Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research

Indigenous Perspectives on Community Economic Development: A North-South Conversation

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research

Indigenous Perspectives on Community Economic Development: A North-South Conversation

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This article analyses an online forum on Indigenous Community-Based Economie Development (CED), in which twenty-two participants from Canada and Latin America shared and reflected on experiences ranging from cultural tourism in Bolivia to a food processing co-op in Northern British Columbia. The forum demonstrated that at least some Indigenous peoples in Canada and Latin America share common values that guide the kind of development they want in their territories and communities; and that their orientation toward collective and participatory approaches to development can be grouped together under the concept of CED. The article has two main conclusions. First, that CED can be understood as a potential path to Indigenous-defined development and complement to self-determination movements. Second, that online media is a viable option for creating spaces for learning and exchange between Indigenous peoples across national and language borders, with the potential to contribute to the creation of translocal networks.

RÉSUMÉ

Cet article analyse un forum en ligne sur les questions autochtones de développement économique communautaire (DEC), où vingt-deux participants du Canada et de l'Amérique latine partagé et réfléchi sur les expériences allant du tourisme culturel en Bolivie à un traitement coopérative alimentaire dans le Nord de la Colombie-Britannique. Le forum a démontré qu'au moins certains des peuples autochtones du Canada et de l'Amérique latine part des valeurs communs qui guident le type de développement qu'ils veulent dans leurs territoires et les communautés, et que leur orientation vers des approches collectives et participatives de développement peuvent être regroupés sous le concept de DEC. L'article a deux principales conclusions. Tout d'abord, que DEC peut être comprise comme une voie potentielle pour les communautés autochtones défini le développement et un complément de mouvements d'autodétermination. Deuxièmement, que les médias en ligne est une option viable pour la création d'espaces d'apprentissage et d'échange entre les peuples autochtones à travers les frontières nationales et linguistiques, avec le potentiel de contribuer à la création de réseaux translocales.

Keywords I Mots clés

Community Economic Development; International development; Indigenous self-determination; Sustainable economic development; Culturally appropriate development / Développement économique communautaire; Développement International; Autodétermination des autochtones; Développement économique durable; Développement culturellement approprié

INTRODUCTION

This article analyses an online forum on Indigenous Community-Based Economic Development (CED), in which twenty-two participants from Canada and Latin America shared and reflected on experiences ranging from cultural tourism in Bolivia to a food processing co-op in Northern British Columbia. The forum was designed as an experiment to explore the extent to which an internet-based, virtual platform could be an effective medium for sharing and learning across boundaries of language and space. The specific goals were to share concrete experiences of how Indigenous communities in Canada and Latin America are implementing community-based economic initiatives, to identify and discuss common values and principles, and to share specific models and strategies. The forum did not explore the political or legal contexts of the participants' countries of residence or larger questions of territorial claims. Rather, the focus was on the specificity of particular initiatives and the values that oriented these processes.

The idea for the forum arose out of a training program in Bolivia engaging traditional Indigenous authorities, municipal officials, and NGO professionals in active learning around the goals and methods of development, a project with which this author has been involved since 2007. The Bolivia training program promotes an asset- based, bottom-up approach to improving community well-being1. …

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