“I don, I don’t understand why we are here,” said Hui Ng, a mother of two, pointing to the scrub brush around the plantation where she lives.
“We are just here because we are a group of indigenous people.”
The Indigenous Land and Water Resistance (ELWR) project aims to help the community understand the reasons for their presence in the remote area.
ELWR was established in 2015, and is funded by a government grant.
“This is our home.
We have to take care of this land,” said Lina Ng, the project’s director.”
Our lives depend on this land.”
Elaborating on why the ELWR project exists, the group said the project was launched as a response to “human rights violations”.
“We have been here for thousands of years.
We do not have a right to be here,” Ng said.”
I think that is why we need the ELWP [Elaboration of Indigenous Peoples] [program], because we have a responsibility.”
So if we don’t get this right we will lose our rights,” she added.
In 2017, the ELWRS project was criticised for failing to protect the land it was tasked with protecting.”
The project’s vision and values are based on the colonial idea that we are in charge of our own land,” ELWR Director Lina Sifu said at the time.
The ELWR team, who is also part of the ELWA movement, said the aim of the project is to create an environment in which indigenous people can feel confident in living on the land.
The community of Lina Nga said they were very disappointed by the decision, and were concerned the project would hurt the community’s relationship with the state.”
She said she is hoping the project can be successful.””
It is not about land; it is about our identity.”
She said she is hoping the project can be successful.
“For us, it’s about our lives.
If we get to live with our families, our children, then it’s good,” Ng added.
The project has been funded through the government’s Rural Economic Development and Land Reforms Agency, but it was not clear whether the agency will support the ELMWRS project in the future.