As we continue our post-production and research—and as we interact with a wider variety of communities, we are experiencing that each tribe is its own nation. I have known this from history textbooks, but I am really seeing it now. All Amerindian tribes are not united and all Maroon tribes are not united. They are each their own people. I think it is amazing how leaders in Suriname (Indigenous and Maroon) are working to bring the distinct groups together. The key is that this time, it is voluntary AND cultural identity can be retained in the interaction. Historically, when tribes came together it was often through war or colonization. Both events led to extinction or marginalization of one or more ‘nations’.
I believe that it is critical for the interior tribes of Suriname to unite in the face of global development. They need to preserve (and cultivate) their own identities, but their survival depends on being heard. It’s like the little voice in Horton Hears a Who. Every voice counts. And “a person’s a person no matter how small [or remote his/her location!].”