vrijdag 19 november 2010

Iceland (Ísland)...

First Americans 'reached Europe five centuries before Columbus discoveries'Scientists claim first Americans arrived long before Columbus bumped into an island in the Bahamas in 1492

Christopher Columbus did not introduce the first native Americans to Europe, according to new research.

When Christopher Columbus paraded his newly discovered American Indians through the streets of Spanish towns at the end of the 15th century, he was not in fact introducing the first native Americans to Europe, according to new research.

Scientists who have studied the genetic past of an Icelandic family now claim the first Americans reached Europe a full five centuries before Columbus bumped into an island in the Bahamas during his first voyage of discovery in 1492.

Researchers said today that a woman from the Americas probably arrived in Iceland 1,000 years ago, leaving behind genes that are reflected in about 80 Icelanders today.

The link was first detected among inhabitants of Iceland, home to one of the most thorough gene-mapping programs in the world, several years ago.

Initial suggestions that the genes may have arrived via Asia were ruled out after samples showed they had been in Iceland since the early 18th century, before Asian genes began appearing among Icelanders.

Investigators discovered the genes could be traced to common ancestors in the south of Iceland, near the Vatnajˆkull glacier, in around 1710.

"As the island was practically isolated from the 10th century onwards, the most probable hypothesis is that these genes correspond to an Amerindian woman who was taken from America by the Vikings some time around the year 1000," Carles Lalueza-Fox, of the Pompeu Fabra university in Spain, said.

Norse sagas suggest the Vikings discovered the Americas centuries before Columbus got there in 1492.

A Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, in the eastern Canadian region of Terranova, is thought to date to the 11th century.

Researchers said they would keep trying to determine when the Amerindian genes first arrived in Iceland.

"So far, we have got back to the early 18th century, but it would be interesting to find the same sequence further back in Icelandic history," Lalueza-Fox said.

The genetic research, made public by Spain's Centre for Scientific Research, was due to be published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Conclusions of the scientific article:
We have identified four different matrilines carrying the C1e lineage in the Icelandic mtDNA pool, with the earliest known ancestors of each born: 1720 (1), 1740 (2), 1710 (3), and 1720 (4). All four ancestors were geographical neighbors in Iceland, with 1, 2, and 3 from the county of Rangarvallarsysla and 4 from the adjacent county of Vestur Skaftafellssysla. This supports the notion of a matrilineal MRCA for the four ancestors born in Iceland after the time of settlement in 870. If it is assumed that ancestors 1, 2, 3, and 4 were all sisters or very close matrilineal relatives, then the MRCA and latest possible arrival date of the C1e lineage in Iceland could be dated to around or just before 1700. However, there are at least three reasons to assume an earlier entry date for the Icelandic C1e lineage. First, even if it is assumed that the MRCA of 1, 2, 3, and 4 was born close to 1700, the lineage could still have been present in Iceland for hundreds of years before that time. Indeed, although most matrilines in contemporary Icelanders are expected to be derived from the settlement period, only 8% of them can be traced beyond 1500, due to the cumulative impact of missing genealogical data. Second, it is unlikely that we have identified all C1e matrilines in the Icelandic mtDNA pool and each additional matriline increases the likelihood of an earlier date for the MRCA and therefore an earlier date for the most conservative entry date estimate. Third, although the fixed mutation at position 13567 in matriline 4 does not rule out a close relationship between its ancestor and those of 1, 2, and 3, it is more consistent with an MRCA some generations earlier because of the slow rate of mutation in the coding region. Thus, it is possible and perhaps even probable that the C1e lineage entered the Icelandic mtDNA pool prior to Columbus's rediscovery of the Americas.

Although the complete sequence of the Icelandic C1 lineage fully resolved its position in the human mtDNA tree, the mystery surrounding the lineage's geographical origin has only deepened. This is because there are no other known human mtDNA sequences that belong to C1e out of the 6747 complete sequences available in the literature (van Oven and Kayser, 2009). A simple argument in favor of a Native American origin of C1e is the fact that three of the four previously characterized C1 subclades are associated with these groups and the vast majority of C1 sequences in the literature have been sampled from individuals of Native American ancestry. Most of these sequences are limited to the control region, which includes sites that are characteristic of C1, but none that can be reliably used to determine membership in C1e. We identified 980 C1 sequences in a database of 32,193 control region sequences from the literature, of which 152 could be assigned to C1 subclades based on control region mutations (16356C for C1a, 493G for C1b, and 16051G for C1d). An additional 274 sequences that did not include all these sites were inferred to be members of C1a, C1b, or C1d on the basis of shared rare mutations with longer C1 sequences that could be directly assigned to these subclades. From the remaining unclassified 554 C1 sequences, we attempted to pick out possible C1e candidates, using the criteria of one mutational difference from C1e when sequences were available for only hypervariable segment 1 (HVS1) or 2 (HVS2) and two mutational differences when both HVS1 and HVS2 sequences were available. The result was a shortlist of 276 sequences that we suggest be checked first for C1e coding region mutations (Supp. Info. Table S3). We note that for the sequences for which geographical information is available, all but two were sampled from individuals with Native American ancestry—i.e. from the Canary Islands and Germany. The German sequence (Pfeiffer et al., 2001) represents a perfect match to the Icelandic C1e for the short HVS1 fragment spanning sites 16024–16365. This raises the intriguing, but perhaps unlikely, hypothesis that C1e is a European-specific subclade of C1, following the precedent of the European and Native American subclades of mtDNA haplogroup X2 (Brown et al., 1998; Reidla et al., 2003). However, given the dense sampling of mtDNA variation in European populations, it is clear that C1e is exceedingly rare, a fact that weighs against a hypothesis of antiquity in Europe.

Assuming that C1e has a Native American origin, it seems most likely that it would be found in individuals that trace their matrilineal ancestry to the north-eastern coastline of North America, where the pre-Columbian contact with Icelanders may have taken place. This poses a problem for the hunt of C1e in the Americas, as Native Americans from North America are somewhat undersampled compared to groups from other regions of the world and may contain many mtDNA lineages that have not yet been encountered in the literature (Malhi et al., 2010). One likely candidate C1e sequence, found in individuals with Native American matrilineal ancestry from Quebec in Canada (Moreau et al., 2009), was quickly ruled out. It exhibited the same control region mutations as the Icelandic C1e sequence, with one additional 150T mutation. Further examination ruled out C1e status, based on a complete Canadian sequence (EU431086 from Achilli et al., 2008) that carried the same set of control region mutations, but was classified as C1c based on coding region mutations.

Given the rather drastic population size reductions that resulted from the actions of Europeans after 1492, it is quite possible that the C1e lineage was once carried by, but has now been lost from, contemporary individuals with Native American matrilineal ancestry. Thus, ancient DNA may play an important role in determining the origin of the C1e lineage. It is therefore intriguing to note that several ancient mtDNA sequences from Native Americans are found in Supporting Information Table S3. Among them are sequences from the skeletal remains of Oneota individuals from a cemetery in Illinois (Stone and Stoneking, 1998) and individuals from the Caribbean islands (Lalueza-Fox et al., 2001). From the latter study, a bone sample from a pre-Columbian Taino from Hispaniola (Lalueza-Fox et al., 2001) was tested by C.L.F. in Barcelona for five coding-region mutations characteristic of the Icelandic C1e lineage (Supp. Info. Table S4 and supplementary methods), but it was revealed to carry none of them.

The mystery surrounding the geographical origin of the Icelandic C1e lineage will remain until additional members are found in other populations—ancient or contemporary. Until then, we propose that the most likely hypothesis is that the Icelandic voyages to the Eastern coastline of the Americas resulted in the migration of at least one Native American woman carrying the C1e lineage to Iceland around the year 1000.

Ebenesersdóttir, S. S., Sigurðsson, Á., Sánchez-Quinto, F., Lalueza-Fox, C., Stefánsson, K. and Helgason, A. , A new subclade of mtDNA haplogroup C1 found in icelanders: Evidence of pre-columbian contact?. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, n/a. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21419


dinsdag 16 november 2010

Canada: Nisga'a (1978 doc.)


Canada: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples/ ONU Déclaration des Droits des Peuples Autochtones

National chief welcomes move to endorse UN native rights document
John Ward
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—Canada formally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on Friday three years after being just one of four countries to vote against the pact.

The move, announced at UN headquarters in New York, was welcomed as a positive development by the Assembly of First Nations.

“It’s something that the welcome,” said Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

The endorsement of the declaration — non-binding statement of principles for dealing with native groups — fulfills a pledge made in the speech from the throne last March.

A government news release said of the declaration: “It sets out a number of principles that should guide harmonious and co-operative relationships between indigenous peoples and states, such as equality, partnership, good faith and mutual respect. Canada strongly supports these principles.”

Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan said the endorsement of the document is part of an effort by the government to strengthen its relationship with aboriginal peoples.

“Canada’s aboriginal leadership has spoken with passion on the importance of endorsing the declaration,” Duncan added. “Today’s announcement represents another important milestone on the road to respect and co-operation.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said the move shows Canada remains committed to promoting and protecting the rights of natives.

Canada _along with Australia, New Zealand and the United States _ voted against the declaration when it was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2007.

At the time, the government said it objected to some of the wording, including articles dealing with lands and resources and self -government. It said many of these rights should be negotiated, not imposed by the UN.

Now, it says it has decided it’s better to endorse the declaration and explain its concerns, rather than reject the whole document.

The document, hammered out over 20 years of talks between diplomats and representatives of aboriginal groups from around the world, says indigenous peoples have a number of rights __to their lands, culture, and languages, among other things _ and that governments should work to protect these rights.

Atleo said he’s pressed hard for the endorsement, saying he’s raised it at every meeting he’s had with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The national chief said he’s not worried that the declaration isn’t binding and does nothing to change Canadian law.

“I think it has an important role,” he said. “It can provide us with a framework, with a guide, if you will.

“For example, one of the articles says indigenous peoples have the right to design education systems that work for them and let’s get on with the work of forging a much better reality for First Nations education success.”

He said it’s a symbol: “It suggests that we have work to do and it’s got to be done jointly.”

Atleo said the formal endorsement is “a signal being made by Canada that they are prepared to work in partnership with us.”

But he said much remains to be done.

“It needs to be about action,” he said. “The endorsement is welcome, now it’s about, let’s set out a work plan that’s going to achieve real change for the people.”


FAQ's (English/Français)

Le Canada signera la déclaration de l'ONU
Ottawa se résout finalement à adopter la Déclaration des Nations unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones.

Un représentant canadien a déclaré mardi, lors d'une réunion de l'Instance permanente de l'ONU sur les questions autochtones, que son pays allait signer ce « document de référence » dans les prochains mois.

Fred Caron, sous-ministre adjoint au bureau de l'Interlocuteur auprès des Métis, a affirmé que son gouvernement s'y était engagé dans le discours du Trône du 3 mars dernier et qu'il respecterait sa promesse, selon un compte rendu des discussions publié par l'ONU.

Le Canada fait partie des deux derniers pays, avec les États-Unis, à ne pas avoir encore ratifié la Déclaration sur les droits des autochtones, adoptée par l'Assemblée générale de l'ONU en 2007.

À l'époque, Ottawa jugeait le texte flou et s'inquiétait qu'il donne lieu à toutes sortes d'interprétation, concernant notamment de potentielles revendications territoriales.

L'Australie, qui s'était aussi abstenue de ratifier la déclaration en 2007, l'a fait en 2009. La Nouvelle-Zélande lui a emboîté le pas lundi dernier.

Les États-Unis réexaminent leur position
Reste Washington, qui a promis mardi de « revoir sa position ». L'ambassadrice américaine à l'ONU, Susan Rice, a affirmé que la Maison-Blanche mènerait des consultations à ce sujet avec les organisations non gouvernementales concernées et les communautés autochtones.

« Ne doutez pas de notre engagement, car nous sommes prêts à être jugés sur nos actes », a déclaré Mme Rice lors de la réunion consacrée aux Premières Nations.

Selon un communiqué publié par l'ONU, l'Instance permanente sur les questions autochtones s'est réjouie des engagements canadiens et américains.

Mais les représentants autochtones, présents à la réunion, ont tout de même réitéré leurs vives critiques face au « modèle de développement occidental », qu'ils jugent « fondé sur le profit immédiat » et « irrespectueux de l'environnement ».

Ils déplorent que leurs communautés subissent les conséquences de la pollution, de l'élévation du niveau de la mer, de la contamination de l'eau et de l'air et de la surexploitation de leurs terres ancestrales.

Ils demandent donc que les autochtones soient impliqués dans toutes les décisions qui ont potentiellement une incidence négative sur leur mode et leur qualité de vie.

Reconnaissant que les politiques de développement canadiennes ont trop souvent eu des impacts néfastes pour les Premières Nations, le sous-ministre adjoint Fred Caron a dit que son gouvernement est déterminé à prendre des mesures, en collaboration avec les collectivités autochtones, « pour assurer un présent et un futur meilleurs ».

maandag 15 november 2010

Bolivia: entrevista al vicepresidente


woensdag 10 november 2010


Conservation expedition 'poses risk to tribes'
By Victoria Gill
Science and nature reporter, BBC News

A conservation expedition to a remote area of Paraguay poses a risk to isolated tribal groups, according to an indigenous peoples' protection group.

Scientists from London's Natural History Museum (NHM) aim to record biodiversity in the Dry Chaco region.

An open letter from Iniciativa Amotocodie (IA) to the NHM has highlighted a dilemma: how to balance the need for research against the risks of disturbing indigenous communities.

IA says the trip should be called off.

But the museum, which is collaborating with Paraguayan colleagues in the project, said it was taking measures to ensure that the expedition would not threaten indigenous tribes.

A museum press statement said: "We always take advice on these issues from the relevant national authorities, as we are doing in Paraguay."

The Dry Chaco, a semi-arid lowland area that stretches into Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil, is one of the few places where there are still isolated groups of Ayoreo people.

These tribes have never had contact with the outside world.

The team of British and Paraguayan biologists and botanists hope to find undiscovered species of plants, insects and animals in the region.

They hope the expedition will help to draw attention to the need to protect the habitat, which is under threat from the expansion of logging and intensive agriculture.

But Benno Glauser, director of Iniciativa Amotocodie, told BBC News that any contact with tribal groups during the trip could have "fatal consequences".

He said there was a risk of "surprise contact" because the scientists had to "move around in a very silent way in order to observe animals".

Mr Glauser told the BBC's Today Programme: "We know of three isolated indigenous groups in the area targeted by the expedition.

"They live in completely virgin forest... it makes them vulnerable to any external intrusion."

New encounters

The letter has highlighted the risks associated with carrying out research in such remote regions.

Professor Richard Lane, head of science at the Natural History Museum, told BBC News: "We've considered the whole expedition from the very beginning.

"We have sought local advice from our guides to ensure there will be no inappropriate contact."

The team has also collaborated with Ayoreo representatives in the form of the National Union for the Ayoreo in Paraguay (UNAP).

"Most recently, our collaborators have enlisted an Ayoreo elder, who has volunteered to guide our team in the forest," Professor Lane added.

The charity Survival International has joined the debate.

But Jonathan Mazower, advocacy director for Survival, said that the tribes often perceived outsiders as hostile, and any unexpected encounters could turn violent.

But he did not suggest the trip should be abandoned. Instead, he said it should be moved to a different part of the Chaco.

"[It] is a vast area, but this expedition plans to go to an area that, despite being very remote, is known to be the ancestral home of the Ayoreo tribe," he told BBC News.

There are about 5,000 Ayoreo people in total. Survival International estimates that just 200 are still "uncontacted".

Mr Mazower said that these people were "permanently on the run" from cattle ranchers that were clearing the forest.

"Previously, when they have been contacted, there have been violent encounters," he told BBC News.

"And they are nomads, so it's impossible to know where they are at any one time."

Many of those Ayoreo who have moved out of the forest voluntarily have suffered appalling health problems, particularly from respiratory infections including tuberculosis.

Their isolation leaves them with no natural immunity to such infections.

Professor Lane said that the museum and its partners in the expedition had no interest in contacting isolated tribes during the trip.

"We are targeting protected areas because, many areas of forest of the Chaco have already been cut down, so they are of little interest for a scientific expedition," he said.

The museum plans to go ahead with the expedition and hopes that it will help "governments and conservation groups better understand how to manage fragile habitats and protect them for future generations".

Reel Injun

Op Nederlandse TV: AVRO CLOSE UP: dinsdag 16 november, 23 uur, Nederland 2
On Dutch TV: AVRO CLOSE UP, Tuesday, november 16, 23h/11pm, Nederland 2

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