Arbeitskreis Indianer Nordamerikas (AKIN)
Menschenrechtsarbeit für Indigene Nordamerikas
Hernalser Hauptstraße 92/8
Contact person: Peter Schwarzbauer
- Human rights
- Educational policy/project
- Volunteers are welcome.
The Working Circle Indians of North America (AKIN) is primarily dedicated to promote the human rights of North America's Indigenous Peoples. AKIN was founded in spring of 1981 and has since then been meeting only with short interruptions every monday to exchange information, plan activities and to prepare publications.
Through political engagement AKIN is contributing to improve the legal situation of Indigenous Peoples, particularly their right to self-determination.
AKINs activities are based on personal contacts and direct coordination with indigenous representatives from the USA as well as from Canada. In addition, a network with similar European NGO's – primarily from Germany, Switzerland and France - has been established in order to increase effectivity. Joint lobbying at the international level such as within the United Nations system and affiliated organizations like the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is AKIN's core issue.
Furthermore, still dominant clichés and stereotypes have to be replaced through serious information.
As a matter of respect, AKIN solely mentions spirituality if it is related to political activism, coordinated with affected Indigenous Peoples' representatives and consented by them.
Being a human rights organization, AKIN emphatically supports, promotes and insists on the political, cultural and economic self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. It strictly opposes and condemns any commercialization of Indigenous Peoples' cultural heritage, particularly the esoteric exploitation of Indigenous Peoples' spirituality.
• Support: Mainly polical work, e.g. by looking for support from Austrian politicians and the government, sending petitions and protest letters, the texts of which in most cases have been composed together with the “Indian” groups concerns in mind. From time to time AKIN is organizing demonstrations, when asked by "Indian" people. To only a small degree we sometimes try to raise funds for indigenous projects (to support self-help).
• Cultural Exchange: Cultural exchange is sort of a long-range strategy to intensify and improve cultural relationships between nations in Europe and "Indian" Nations in North America. It should lead to a better mutual understanding – a better basis for political work.
• Public Relations: The reduction of stereotypes and at the same time the correction of information, officially supplied by the North American governments about the “Indian” situation today, are important tasks for the group. Whenever possible "Indians" themselves are to be given the chance to speak about their problems and activities at press-conferences, interviews, in schools or at other public presentations. These events are organized by the group, which sees itself as a mediator between “Indian” wishes and the Austrian public.
Peter Schwarzbauer is Chairman of the Working Circle Indians of North America (AKIN).
For other net participants we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff, give an expert opinion, procure expert information and establish new contacts in the field of our work.