5 lessons our selfish society could learn from tribal and Indigenous peoples

Olimpio Guajajara expresses his thanks to Survival supporters © Survival
We are Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples. 
“Olimpio © Survival
Tribal societies are extraordinarily diverse and there’s a lot to learn from them. When tribal peoples have secure rights to their land and the ability to choose how they live, they tend to be among the fairest, happiest and most equal societies on the planet. Here are 5 simple lessons:
  1. Money isn’t the key to happiness
    A group of Maasai people from east Africa were found to have a similar life satisfaction rating to those on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list.
  2. Spend less time working and more time with family and friends
    People who hunt and gather to make their living have much more leisure time than we do. The Agta people from the Philippines whose livelihood comes from hunting and gathering only “work” for around 20 hours a week, whereas members of the tribe who farm need to do around 30 hours work a week to support themselves.
  3. Grow strong relationships with your community
    Yanomami hunters never eat their own catch. They give it away to others before they even bring it home. In turn, they only eat what the other hunters have given to them. Everyone eats something provided by someone else, fostering community spirit and cohesion.

    We work in partnership with tribal peoples to protect their lives and land.
    Our work is rooted in our longstanding relationships with Indigenous communities around the world.

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  4. Give what you can spare to others who are in need
    The Hadza people of Tanzania value equality highly and have no official leaders. For them it is a moral obligation to give what you have without expectation of return. If you have more personal possessions than you have immediate use for, you should share them. 

  5. Prioritize peace and equality
    Peace comes from dismissing concepts of ownership, competition, vanity and greed, according to the Piaroa people of Venezuela. They disavow violence, hold men and women to be of equal status, and never physically punish children. 
Survival International amplifies Indigenous voices on the global stage to change the world in their favor.
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Awá people embark on a hunting trip. © Charlie Hamilton James