Indigenous People to the world

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Question 1
The “UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” (2007) is dedicated to protect the rights of those communities that identify themselves as Indigenous peoples. This document entails a legal representation and, in some cases, it entails restorative justice for Indigenous peoples across nations. However, these rights do not apply to all people. Therefore, the first step for a practical implementation of the UN Declaration is to clear out who are considered Indigenous peoples, and who are not. However, when examining the document more closely the distinction of who are or are not Indigenous peoples is not as strong as one might think. One of the first statements in the Annex, starts by affirming that Indigenous peoples are those who have been victims of colonization. It says: “Concerned that Indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands…” Clearly, we can see that the origin of indigenism starts by taking into account their marginalization state throughout the years. However, this historic approach might not resemble the actual state of different Indigenous communities that claim indigeneity neither of those who do not want to define themselves as victims. This type of argument is also shared by Ronald Niezen, who emphasizes that the concept of suffering is an important distinction for Indigenous peoples1. Another distinguished mark on the UN Declaration is a repeat mention of the word “traditional”, for example: Indigenous peoples have the right “to their traditional medicines”, (emphasis mine) or “ Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands…”(emphasis mine), “distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands” (emphasis mine). From these examples, we can see that part of...
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