Why is it important understand the Fourth World perspective? First it must be understood that Fourth World Nations are a hidden reality which is only recently becoming apparent to the general public: Fourth World nations--denotes nations without states. This meaning emphasizes the non-recognition or exclusion of often ethnically or religiously defined groups from the political and economic world system. Examples of Fourth World nations include the Roma in Europe, pre-WWII Ashkenazi in the region of the Pale of Settlement, Kurds and Palestinians in the Middle East, and Native American Nations/First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiians and Indian peoples throughout the Americas.
Chief George Manuel (1929 - 1989), the noted leader of the world's Fourth World nations gave political meaning to the expression "Fourth World" when he lead the formation of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples and advocated global recognition of the rights of Fourth World peoples.
These Fourth World nations have a direct influence over events, territories and natural resources that daily affect the lives of people world-wide. For example, the Ijaw have a great deal to do with global access to sweet crude oil in the delta region of Nigeria when some of their leaders block production of oil there (a 25% reduction in one year). Fourth World nations in Pashtunistan (read an earlier Fourth World Eye story) are the central concern of those states' government leaders concern with finding Osama ben Laden. The views and decisions of Fourth World peoples in Pashtunistan are pivotal.
We all must understand and respect Fourth World nations for their central role in our lives, even though we are generally unaware of them. They play major roles in our political, economic, social and cultural life. They play a major part in our health whether environmental or medicinal. We can improve our understand here at Fourth World Eye. What is clear…Fourth World nations not only play an important role in
our lives, but constraints put on them by governments, corporations and the like drive them to want their freedom too.
(c) 2007 Center for World Indigenous Studies
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