Bushmen build a fire pit while on a safari in Namibia (GETTY/JENNIFER WEITBRECHT).
August 16, 2018
They are not some exhibit in a living museum so why do they often get treated as such? For many years, Indigenous communities around the world have been bombarded with scientists seeking to learn from man’s earliest ancestors. But, now, some of those communities are pushing back, telling scientists and researchers they are not available to be studied without consultation.
"They don't all respect personal boundaries. They don't think they need to respect us,” Leana Snyders, director of the San Council, said last year in an interview with GroundUp.
Last March, three groups of San people in South Africa established guidelines for researchers. The code of ethics outlined how they expected to be treated. “They must knock on the front door and wait to be let in’. That’s what this code is about. It’s for us to decide to open the door. It’s to stop exploitation,” Snyders said.
Similar codes have been developed by other indigenous people in North America and Australia. On this episode we will speak to members of indigenous communities about what scientists get wrong and learn how they should conduct their research.