Indigenous peoples in many parts of today’s world are facing very tough situations indeed, as the quest for resources by mainstream societies – especially corporations and banks – grows relentlessly. In many ways, a paradigm of genocide or ethnocide was laid out during the 15th-19th centuries in North and South America, Australia, parts of Africa (the ‘Hottentots’ in South Africa, and many tribes exterminated through the slave trade) and other places penetrated by European colonists and traders.
The pattern goes further back too: Boodicca (Boadicea), as queen of the Iceni tribe in eastern England (approximately present-day Norfolk), rebelled against Roman rule in 60AD when tax demands became unbearable through enslavement of people who could not pay. She managed to unite several tribes, and wipe out a Roman legion, but after her defeat, the Iceni were enslaved and exterminated en masse. Similarly, the Spanish conquered the Canary Islands and exterminated and/or enslaved the native people living there, known as Guanches, whose previous population is estimated at 80,000, and whose culture was pretty much erased between the 1480s and 1540s.
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