“Maybe the hardest part of leadership—be it leading a company, a family, a relationship or simply your own life—is that often times you don’t know and you still have to act. Leadership in some ways is built on learning to be comfortable with not knowing, with imperfect knowledge, with the inherent uncertainty of it all.”—The Monster In Your Head » Comfortable with Uncertainty (via bijan)
I’m glad to report that the Adventures411 webpage promoting an illegal hunting operation in Mindoro has been taken down. It seems that local authorities and concerned parties have been made aware of its existence, thanks in no small part to sharing links, pictures and details on social networking sites (and reblogging this post. Turns out Tumblr isn’t such a waste of time). Thank you for the attention and concern you’ve invested in this matter. It might seem like a small and almost negligible gesture, but reblogging/forwarding/sharing links make more people take notice. That’s the first step, really.
The story appeared twice on a local publication in Mindoro (you can read the articles here and here) barely two days since links to the website were posted and shared on Facebook. Inquirer, just now, has picked up the story, reporting that the DENR is taking action and, along with the NBI, looking further into the matter.
Let’s hope that the government, together with Mindoro’s local authorities, wildlife bureau and residents, work together on this investigation to shut down that operation for good, and hold all those behind it accountable.
You can report anything that you may know or find out about illegal hunting activity in Mindoro, Marinduque, Palawan, or Romblon to the DENR. The Inquirer article lists the following contact details for anyone with information regarding the issue: 405-0323, 09173029257 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
“What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneliness, and say, ‘This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned and you with it, dust of the dust!’ Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, ‘Never have I heard anything more divine’?”— Friedrich Nietzsche (via aiai) (via thisjustin)
Villar has a subdivision in Pavia, Iloilo called “Savannah.” Some 12.7 hectares of Savannah were first-class irrigated rice lands which Villar’s company converted into residential land. The CARP law prohibits the conversion of irrigated rice lands to other uses, the reason being to safeguard food production. However, Villar’s company was able to make the Department of Agrarian Reform issue a conversion order.
What we see is a pattern under which Villar’s subdivisions benefited from undue advantage allegedly because of influence peddling in government.
To millions of “Twilight” fans, the Quileute are Indians whose (fictional) ancient treaty transforms young males of the tribe into vampire-fighting wolves. To the nearly 700 remaining Quileute Indians, “Twilight” is the reason they are suddenly drawing extraordinary attention from the outside — while they themselves remain largely excluded from the vampire series’ vast commercial empire.
Just last month, MSN.com issued an apology to the Quileute for intruding on its territory while videotaping a “Twilight” virtual tour in September. MSN.com sought permission from the Chamber of Commerce in nearby Forks, Wash., but didn’t pay the same courtesy to the Quileute. The video team trespassed onto a reservation cemetery and taped Quileute graves, including those of esteemed tribal leaders. These images were then set to macabre music and, in November, posted on MSN.com. The tribe quickly persuaded MSN.com to remove the Quileute images.
But this was only one episode in the story of the tribe’s phenomenal, and apparently increasing, new fame. “Twilight” has made all things Quileute wildly popular: Nordstrom.com sells items from Quileute hoodies to charms bearing a supposed Quileute werewolf tattoo. And a tour company hauls busloads of fans onto the Quileute reservation daily. Yet the tribe has received no payment for this commercial activity. Meanwhile, half of Quileute families still live in poverty.
It’s important to point out that the outside uses of the Quileute name, from the “Twilight” books to the tattoo jewelry, are quite likely legal. American intellectual property laws, except in very specific circumstances, do not protect indigenous peoples’ collective cultural property.
In fact, many businesses use tribal names without involving the Indians themselves. Consider, for example, well-known products like Jeep Cherokee trucks, Oneida flatware and Apache helicopters — none of which are officially associated with Indian tribes. (The Quileute say they have never been contacted by Ms. Meyer or any of those who use the Quileute name for merchandising.)
The most significant federal law that addresses the marketing of Indian cultural goods — the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, passed in 1935 — is meant to ensure truth in advertising. It requires that any artistic products claiming to have a tribal origin are in fact produced by that tribe. Hopi kachina dolls, for example, must be Hopi-made. But it does not come into play for the Quileute hoodies, jewelry or other goods, because there is no claim they were made by the Quileute.
So what can be done? Even absent legal protection, the Quileute should be able to have a say in, and benefit financially from, outsiders’ use of their cultural property.
Many Indian tribes develop markets for their own cultural property — or at least the part of it that is not deemed sacred and therefore private. Some have introduced culturally appropriate commercial products — Navajo rugs, for example, or Potawatomi porcupine-quill earrings — to educate non-Indians about their traditions or to earn a living.
The Quileute are likewise eager to share their tribal culture, even if the interest in it was created primarily by Hollywood. The Quileute welcome outsiders, as my own interactions with them have confirmed. When hordes of “Twilight” fans showed up in La Push in 2008, the tribe, as a sovereign Indian nation, could have closed its reservation, but tribal members chose not to do so.
At the same time, like indigenous peoples around the globe, the Quileute want to be meaningful participants in the treatment of their own cultural property. This means, first and foremost, having their sovereignty and their culture respected by outsiders. The Quileute’s Web site tells visitors about the tribal laws that govern Quileute territory. One of these laws specifies that burial grounds and religious ceremonies are “sacred and not to be entered.” Had MSN acknowledged the tribe as a sovereign government, it might not have broken that rule.