Political Science 3388E Lecture Notes - Legal Personality, Social Darwinism

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Indigenous Rights
March 4, 2010
12:34 PM
oConsider themselves separate from the dominant society
oConnected to their land
Hunting /agriculture
oOccupied the land first
oExperience political, economic, social & cultural subordination to the
dominant populations around the world
Original Legal Personality
oIndicates who is a legal entity
Who is given rights and responsibilities in society
Is an organizational tool
Who is in, and who is out
oHow do they decide who had legal personality?
Capacity to exercise rights and perform duties
Capacity to understand the consequences of your choices
oAt time of conception, excluded:
Indigenous People
Original International Legal Personality
oAdopted at the international level to determine which nations can be
considered as sovereign states
Initially, only Christian states were considered legitimate
Indigenous people did not qualify to have international legal
A Brief History
oColonization and the Denial of Rights
Drew heavily on liberal thinking
Respect for sovereignty
Respect for property rights
Rule of Law
Meant to control the power of the state over the individual
State supposed to protect the rights of individuals
Life, Liberty, and Property (American Constitution)
Great debate in 17th-18th century over whether or not
indigenous peoples should be considered human beings
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