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MEDIA RELEASE September 12, 2000


The Christian churches need to respect the way that indigenous societies wish to remain with their own spiritual ways as the Pacific region undergoes a wave of re-indigenization, according to Motarilavoa Hilda Lini.

The Director of the Suva-based Pacific Concerns Resource Centre was addressing this week's conference on "Indigenous Struggles for Land and Identity in the Pacific" in Suva, Fiji. The conference is jointly hosted by the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) and the World Council of Churches (WCC).

"Over the centuries, the Pacific has encountered different waves of invasion," Motarilavoa Hilda Lini stated. "It began with the wave of European contact, followed by the waves of: Western colonization; slave trading; Western religion and education; miniaturization; Pacific nationalism and land rights; the creation of constitutional democracies and governance which re-established independence and sovereignty; the arrival of Asian migrant workers and merchants; aid dependency and the wave of economic globalization. We are now being challenged by the wave of re-indigenization.

"Today the soul of the Pacific continues to search for peace and its natural identity among value conflicts, religious conflicts, relationship conflicts, information conflicts, institutional and structural conflicts, leadership and democratic conflicts, economic interest conflicts and most importantly, land and cultural conflicts."

In her presentation, Lini stressed the importance of safeguarding the original indigenous peoples, their land, culture and identity.

"Indigenous people still maintain a communal concept of living, practicing spirituality and upholding social values," she stated. "However, the Christian churches need to respect the way the original indigenous societies wish to remain in their own spiritual ways."

The church workshop on "Indigenous Struggles for Land and Identity in the Pacific" continues until Thursday, September 14, at the Tradewinds Hotel in Suva. Jointly hosted by the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) and the World Council of Churches (WCC), the meeting brings together 26 church representatives from Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, Kiribati, Tahiti, Niue, the Cook Islands, Micronesia, French Polynesia, Nauru and Fiji.

For further details, contact Motarilavoa Hilda Lini at PCRC on (679) 304 649

Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) 83 Amy Street, Toorak Private Mail Bag Suva, Fiji Islands Phone: (679) 304649 Fax: (679) 304755 Email:  Web: 

Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) is the Secretariat of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement. It is registered in the Fiji Islands under the Charitable Trusts Act. PCRC is a Non-Governmental Organization in General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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comment nos sociétés indigènes peuvent-elles encore revendiquer leur particularité ethnique et culturelle aujourd'hui en 2017 ?

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