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Matthew McDaniel akha at
Tue Sep 28 14:13:24 UTC 1999

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			Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 21:13:24 +0700
			From: Matthew McDaniel <akha at>
			Organization: The Akha Heritage Foundation
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				Subject: Re: ELL: New Tribes
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			What qualifies as working with the tribes permission.

			Here in Akha land the American Baptist mission long
			ago bought its own Akha
			and they do their bidding.

			So is that permission of the tribe?

			Missionaries claimed to help people.  When we get a
			few cases where they
			actually do so without shaming or destroying their
			culture do they then get
			renewed collective license?

			I think not, nor do I think that you were suggesting
			that but would just like
			to clarify that this is often a common error.

			The point is that people who claim to be ethical
			should not use feeding
			people as license to knowingly destroy the good they

			Most of the people I know who work in missions are
			middle class white people
			who are also very racist.
			They might in some cases be protecting people in a
			situation, but that offers
			them no excuse for not doing better and doing it
			without racial arrogance.

			It would seem very odd to me to tell an Akha to stop
			being a traditional
			Akha, and then claim I was there to tell them about
			God.  But you should hear
			the stories the missionaries use here to justify what
			they do.

			I am for dismantling their churches which were built
			without collective
			village permission and which were built to divide the
			village in the first
			place, and kindly escorting the missionaries out of

			I will take flac for that position, but I think that
			we have to quit playing
			games some time.

			The missionaries sow seeds of division and then they
			leave town when that
			bears fruit.  Better late than never.


			Jon Reyhner wrote:
> The April 1996 (Vol. 24, No. 2) of Missiology: An International Review
> is a special issue on Missionaries, Anthropologists, and Human Rights.
> One of the articles by Allyn MacLean Stearman (Professor of Anthropology
> at the University of Central Florida, Orlando) is titled "Better Fed
> Than Dead: The Yaqui of Bolivia and the New Tribes Mission: A 30-Year
> Retrospective." She is not completely favorable to their efforts but
> concludes "For the present, at least, New Tribes missionaries continue
> to provide the Yaqui with the only dependable organizational support
> committed to defending their basic human right to exist. There are also
> strong indictions that the mission personnel currently present at the
> Chimore are working with the Yuqui to develop their future with little
> of the former paternalist pressure to conform to mission standards" (p.
> 224). New tribes is simply identified in the article as a "Protestant
> missionary organization."
> I worked for a year as a tribal school administrator on an American
> Indian reservation in the United States that had an active Wyliffe
> missionary who was translating the Bible into the tribal language. He
> was acting with the permission of the tribe and as far as I could see
> was adhering to the agreement he had with the tribe.
> Missionaries working at the invitation of a tribe in my view should be
> no more criticised than anyone else working with the tribe (as I was as
> an employee of the tribally controlled school). This particular
> missionary was very helpful to the tribal school by transcribing secular
> tribal language material at no cost  for the school's bilingual program.
> Jon Reyhner, Associate Professor
> Northern Arizona University
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Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
386/3 Sailom Joi Rd
Maesai, Chiangrai, 57130
Mobile Phone Number:  Sometimes hard to reach while in Mountains.

US Address:

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:

The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem OR 97304

Donations by direct banking can be transferred to:

Wells Fargo Bank
Akha Heritage Foundation
Acc. # 0081-889693
Keizer Branch # 1842  04
4990 N. River Road.
Keizer, Oregon,  97303 USA
ABA # 121000248

Or In Thailand:

Matthew  Duncan McDaniel
Acc. # 3980240778
Bangkok Bank Ltd.
Maesai Branch

Web Site:
mailto:akha at

Discussion Groups:
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