TYS Group 11
Jeremy Winkler
Nacho Segarra
Patricia Martin

Introduction

The belief of the NGO is that we should not intervene in the lives of the natives. All throughout history, when an invading people such as missionaries have intervened in the in the lives of natives it has lead to death and suffering. They have claimed that their actions were for the greater good, but as we now know today they were not. Their actions only benefited themselves and in order to enhance their way of life, the missionaries extorted resources from natives. This is not what we want to do to the natives of the Amazon. Therefore, the NGO will only help the natives by offering them two sides of the argument, the native way and the western way. The options given will be unbiased and whatever discision the natives make, the NGO will support it. The NGO will be strongly against imposing our own opinions because in history when colonials have imposed their own opinions, even with the best of intentions, millions of people wee killed.

The NGO's main goals relate to truth, ethics and beauty. The definition on truth is what the natives believe to be true. They might believe that their beliefs in religion are true but we might disagree. Truth can differ from person to person but because the goal is to help the natives it would make the most sense to take what they say as "true". Ethics is what a person believes is right and wrong based on morals and values. But, ethics can be determined by the experiances and teachings of a person. Beauty is defined as what the natives believe to be visually and mentally fullfilling. With visual, it should be pleasing to the eye and for the mental aspect, beauty is what causes thought and reflection.

The NGO was required to go to a small village in the Amazon and assist in different projects. The NGO was to bring a piece of art, a musical instrument, a map, and to teach them a language, history and ethics.



Art

Art is a very important part of every one's lives. Even if you don't particularly enjoy viewing art, it still has an impact on our lives. Also our perceptions on true beauty can differ from person to person because of different experiences and histories. Someone from Canada would find a picture of poppies like in Robert Vonnoh's painting of Flanders Field because of our sacrifices in the First World War. In this picture, a Canadian will see passion, sacrifice and courage while someone who isn't Canadian might only see a bunch of red flowers in a field.
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This opinion would differ from someone who is from Venice who would find a painting of their canals beautiful and emotional while others may not share their same history and experience making the painting less meaningful. Based on this previous assumption, the painting that is brought to the natives should be something that represents them as a people making the painting more beautiful to them than it would be us.
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This painting shows the natural environment where the people live. This painting should evoke an emotional connection to the painting. It would cause the people to reflect upon who they are and the different values that they hold. This would be the most effective type of art because by creating an emotional connection, it doesn't matter what the painting looks like or how famous it is. The only thing that matters is that it is meaningful to them.
Not only will this type of painting be aesthetically pleasing but it will also inspire the people to create their own art work. If they see this painting and they are able to appreciate it then they will attempt to imitate it. This will ensure that, for future generations, instead of viewing some else's art work they can view the art of their own people. Using art, the people can learn to express themselves in different and more creative ways.
Some may think that bringing a world famous painting such as The Mona Lisa, a Picasso or a Monet because it would allow to them acquire the sense of beauty. In the opinion of the NGO, beauty should be acquired based on what the foreigners believe but on what the natives view as beauty based on their views, culture and history.


Music





Language

Language is used by everyone in this world for the main purpose of communicating with others. A difficulty arises when two people who speak different languages meet and the result is two people talking complete gibberish to each other. So how can we decide what language should be spoken? It comes down to the required goals and the situation that a certain community is in. Most people would decide to teach them Mandarin, Spanish or English being the most common languages. But this wouldn't make any sense if the community in question was located in India or Africa, where none of these languages are that prominent.
The village that the NGO was asked to teach a language is located in the Amazon and in their near future a group of Brazilians would come and attempt to extort their resources. This makes the language barrier even graver. If the natives don't understand the propositions that the Brazilians are putting forward, the natives will most likely end up disadvantaged due to this.
This same situation occurred in Canada. When the colonials came to Canada they made offers with the natives who didn't fully understand. As a result the natives in Canada lost their treasured land and were plunged into a cycle of despair. Their suffering still continues today with the starting point of these unfair negotiations. The NGO would not want this to happen to the village that we have been assigned to help
As an NGO for ethics we should not allow this to happen. We should equip the natives with the language skills to understand and negotiate with the intruding Brazilians. Therefore the language that should be taught to them should be Portuguese. The teaching of Portuguese should not be a replacement of their native language but rather a supplement to it. This new language skill will allow the natives to protect their culture and their natural resources which they cherish.


Map

The map chosen should be a map of the world. A map of their own village would not be brought because the village is most likely to have their own system of mapping their location. This could be from landmarks, forestry or other natural conditions. By bringing a map of their own land, it could be viewed that the NGO is trying to replace the native's system with their own "Westernized" system. This could be the first step of many in imposing our thoughts on the natives. The role of the NGO is not to force our views on them but rather to inform them in a non threatening way. But by bringing a map and trying to replace their own system, we are commencing the act of imposing our views.
By bringing a world map we can give the natives a heightened sense of their existence in the general world. The intention of the world map wouldn't be to make the natives seem insignificant and small. Instead it would be used to further their education of the world outside their own community. Because the intentions could be misinterpreted it would be a necessity to identify our intentions from the beginning and ensure the natives that we are well intended and mean no harm.
To be more specific, the world map would be a continental map which displays the 7 continents, the prime meridian and the equator. The map should also show a clearly indicate where the village is located. The map would be useless if the natives didn't know where they were relative to everyone else. Someone would also need to introduce the map and teach the villagers how to read and use it properly.
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History

The history of a country helps define who the people are and how they live. As George Santayana said "A country without a memory is a country of madmen." Without knowledge of where we come from, we are lost and therefore have no future. There is little point in teaching this Amazon village the history of America or Europe because it doesn't apply to them. They cannot relate to the lessons from history and therefore it will have little effect on them. The only effect that it may have is a negative one. If the village is taught the history of America they might adopt it as their own history and this would change who they are.
The idea of knowing where you come from and where you're going will play an important role in the villagers lives. When the Brazilians arrive and attempt to extort their resources the natives will need some source of inspiration and power in order to fend off the intruders. If the natives know their history and the struggles that they have endured as a people, they will be more likely to fight harder to preserve their way of life.
Also, by knowing their history the people will be able to learn from their mistakes. If they are taught the history of other nations, they might not consider their previous problems applicable to their own lives. And in some cases they would be right. If the natives look at the history of slavery and segregation in America, the natives will dismiss the lesson because they believe themselves to be above that. This would be believed until the day comes when the people are faced with a similar decision. They might think that their intentions are different and continue to the path of segregation or they might understand that they are in fact similar to the Americans and change their ways. If the former is chosen then a crisis is imminent. If the natives are taught their own history they will immediately recognize that their ancestors had similar intentions as they do and will alter their path.
It is in the NGO's best interest to assist in protecting their culture because it preserving their culture would be what is ethical. It would be considered unethical to let the Brazilians extort the villager's resources because of lack of their own knowledge. It would also be morally wrong to allow the natives to make a poor choice regarding a grave issue, such as slavery, because they don't have their own history to learn from.




Ethics

Ethics is an issue that is constantly debated from the ancient Greeks to current politicians. The issue of ethics is particularly difficult to solve because views on ethics can differ from person to person based on past experiences, perceptions and influences. The concern regarding ethics in the Amazon village is high because of their practices on cannibalism. People from Western Society believe this to be wrong, but this is only because Westerners have been told and brainwashed that the consumption of other people is wrong. The NGO's duty regrading ethics isn't to implement laws and values that are most similar to our own but is to implement and support ethics that will benefit the villagers.
If the NGO went in and told the natives what to based on ethics it immediately creates a benefit towards the NGO and Westerners. The natives probably won't listen because they wouldn't be to keen on changing a culture that they have had for hundreds of years just because a foreigner says so. In the case that they do not listen, the situation could escalate. If the opinion of anti-cannibalism is too strong, then conflicts will arise between the NGO and the natives which would definitely not benefit either of the parties.
Instead of telling them what to do, the NGO can put forth both sides of the argument without bias or pressure. The NGO then should support which ever decision the people make, even if it is to continue cannibalism.
This then leads to the greater discussion of "can the NGO impose anything?" The answer to this is no because the second that the NGO imposes their own beliefs upon the natives we are breaking our code of ethics regarding doing what is best for the natives, and not for us. In order to ensure that the NGO's view aren't putting the natives at a disadvantage, the NGO has to put our perceptions of right and wrong aside and learn what the native perception is.