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Inter‐Indigenous development aid: markets, corporations, and biases

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The Canadian government and the Meadow Lake Tribal Council sponsored a forest extraction corporation in eastern Nicaragua that restructured 16 Miskitu and Mayangna villages and transformed local human‐environment interactions. The Central American aid project demonstrated paternalistic and interventionist tendencies and exposed biases in inter‐Indigenous aid that rendered it inseparable from conventional aid. This case encourages reflection on social and ecological impacts from the marketing of collective resources, the creation of Indigenous development corporations, and the decision‐making criteria and processes driving foreign aid. The case study demonstrates how foreign aid programs targeting Indigenous Peoples may actually thwart the self‐determination that they set out to encourage. Aid agencies and business partners, who had limited knowledge of local cultures and institutions, created externally defined rules that instigated resource conflicts and undermined the authority of customary leaders without resolving poverty or uneven development.
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Richmond

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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