Indigenous communities encounter contestations globally on the resource bases upon which their livelihood is dependent. Conflict of indigenous ethos and the development ethos of the nation states also prevail. The scenario calls for urgent anthropological interventions on a case to case basis.
Global population explosion has affected the remotest corners of the world which were hitherto habitation of the indigenous people. Having realized the issues at stake the indigenous people have formed national and international forums to influence decision making at various levels. There are claims and counter claims on the question of who are indigenous to a given territory. Nations negate indigenous status to tribes and analogous categories. The indigenous people stake their claim through a historical consciousness that there is reality beyond history, while historical consciousness of the nation states stress on history. The nation states want them to join the 'national main stream' and assimilate, where as the indigenous people want the mainstream to accept their rich cultural heritages and identity retention. The confrontation between the indigenous people and the state is accelerated due to non-recognition of traditional system of governance and non-implementation of proclaimed policies that would empower them with partnership in the development process. The manner of utilization/exploitation of the natural resources, benefit sharing mechanisms and the resultant displacement/resettlement of the affected indigenous people is the chief irritant in contemporary times. Anthropology has credible methods for interventional studies and participatory action research to help the affected communities, to empower them to negotiate and assert. The proposed panel during this world congress provides a unique opportunity for the like minded researchers and activist anthropologist to deliberate and strategize on appropriate interventional approaches on a case to case basis and help improve the quality of life of indigenous people.