Over the last two years, Indigenous People have brought two world music and dance groups to Eigg to perform – the !Gubi Family, a group of healing trance dancers from the Namibian Kalahari, and Kakatsitsi, a group of traditional drummers and dancers from Ghana. Even before coming to Eigg we were aware of the island’s history and the success the inhabitants have enjoyed in achieving a community buy-out of the land. On arrival, we were particularly impressed by the scale of the alternative energy generation on the island, something which we know to be of vital important as western society struggles to reduce its emissions and avoid catastrophic climate change.
Indigenous People and another charity we also run, the Synergy Centre, are currently in the process of setting up a series of community land trusts in Ghana and Namibia with a view to building community facilities and local economic infrastructure to enable local people to engage in bottom-up, boot straps development. An integral part of this process will be to install alternative energy generation to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and keep emissions to a minimum. In doing so, we have been much inspired by the success of the people of Eigg and of Findhorn, another eco-village / community we have visited. Such flagship projects serve to enthuse and inspire others in the field and to pass on knowledge of best-practice to enable others to follow in their footsteps. Many indigenous communities live in a state of profound insecurity in terms of land-tenure as well as access to vital resources such as water and energy. Examples such as Egigg demonstrate viable and proven solutions to problems faced by communities across the globe and we take considerable heart from seeing and learning from them.
Best wishes, Steven Peake
Manager – Kakatsitsi, Master Drummers from Ghana
Director – Indigenous People, www.indigenouspeople.org.uk
Director – the Synergy Centre, www.thesynergycentre.org