When speaking about the history of the nation, it is always interesting to look into the current situation of it and how far the nation has come. The Mapuche people have a long history of fighting for their land and their rights that does not seem to stop until today.
The majority of the Mapuche population is residing in Argentina and Chile. Both these countries are currently ruled by the governments, elected democratically. But unfortunately, the rights of native people are still not being fully recognized. The development projects and policies, established by the government, have resulted in even more detriment and hardship towards Mapuche style of life. Not too long ago the laws in Chile about the land rights went down the hill because of the apparent disregard for the people of Mapuche. The Mapuche people have to state that they are not against the development, but they still have very little legal rights to be represented in order to achieve settlement that would ensure more sustainable and equitable developments in which they will be able to participate and benefit from.
Speaking about the judicial, educational and cultural situation of Mapuche population in Chile, it has to be stated that the existence of this nation is not recognized by the constitution of Chile. Not even the state subscribes of Chile or the International Laws protect and promote the fundamental freedoms and human rights of native people. What is means is that neither the educational nor legal systems are obligated to make a distinction between Chileans and Mapuches of European origin.
In addition to that, the historically owned territorial resources of Mapuche population are constantly being ignored and legally taken away from them and given into the private ownership.
Speaking about the system of education, I have to say that it is focused on promoting cultural uniformity. This makes it very challenging for the Mapuche people to preserve their cultural identity. As a result, the Mapuche language is dying out too.
The integration policies, introduced and planned by the Stated had a horrific effect on development and life in general of the Mapuche people. Taking their territory, destroying their society and diverse unjust and arbitrary practices and measures that have started in the past, unfortunately linger on until this day. In addition to that, numerous initiatives of non-governmental and governmental organizations have showed that they are not effective in resolving the issues of Mapuche people. In many cases the situation had been worsened by their paternalistic nature. This keeps them in a continuous state of dependency, instead of helping them to deal with their own process of development and take care of their own affairs.
It is interesting though upsetting to see how the history of the Mapuche people unfolds till this day. It seems like a constant struggle and fighting against the world is what these native people are experiencing for so many centuries. Read more about the history of Mapuche people, their language and culture in my next blog posts.