Two indigenous groups in Chile have died out and another two are in danger of extinction, according to a major new report by twenty-five experts that was overseen by former president Patricio Aylwin. The report also recommended greater autonomy for the people of Easter Island. This report from Clinton Porteous:
At the extreme south of Chile, ethnic groups and languages are being wiped out. The reporters found two indigenous groups, the Aonikenk and the Selk'am had disappeared and another two are close to extinction. One group, the Kawesqar, has just twenty people left and the other, the Yagans, seventy.
One Yagan woman who travelled more than two thousand kilometres north to Santiago for the formal ceremony told the BBC there are only two people left who spoke their language fluently.
The report recommended an urgent census and new programmes to try to save their culture and language. The study also called for the three thousand Rapa Nui people of Easter Island to be given greater autonomyunder the umbrella of Chilean sovereignty. On the key issue of land rights, it called for a mechanism to study ancestral links to the land. It said public property should be handed back to its original owners.