Maasai speak out for the Bushmen

May 20, 2004

This page was created in 2004 and may contain language which is now outdated.

Maasai from Kenya and Indians from Canada protested outside the
Botswana High Commission in London yesterday about the government's
treatment of the Bushmen, which they say mirrors the destructive
treatment carried out by the governments of  their own countries.

The Maasai held placards proclaiming 'Bushmen have a right to their
land' and 'Respect the rights of the Bushmen'.

Napes Ashini, an Innu man from eastern Canada, said, 'The Innu were
nomadic hunter-gatherers like the Bushmen. We were coerced into
settling in permanent villages by the Canadian government and now we
are seeing the devastating consequences of that policy. Our
communities suffer from chronic alcoholism and drug abuse, and have
the highest suicide rates in the world. My own son killed himself
because he was confused about his identity as an Innu. We don't want
to see the same tragic fate for the Bushmen. They should be allowed
to live on their own land and hunt for their own food, and choose
their own way of life. Without their land, they will not survive.'