing indigenous realities, and encouraging the adoption of national policies that respect the cultural resources of indigenous peoples with the acknowledgement of their cultural rights. The workshops will include exchanges between indigenous and non-indigenous experts in the hope that they will contribute to the sharing of knowledge and best practices related to cultural pluralism.

The mapping of indigenous cultural resources carried out by indigenous communities is a crucial step toward demonstrating that cultural diversity is a means to enrichment for society. As such, UNESCO will continue to support pilot projects at work in the field. Projects operating around the globe would create numerous opportunities for interactions between knowledgeable people. Training and consultation activities in this area and the development of methodological tools could also benefit some of the most marginalized communities.

Examples of pilot projects and case studies:

1. "Written in the sand – Auditing and Managing Cultural Resources with Displaced Indigenous Peoples"
By Nigel Crawhall
South African San Institute in co-operation with UNESCO’s Office in Windhoek

2. "One Minority People - A Report on the Banabans"
By Gerard Hindmarch
UNESCO Office in Apia

3. "Study on Descendants of Indentured Melanesian Laborers in Samoa"
A report by Nacanieli S. Tuivavalagi
UNESCO Office in Apia

4. "Cultural Mapping and Indigenous Peoples"
A report for UNESCO by Peter Poole

5. Recovery of the Maya oral literature from Yucatan
ONG Ethnic A

6. Rescate, Sistematizacion del Idioma Uru Mataqu
ONG Taller de Historia Oral Andina

7. Voices in the Forest – a Participatory and Collaborative Cultural Resource Auditing among the Indigenous Communities of Northern Mindanao
The Research Institute for Mindanao Culture based at Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao, Philippines.
Coordinator: Dr. Erlinda M. Burton

8. Cultural Diversity and Development in the Ticuna’s Amazonian Region
By Juan José Vieco

9. Levons le silence! Protection des ressources culturelles des Pygmées du Gabon et leur intégration dans le processus de développement ONG PRECED and the UNESCO Office in Libreville

  • Start Date: 05-12-2003   End Date: 31-03-2008