Issue

Indigenous Communities

Three hundred and seventy million Indigenous people from more than 5,000 Indigenous communities speak more than 4,000 languages and are spread across over 90 countries. Representing just 5 percent of the world’s population, Indigenous communities protect about 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Because of widespread discrimination, Indigenous people make up 15 percent of the world’s extreme poor and are disproportionately affected by land theft, malnutrition, and internal displacement compared to other communities. 

The challenges facing Indigenous communities come from centuries-long systems of oppression. Today, Indigenous people are being accused of terrorism and treason for undertaking peaceful efforts to maintain their cultural identity or traditional lands. Journalism can shed light on discriminatory practices and conflicts underpinning these challenges and many more, from root causes to examples of resilience. Quality journalism can elevate voices from Indigenous communities and should dispel stereotypes. Part of this misrepresentation is the result of a lack of Indigenous voices and stories in traditional media. A survey of members of the News Leaders Association showed that less than 0.05 percent of journalists in leading media outlets are Native American and a Nieman report found that Indigenous people represented only 0.6 percent of people portrayed in stories by the 20 most-trafficked internet news sites.  The Pulitzer Center is uniquely positioned to bring these often under-reported or misreported issues and under-represented perspectives to new audiences. 

These stories include High Country News years-long investigation into Indigenous land theft to benefit America’s public universities, “Nowhere to Turn,” a project uncovering the inequitable treatment of Alaska Native sexual assault survivors published by both The Associated Press and National Native News, and “Panama at the Crossroads,” an interactive multimedia project by Sol Lauría and Guido Bilbao uplifting the decades-long fight for land protection by the Gnäbe and Buglé people.   

 

Indigenous Communities

Reclaiming Land for Survival

Gamella Indians of Maranhão reclaim their ancestral lands from the hands of landowners and regenerate Amazonian flora and fauna.

Nowhere to Turn

In remote villages of rural Alaska, Native women and girls who suffer high rates of sexual violence are frustrated by what they call an ongoing legacy of indifference from authorities.

Panama at the Crossroads

Heavy machinery is cutting a new road to untouched Caribbean beaches. Extractive industries are threatening the Darien's forests. Who owns these lands? Their ancestral inhabitants are ready to fight.

Oji-Cree Youth: Connecting Cultures

For individuals and families living in the remote First Nations reserve of St. Theresa Point, life teeters between traditional expectations and encroaching Western influences, producing a lifelong tension.

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