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Indigenous Rights

3 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 3388E
James S Quinn

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Indigenous Rights March 4, 2010 12:34 PM • Defined o Consider themselves separate from the dominant society o Connected to their land • Physically  Hunting /agriculture • Symbolically  Spiritually/historically o Occupied the land first • Concerns o Experience political, economic, social & cultural subordination to the dominant populations around the world • Original Legal Personality o Indicates who is a legal entity • Who is given rights and responsibilities in society • Is an organizational tool  Who is in, and who is out o How do they decide who had legal personality? • Capacity to exercise rights and perform duties • Capacity to understand the consequences of your choices o At time of conception, excluded: • Women • Slaves • Indigenous People • Original International Legal Personality o Adopted 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 personality • A Brief History o Colonization 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  Recognizing indigenous people would have slowed the growth of the empire due to lack of available land for settlers • Therefore, did not recognize the legal personalities of indigenous peoples, and denied them state citizenship which would have given them a pathway to claiming rights  Why? • Lack of Christianity • No souls, or consciences to guide them • A warped view of Darwinism
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