Educating the Youth to Preserve the Traditions of the Ogoni and Mapuche People

Project start date: August 2009 - Project end date: August 2010
Project number: 2009-19
Beneficiary: UNPO


ACTIVITIES 1. Mapuche school:

The aim of the school is to discover the traditions, values and ancestral philosophical principles of the Mapuche and transmit them to the younger generations to fill the void created by years of cultural usurpation. Therefore, the main aim of the lectures will be to promote the cultural rights of indigenous peoples and to improve knowledge of their culture, while trying not to encourage resentment in children and young people. The school also aims to support the Mapuche in promoting human rights and democracy through the use of non-violence. The educational work of UNPO will be in collaboration with the founder of the "Escuela Mapuche " in Temuco, Chile.

In the past years (2005 to 2009) UNPO's program obtained important results, which have allowed this organization to move forward towards more practical activities. The school recruited a multidisciplinary team and attracted the attention of the Mapuche communities of urban and rural areas. A first round of twelve winter and summer courses for Mapuche children was carried out in different parts of Chile and Argentina: La Unión, San José de la Mariquina, Temuco, Melipeuco, Pitrufquén, Loncoche, Alto Biobío, Curacautin, Lumaco, Cañete-Cile y Vuelta del Río Chubut-Patagonia Argentina. Also, courses and seminars were carried out on spiritual and socio-cultural promotion and the political empowerment of the Mapuche people. The need to produce tangible evidence of these experiences during the four year span has brought to the publication of information material such as posters, comic strips and books on the Mapuche.

Diploma in Philosophy, Wisdom and Ancestral Mapuche language Mapudungun:
The Diploma aims to educate and qualify a group of young people on knowledge of the traditions and language of the Mapuche, to create future leaders of the various Mapuche communities. 25 young people from Chile and 15 from Argentina will take part in the project. The Diploma consists of a program divided into theoretical and practical courses, held both in the classroom and on the field. In addition, families who speak Mapuche Mapudungun will welcome students who want to put into practice the knowledge acquired during the year.

Course outline:
- Introduction to the Mapuche culture
- Science of the Mapuche and their knowledge of the universe
- Philosophy of the Mapuche
- Rediscovering the world's principles and order
- The medical system of the Mapuche
- Organization of the community structure
- Ceremonies and celebrations of the Mapuche
- Mapudungun Language Course
- Discussions on the future of the Mapuche

Winter and summer school for children Mapuche:
The project aims to help Mapuche children build and feel their roots both in Chile (Biobío, Araucanía and Los Lagos regions) and Argentina (Patagonia). The program is based on a six-day meeting in which the language, spirituality, philosophy, science and culture of ancestral Mapuche which will be taught. Children will be divided into four groups according to their age group. One group will include adults and parents. The teaching methodology will vary according to the age group. Clear and simple language will be used. Pictures, drawings, videos and games will be used and evening meetings will be held with the different groups. There will be an opening and closing ceremony, in which knowledge gained will be shown through dances, songs, shows and games.

- The visual perception of the Mapuche
- Stories about the origin of the Mapuche people
- Relations between the Mapuche and nature
- Teaching respect for nature and the rules of the universe
- The Mapudungun language
- Mapuche education and the proper behavior
- How to attain knowledge and humility


The activities of the Mapuche School will be integrated with UNPO training courses for school the school's staff. A staff member of UNPO, preferably a woman speaking Spanish, will be part of this collaboration. The reason why a woman was chosen is that women are more likely to be treated with respect and at the same time protected in the Mapuche culture.
UNPO staff will supervise the progress of the school and training courses on human rights will be held, in addition to customary law and indigenous law, also through ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.
The presence of UNPO staff will be of assistance to the school's headmaster in an attempt to give visibility to the school in the national academic world. The representative of UNPO will be the spokeswoman of the Mapuche school in the country to promote the school.

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