John Brown Childs
With the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007, Indigenous Peoples now enjoy recognition as distinct peoples with rights ensured by international law. Indigenous Peoples are identified as right-bearing collectivities unlike other groups, such as refugees, minorities, women, and children who are thought to have only individual rights within the framework of the state. Notwithstanding states’ reluctance to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples’ full right to self-determination and, in some cases, lack of acceptance of the existence of Indigenous Peoples within their territories, in the last decades, the international community of nations has slowly come to recognize that Indigenous Peoples have a place within the United Nations (UN). Moreover, it can be said that what today is known as the Global Indigenous Movement is an important voice in global political processes that has gained currency and weight in several issues such as development, biodiversity, the protection of the environment, migration, intellectual property rights, traditional knowledge, and other issues that are of importance for Indigenous Peoples. But who or what is “indigenous,” or, better yet, to whom does the category apply?
— from “Authenticating Strategic Essentialisms:
of Indigenousness at the United Nations”
by Sylvia Escárcega Zamarrón
To be published in May 2012, the book can be ordered from The Literary Guillotine
204 Locust Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, 831 457-1195