Indigenous people seek a transformational approach to change. They seek reconciliation and a new beginning. This is seen in their relationships with their immediate environment and the consequent attempts to engender sustainability. In Taiwan, colonialism meant that Indigenous communities were displaced and lost many of their languages and defining aspects of their culture. In the Northern Territory, Australian Aboriginal people lived in tight-knit communities, many of which were decimated by the ongoing influence of loss of connection to land and the introduced issues of gambling, illicit drugs, alcohol, unemployment and the consequent family violence. Each of these negative issues came about as a result of the non-Indigenous invasion and colonisation. In Northern Luzon, Philippines, Indigenous communities were similarly decimated by the disempowerment imposed by waves of immigration and colonisation. These Indigenous communities have been stripped of power and identity and often pushed into more remote regions. More recently, Indigenous communities in Taiwan, the Northern Territory and in Northern Luzon have begun to reclaim some control over their lives and destinies. There is a recognition of the need to adapt to life within a largely individualistic and imposed culture. But Indigenous communities are seeking to retain power and control by undergoing these adaptations yet retaining meaningful and trusting relationships within the environment in which they live. Rather than seeking to exploit resources, they choose to live sustainably in an eco-friendly manner. This means retaining a sustainable lifestyle and engaging in eco-tourism. Using examples from Indigenous communities in eastern Taiwan, northern Australia and Northern Luzon, this transformative approach provides a changed perspective with the opportunity for new life chances.
SOURCE: Miller K. (2019) “Transformation: A Change in Perspective.” In: McIntyre-Mills J., Romm N. (eds) Mixed Methods and Cross Disciplinary Research. Contemporary Systems Thinking. Springer, Cham.
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