Art, Books October 11, 2010 By Sarah Coleman

Himba Headman Namibia, 2007

Himba Headman, Namibia, 2007

Obama has been meeting with tribal leaders, and we’re hopeful that the US will sign the declaration next year. I hope President Obama will also make a formal apology. It’s an ongoing issue, so people who would like to get involved should definitely do so. In the press section of my website,, there’s a link to a Huffington Post story where you can click through to send a letter asking the president to support the declaration.

Your nonprofit is called Tribes in Transition. How do you think indigenous tribes should deal with the transition to contemporary life and technology?
That’s a very big, important question. I think those kinds of decisions have to be made by indigenous peoples in their own councils. Technology is here, and the world is going to be united in that way. But what happens to a culture when people text and don’t talk any more?
     The last journey I made for the book was to Bhutan. I had the honor of meeting with Kunzang Choden, a great feminist writer there. She talked about how the country has changed dramatically. In 2000, they allowed television in for the first time. Now, almost every house has a TV and a computer. In the book, there’s an image of a young boy there. He’s at a Buddhist ceremony, and he’s holding a toy rifle. The boys were running around the temple with toy rifles, shooting each other, as a result of seeing Hollywood and Bollywood movies.

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