August 26, 2006

Indigenous people respected (believe it or not)

Three Countries Respect Indigenous CultureMany adults in the United States express pride in their country’s Native American heritage, according to a poll by Roy Morgan International. 70 per cent of respondents believe indigenous culture is an essential component of American society.

Australia was next on the list of the three nations surveyed with 69 per cent, followed by New Zealand with 58 per cent. The percentage of Australian respondents who acknowledged the contribution of Aboriginal culture increased by five points since 2000, while in New Zealand, the number of respondents who endorsed Maori culture went up by nine points.


Anonymous said...

I wonder about the 30% of Americans who said NO on this question. How many of them were confused, and how many are ill-willed (angry that Custer and Jackson didn't finish the job)?

Rob said...

Good point. If 30% of Americans don't respect Native cultures, does that mean they're prejudiced against Indians? That's a huge bloc of bigotry for Indians to overcome.

And as someone noted, what about Canadians? With their prominent aboriginal cultures, why aren't they in the top three countries in terms of respecting Natives? Is Canada a hotbed of anti-Indian sentiment?

Anonymous said...

...and how many of the New Zealanders (who came in third) did not have an increased respect for Maori, but were instead thinking of the vibrant Hobbit, Orc, and Rohirrim horseclan cultures which the recent Peter Jackson films showcased? That's the only one big thing to happen in recent years in New Zealand. What else could explain the sudden 9% jump?

Rob said...

At, we post stories about the Maori once or twice a week. I don't follow this news much, but they just installed a new king and are negotiating settlements of various claims. There's also the recent movie Whale Rider, which gained critical acclaim.

Overall, I bet the Maori are in the news about as much as the Natives in the US, Canada, or Australia. We may not see it from our vantage point, but that says more about us than it does about them.