Indigenous Essay

1260 WordsMay 3, 20126 Pages
Who are the world’s Indigenous peoples? In your answer explore the reasons why some colonised peoples identify as Indigenous while others, who also occupied their lands prior to Western invasion and colonisation, do not. Use examples to illustrate your answer. Who are the world’s indigenous people and why are they defined as such and why is it necessary to have them defined and lastly who will define them. The questions of definition that have answers are multifaceted, complex and difficult to solve. What might seem to be a sensible and logical approach to non-indigenous peoples can be seen to be insulting to those indigenous people the definition will or may apply to, therefore it is seen as logical to allow indigenous people to create definitions and criteria for themselves but with this possible resolution to the questions another question arises in relation to who are the indigenous people who will do the identifying? Classifying Indigenous peoples is unmistakably an intricate procedure which I think is best left to the indigenous people themselves to determine and this assessment could be based on why people identify as Indigenous. There are peoples in the world who have occupied their territory for hundreds, even thousands of years, who were colonised by outsiders (often Europeans) and who have recovered their autonomy to a greater of lesser extent, but who do not consider themselves Indigenous, nor do others consider them Indigenous. Many people today living in the Third World fall into this category. Why, for instance, do many of Africa’s peoples not identify as Indigenous? They have occupied their land from time immemorial, possess unique ethnic and cultural characteristics and have been colonised and enslaved – yet they are not Indigenous. How can we explain this? (p35) ......the definitions and constructions [of Indigenous identity] have

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