Talk:Survival International

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Former good article nomineeSurvival International was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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November 6, 2009Good article nomineeNot listed
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Very powerfull in Brazil[edit]

This organization is very powerfull in Brazil.See this site: , about this fact.Agre22 (talk) 11:03, 12 December 2008 (UTC)agre22Reply[reply]

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Survival International/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Pass or fail GA[edit]

I'm sorry to say I have to fail this article. Generally, the prose is wordy and often awkward. Many antecedent pronouns are unclear. Sentence structure is often poor. The prose is a little on the POV side, a bit too enthusiastic for its subject. The collapsible image gallery is fine in avoiding cluttering up the article with a bunch of images, but the article would benefit from a couple of inline images of indigenous people with suitable captions. As to the breadth and scope, I didn't get that far.

I suggest a peer review before it is resubmitted for GA. Many of these issues would have been identified in a peer review. See some specifics below.

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

Reviewer: -- btphelps (talk) (contribs) 07:11, 5 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Prose and style[edit]

See specific examples below. Many others also exist.

Lead paragraph[edit]

The lead paragraph is too long and needs to be broken into two paragraphs. See WP:LEAD for guidelines.

Generally, the writing makes loose use of "they" and like pronouns, making the antecedant reference hard to track. For example, in the lead paragraph, "and the risks that they face". Does "they" refer to Survival or the indigenous people? In the sentence beginning, "A part of their mission" does "their" refer to the "people" or "Survival" in the prior sentence? Unclear. In the same sentence, "the risks they face" makes me wonder is this the people who need education, the indigenous people, or Survival? Lastly, in that same sentence, the last idea is written in passive tense: "that is forced upon them." Forced on who by whom?

Part of the difficulty of the lead paragraph is because of the run-on sentence containing two and clauses: "A part of their mission is to educate people from misconceptions that help justify violations of human rights against indigenous people, and the risks that they face from the advancement of corporations, governments and also good intentions based on an idea of "developlment" that is forced upon them." ("developlment" is misspelled.)

Instead, break the run-on sentence into two ideas. For example, "Survival's mission is in part to educate the public about misconceptions that justify human rights violations against indigenous people. Survival also seeks to inform people about the risks that indigenous people face when confronted with the pressure of modern development proposed by corporations and government." (I think "good intentions" may not be an informative phrase. Whose good intentions?)

There is a lot of work remaining to improve prose through out the article. The fact that I found an obvious misspelling in the lead paragraph is indicative of the general prose quality. For more info, see WP:MOS.


This sentence is awkwardly phrased: "The projects which are run oversea, are carried and managed by the tribe itself." Perhaps it is more accurate and direct to say, "Overseas projects are managed by local indigenous tribes."


This sentence has problems: "Most of them have been persecuted, facing genocide by diseases, relocation from their homes by logging and mining, and eviction by settlers." I don't think genocide can be committed by disease. Genocide is committed by institutions, organizations, or people. Genocide is usually done with intent. Unintentionally carrying disease that infects people may be genocidal in its consequences, but it is an inflammatory bit of rhetoric and not NPOV, and its use should be attributed. Finally, the sentence suggests the tribes face relocation "by" logging and mining. Perhaps this should be "as a result of" logging, etc.


"A common threat for the tribes Survival campaigns is the invasion of their lands for exploration of resources." This leads me to believe that Survival lands are invaded. Perhaps, "Tribes defended by Survival around the world face common threats including the invasion of their lands for resource exploration."

Another example of poor sentence construction: "The Ogiek, in Kenya, have tea plantations, and the Amungme in Indonesia, the Bushmen in Botswana, the Dongria Kondh in India, and the Palawan in the Philippines have mining fields." It appears that each of these tribes own the industries mentioned, not that these industries are a threat to them. The multiple clauses separated by commas create added confusion. Perhaps it could be written as, "The Ogiek in Kenya face the intrusion of tea plantations. Mining threatens the way of life for the Amungme in Indonesia, the Bushmen in Botswana, the Dongria Kondh in India, and the Palawan in the Philippines."

A third example: "Survival international has also pointed out in their campaigns against the assault on their way of living to the effect of the work of missionaries." I think this means, "Survival has also addressed the negative impact of foreign missionaries on the indigenous people's way of life."

Accurate and verifiable[edit]

The article is a little to enthusiastic for its subject. For example, "Beyond the genocide in consequence of diseases and hunger brought through the loss of dependence to the environment and to stolen fertile soils..." Genocide is a very strong, even perjorative word. It is used five times in the article. While perhaps justified in describing the results of actions against the native people, it might best be addressed as a single focus someplace in the article. That might strengthen the impact of its usage when all of the impacts producing genocide are grouped together. "Stolen" is another word that is POV and should be attributed. Who says they are stolen?

Thirty-three, or more than half of all citations, are drawn from the Suvival International web site. This results in a heavy reliance on Survival International as a primary source. See WP:PRIMARY and WP:POV for details.


More than half the citations are from Survival International's web site, a primary source. Secondary sources are more objective and preferred per WP:SOURCE and WP:CITATIONS.

Citation templates not used consistently. For example:

  • <ref name=rightlivelihoodaward>[ The Right Livelihood Award - Survival International (1989)]</ref>
  • <ref name="survivalinternational"/><ref>{{cite book |title=Human Rights Worldwide: A Reference Handbook |last=F. Kabasakal Arat |first=Zehra |publisher=ABC-CLIO|date=2006 |isbn=1851097627}}</ref>
Comment. I followed the review with great interest. Since I am the editor who wrote the article, I am going to try to explain the intention behind some points that have raised doubts on the reviewer.
First, there is the sentence in the lead regarding the organization. I don't know how much more clear I can be about the mission referring to the work of Survival. The article is about the organization, and the "mission" naturally concerns the description of its work. I understand that sometimes the use of the word "their" can raise doubts when there is more than one subject involved, but that is not the case here. The text is referring to the organization and their work from the beginning.
The first doubt regarding "they" is even more hard to understand. It would be senseless to consider the possibility of an organization to form with the objective to educate about the risks on its own existence. In this case, I believe that following a simple rule of assuming the last mentioned subject will lead to a clear message that the text is indeed trying to convey.
Another point concerns the sentence found on the "tribes" section: "Most of them have been persecuted, facing genocide by diseases, relocation from their homes by logging and mining, and eviction by settlers." Clearly the intent in genocide that the reviewer is looking for lies in the verb "persecuted". In this case, the diseases, along with forced relocation and logging, are a deliberate attempt to exterminate the peoples who stand in the way of these enterprises. Diseases can and have been used as a weapon of genocide. The word "by" refers to the means and not the author. Maybe we can fix this problem by changing the word "by" to "through".
Here is the link to the source that is provided in the article:,+Chobe,+Northern+Kalahari&ei=z-_ySpDSPIqwNPPGtdwC#v=snippet&q=logging%20and%20mining&f=false
I understand that you need to be aware of some things in order for this to be clear. But you can take this sentence on face value, and the rest (namely what is written at that point) should help make it even more clear. According to this source, and many others that I provided in the article, the tribal people are indeed “wiped out” through “relentless persecution”.
Another example concerning the lack of context regarded by the reviewer concerns the sentence: "The projects which are run oversea are carried and managed by the tribe itself." The solution that was given seems to fail to understand the original intention of ascertaining that there are projects oversea, but they are run by the tribe itself. You have to look at this sentence in the sequence of the text to understand why it was written this way. Maybe we can fix this problem by changing the word "which" to "that".
I don't agree that we should address the reality of "genocide" at one point in the article, since we are dealing with one single, but very complex, reality. The whole article is about an organization that deals with threats on the existence of tribal people. Everything is about either the genocide of tribal people or threats leading up to genocide. Right or wrong, this concerns the purpose of the existence of the organization that is described in this article. This is not an article about the existence of tribal people in general. We can refrain to use the term one time or another, but I think we would be engaging in POV by creating a "genocide section". This is yet another example where I believe the reviewer failed to see the context of the facts.
I can see the POV concerns, given my open pro-tribal position. I hope that people can see past this and understand that, given the benefit of the doubt, an organization is naturally going to be put on a mostly positive light following the principle of neutrality. Unless we are dealing with an organization that is commonly known to have been the case of a mafia disguised as a human rights organization, its concerns are naturally going to be reflected in the article, and its discussion will expose their cause. My intention of including a section for counterviews in the future goes well beyond this point, and it would require a more exhaustive cover of the views and work of Survival International.
I do agree that the article would benefit from more secondary sources. I have been gathering several of them, and my intention was to cover all major facts about their work and the consequent political discussions. But most of what is described in the article through these sources is either plain facts on the structure of the organization or the covering of realities that this organization alone is credited to report. We cannot forget that we are dealing with a major international authority on indigenous rights that is recognized by the United Nations. This doesn't mean that we should abandon the principle of objectivity on certain issues, but that we have to express the views rather than accepting them.
Overall, it's hard for me to accept a review that says that an article fails to be objective when there isn't a single line that is successfully contested on this ground.
I also wish to apologize for the use of my English. I am not a native speaker, and sometimes I can do obvious mistakes that can look as though I am being a careless writer for an English reader. I still think it's unfair to say that the misspelled "developlment" represents the whole article; not because it's not that bad, but because it's a poor test.
Finally, I want to say that I can understand why the current version doesn't pass the good article criteria, but I believe that simple solutions could fix the problems raised by the reviewer. I am surprised to see the article pass the quick fail criteria. Maziotis (talk) 22:08, 5 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I understand you are not a native English speaker which accounts for the challenging sentence syntax. Nonetheless, to meet GA standards, the article must meet Wikipedia standards. Perhaps you can find an English-speaking friend to fix the prose for you.
As to your "pro-tribal position", this should not be apparent to readers of the article. Nor should they have to work to "see past this" attitude. Wikipedia is firm in maintaining a neutral point of view.
If disease has been purposefully used as a weapon against indigenous people, you need to provide a objective, secondary source to support this. This remains true for much of the article. It altogether relies too heavily on primary sources from Survival International which Wikipedia disfavors. Believe me, I understand the challenge. I wrote the article White Stag Leadership Development Program which is a program I have a strong belief in. I had to work very hard to find secondary sources.
You are free to structure the article or fix it up in any way that pleases you as long as it meets WP guidelines. I was simply following WP guidance in offering some concrete suggestions instead of feedback alone. Good luck. -- btphelps (talk) (contribs) 15:16, 6 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You really didn't respond to any of my suggestions and why I believe that your call to radically alter the article lies on a deficient interpretation of the subject.
I am also quite shocked about your distortions on my discussion of my own short-comings. I didn't ask you to give me "a break" about me not being a native speaker. I explained you that sometimes non-native speakers can do very obvious mistakes that do not represent the overall level of their final work. This was said in response to your poor remark on the word "developlment" representing the article. Please don't break this out of proportion as If I were playing the victim card defense. Also, I didn't talked about my pro-tribal position to demand the understanding of the reader, nor do I expect that anyone should have to work on to "past this pro-tribal issue" any more than to meeting the neutrality policy.
Of course, all of this deviates from the actual content of the article. Nothing about this stems from a suspicion of POV on your side. I actually discussed your concrete positions, and you didn't give any direct response. I am not playing the victim card here.
Obviously, you didn't understand the issue with genocide (the only point that you have actually given some kind of an answer in this last post). That source alone is very clear about the extermination of a people that stand in the way of profit. For the sake of argument, it really doesn't matter if the authors of genocide profess a racist ideology or not. But in any case, even if you are right about this, I guess it would be just a question of refraining to use a word. That is still far from backing all the justifications for a major article change.
Another example of a problem you have pointed out that could be fixed with a small change, avoiding complicated solutions that obviously miss the original point of the sources, concerns the sentence "A common threat for the tribes Survival campaigns". This sentence is an introduction to the description of the most common threat to all of the tribes for whom Survival campaigns. It is that simple, and it is not related at all with your suggestion. Evidently, I can understand that if there is something that is not clear in terms of grammar or syntax, then it has to change. But it is not a question of confusion on the underlying topic as you seem to suggest. Perhaps we could add the word "for" and write "A common threat for the tribes Survival campaigns for is". It should be quite simple for most people to understand, with this or any other necessary change. The idea itself is quite simple.
I am not even going to discuss your requirement of having several pictures along the article. That would obviously improve the article, but it is not a requirement for good article criteria. I think a logo, a map and a gallery is well good within the normal experience of a "good article" found around the wikipedia. I am planning to add several photos to the article, but I need to expand it first. That would be a natural step for a "featured article", but we need to take this one step at a time.
I understand that an article is either evidently good or not. I am not really contesting the result. I believe the article needs to improve. But I have some divergences on how to do it, and I am simply trying to discuss them. I hope a few grammar mistakes are not a problem to improve an article that received a lot of attention. Most of the issues that you raised seem to be a question of changing one word or another. I believe all of this is contemplated on the guidelines for good article process, and it seems unfair to me that you should be willing to discuss the profile of the editor that wrote the article and not the article itself. Maziotis (talk) 22:00, 6 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The language seems slightly biased in this article towards the work that Survival do. Not inacurate, but it comes across like it was written by a Survival employee trying to write a neutral article. (talk) 19:40, 7 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just for the record: It was not. Perhaps the subject of charity organizations attract charity speeches and the need for a social cause. But you are right. This is an encyclopedic article. Feel free to make any necessary change you feel it needs. Maziotis (talk) 12:46, 24 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have just deleted the ridiculous "controversy" section from the article. There is plenty of controversy in the "Media" section. Policy dictates we should write with due weight. Writing singular episodes, with one-sided point of view on the articles' subject is not "Neutral Point of view". It is ridiculous to claim an attempt to "look at both sides", especially when it consists of interest parties trying to taint the organization. Also, it makes no sense at all to dedicate a whole section to this, at this point. See policy. I don't see how we can have a "controversy" section until we have enough real controversy about this otherwise widely respected organization. Please feel free to re-write the "Media section". Maziotis (talk) 12:42, 24 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article reads like a press release. It seems to be largely drawn from the organisation's website. Certain sections, for example, describing the organisation's assessment of the problem, are irrelevant to an article about an organisation.

There ought at least to be a Criticism section, although I agree that have a 'controversies' section would not be NPOV. Martin Turner (talk) 08:28, 16 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Primitive People's Fund[edit]

It appears that this page may have been sanitized. All reference to Survival International's former name, 'The Primitive People's Fund', has been erased. Presently, the only reference to the word primitive in the article is a statement that Survival is opposed to those who see tribal people as 'primitive'. I was trying to find out about this history here, but the page does not describe the history of when or how the name change happened. Please include this information. 18:57, 21 April 2016 (UTC) R.E.D. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

No conspiracy, but an interesting fact, thank you. Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:08, 21 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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