Never drink from the same cup. Proceedings of the conference on Indigenous Peoples in Africa
The present volume contains the papers that came out of a conference on "The Question of Indigenous Peoples in Africa" jointly organised by The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) and the Centre for Development Research (CDR) in Copenhagen. It is not the intention that the papers contained in this volume provide an exhaustive tour of indigenous groups of people in Africa or of all problems encountered by them. The papers represent a first attempt to mark out a path along which to tread when seeking to come to grips with the situation of African minority populations that perceive of themselves as indigenous. Others may wish to follow in these footsteps. Some will go on to redefine issues, seek alternative directions, and probably come up with quite different ideas and ways of grasping the problems. The aim of the conference was to open up to debate of the question of whether we are justified in applying the concept of "indigenous peoples" in Africa. Some indigenous representatives had no problem with being thus labelled, whereas others felt that the concept did not pertain to them at all. Still others sought to redefine it in such a way as to make better sense if and when applied. Those who are keen to listen to the voices of indigenous peoples themselves may learn from it. Researchers and experts sat down for three days and listened, learnt and talked. Indigenous people listened to each other and to the researchers. Everybody was a little wiser afterwards. The book contains some of the things that were said.