Indigenous Affairs 3-4/08: Being Indigenous in today's world
Key note speech by Johnson Malih Ole Kaunga at IWGIA’s 40th anniversary celebration
When I was asked to give a key-note address on this auspicious moment of IWGIA’s 40th anniversary, I found it a challenge for a number of reasons. First, I had only known IWGIA for about 10 years. Second, I am five years younger than IWGIA and, looking round the audience, I may well be the one with the least experience of the key issues in front of us for discussion. Nevertheless, I find this a grand opportunity and a great honour for me to express my thoughts and share my experiences of the last 12 years on the frontline of the Kenyan pastoralists’ struggle for recognition, rights, representation and territorial and cultural/ heritage resources. I don’t claim to have universal suffrage to represent the pastoralist indigenous groups in Kenya; however, I understand the critical issues that are affecting and undermining their efforts and rights to have secure livelihoods like other Kenyans. What’s more, I am a pastoralist myself and I have these issues passionately in my heart.