One of the most interesting case studies in the Kiva database ( http://www.kivu.com/wbbook/casestudies.html
) is, from my point ov view, the Participatory Research Mapping (PRM). I'm a geographer, I can't help it. That's why I'm so interested in geographical space, and I'm so concerned about space perception by individuals and social groups.
One of the most important problems which indigenous communities have to face hwen relating with western civilization is that they can't show their need for land, can't demostrate that their lifestyle uses a huger part of territory, since they have a different vision on property rights; this way they get confined in reserves, get hampered by fences, they get lessresources and start their decline.
But beyond claims for territory, an indigenous population is the historical record of all wat happened in the past in that territory, and that's crucial to forecast natural hazards. Myths are only the way ancient populations explained the unexplainable; for example, tales about dragons (snakes, rattling on the land, which suddenly raise up and spit fire) can conceive an ancient volcanic activity, with related seismic swarms.
Everyone gains from keeping safe the ancient population of a territory, and understanding its culture, its tales, its rituals: a land without memory is like a man with an amnesia. If he had something important, crucial in his past he can't recall it anymore, and his life is in danger in any moment.