Indigenous peoples make up 5% of the world’s population, occupy over 20% of the earth’s landmass, and pursue self-determination, which includes sovereignty, in all 73 countries in which they dwell. At a time when instead of widening choices, globalism is forcing the multitude of cultures into a monoculture of shallowness which has created more inequality; and unfortunately it’s the indigenous people that has been affected the most. While the challenge is not so much the changes that are taking place, the greater challenge for indigenous people is the pace in which the changes are occurring.
To ensure that indigenous people are not overwhelmed by the pace in which change is taking place, it is necessary for them to begin taking ownership over their lives and the various facets required in their hope to lead dignified lives. Taking ownership does not however mean other people deciding policies while indigenous people participate in them. In actuality, taking ownership implies people taking effective roles in decision making processes and evolving concrete stages of implementation.
In essence the process of ownership begins with the power of imagination. Imagination has direct effect on decision-making and is critical in strengthening the understanding needed for making decisions that not only takes into account needs of the present, but also future generations. It demands not losing indigenous knowledge, ethical values, ways of thinking and knowing the collective will of the people. Eventually, ownership comes with the consciousness of oneness with fellow human beings, the universe and all its powers and that the center is within each individual embarking on that journey of self-realization.
Imagination is the depth of wisdom that concerns nourishing the dynamics of the soul, spirit, nature and nation, which creates opportunities to address underlying issues of human tribulations. It is the power of imagination that allows the human spirit to weave together the various aspects of creation into wholeness. Imagination therefore resonates with the art of provoking, exhilarating and challenging the profoundness and predicaments that life offers to human reasoning.
Nagas, as indigenous people are in a place of predicament; and undoubtedly their depth of wisdom and imagination is now at test. The astuteness in which they decide to address the question and purpose of their existence will define their maturity and spirituality as a people. It will reveal their ability to see reason and build hope. Eventually, at its heart, taking ownership entails a journey about human imagination and the power to discern what seems impossible by stretching the moment of opportunity; in rising to the challenge of creating new possibilities to collective shape and reshape the world. It offers a place of both challenge and opportunity and demands the will of the people to take courage and creativity. Nonetheless, it is an opportunity that Nagas must not let it pass by!