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Community development through indigenous leadership

by Dennis Olson

Reprinted from Notes on Anthropology and Intercultural Community Work 18:30-37
© 1995 Summer Institute of Linguistics


Since the bilingual education program began in Peru, the Aguaruna have seen development through their own leaders. This paper discusses the dynamics of their leadership and the author's experiences as he worked with them as an ICW specialist.


It has been 10 years since I have worked with the Aguaruna of northern Peru. During this time, I have been able to reflect back on the 15 years of working with them in the area of ICW. Being able to step back from the day-to-day problems allows a new perspective on the expectations of the people and the ICW specialist's role in the development process. In this paper, I will discuss my work with the Aguaruna leadership as they sought to achieve community goals.