Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

Although many also celebrate the Indigenous People’s Day for the precolumbian inhabitants of the Americas on the 8th October, today is the UN International Indigenous People’s Day across the world, and a time when we bring you a short illustration by scientific cartoonist Alexa Garín Fernandez about a lesser known indigenous group currently occupied and extracted by Chile together with many smiling multinationals. But every day is indigenous people’s day, so we hope to bring you more viewpoints from indigenous groups as the mapuche struggle against state repression and the global fight to defend the land against extractivism continues to intensify. 

In Chile 9 indigenous peoples are currently recognised: Aimara or Aymara, Atacama People(Lican Antai-Likanantai), Collas, Diaguitas, Kawashkar or Alacalufe, Mapuche, Quechuas, Rapa Nui, and Yámana or Yagán. 

Other groups, such as the Selk’nam, and Chango peoples are also fighting for legal recognition.

(Flags depicted are: Rapa Nui, Aymara (Whiphala), Mapuche, Kawashkar and Selk’nam)
The Rapa Nui people live in the island of Rapa Nui which means Big Rapa. 

Although Chilean indigenous law recognises them as “Pascuenses” (Easter Island people), this term for many is derogatory and is not seen to represent the people and their culture. Let’s avoid calling them “Pascuenses” in Chile, and let’s add Rapa Nui to the vocabulary instead.

It’s Rapa Nui.

Even though Rapa Nui had its own population, culture and history, the “discovery” was made by Dutch explorer Jacobo Roggeween, who renamed it Easter Island, because he landed there on Easter Sunday in 1722. 
Unfortunately, (neo)colonial invisibilisation affects the Rapa Nui people to this day.
After its annexation to Chile, and until today, Rapa Nui wishes have not been respected. Privatisation and loss of land, reduction of their culture into a tourist product, poverty, theft of their ancestral heritage are some of the injustices that demand an immediate solution.   

I’d like to add that this annexation was done by entrusting the island to the “Easter Island Exploitation Society”, a Scottish company(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamson-Balfour_Company) . 

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