RUNA. Indigenous identity and heritage in the 21st century

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The right of indigenous peoples to define their identities and to lobby for national policies that respect their views and lifeways, highlights the need for national curricula in schools and colleges globally to include more inclusive approaches to the teaching of subjects like history and archaeology in schools and colleges. In many countries with significant indigenous populations such as Ecuador, indigenous children learn little or nothing about their own cultures or histories in the formal educational system. Results from a recent survey of three indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Andes demonstrate that less than 10% of respondents had learned anything about their culture, what constituted their ethnicity, or received any understanding of their archaeological and historical background through the formal educational system. The overwhelming majority had learned what it meant to be ‘indigenous - Runa’ through their family and community traditions. Results from the survey also demonstrate the destructive impacts of global culture, technology, medicine, tourism and evangelisation campaigns to ancestral indigenous belief systems and traditions, which had, until recently, survived nearly intact over the course of 500 years.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Apr 2018
EventSociety for American Archaeology - Albuquerque International Conference Centre, Albuquerque, United States
Duration: 10 Apr 201914 Apr 2019


ConferenceSociety for American Archaeology
Country/TerritoryUnited States

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