KeywordsColonialism and genocide
Critical race theory
Indigenous peoples' rights
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMy research leads me to the conclusion the international human rights system's separation of the “indigenous problem” from the “colonial problem” is important. It is important to the way in we understand indigenous rights today, and it is important in terms of the ways in which we understand this fundamentally statist system. First, we must first ask in what sense and to whom these "problems" are problems requiring resolution. In theory, the UN system is established to safeguard the basic rights of all peoples to a dignified existence. And yet, to believe that this represents the UN founders’ intentions for the new system would be tantamount to believing that America’s founders intended to protect the equal rights of Black peoples when they drafted Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3—the three fifths clause—of the US Constitution. The issues are further clarified if we ask why the UN posed and then bifurcated the questions of what to do with: (1) colonized peoples, and (2) Indigenous peoples. The world system continues to deem it necessary to push the discussion of the multitude of problems presented by European colonization along two discrete tracks, with neither track on course to reach any destination. As the leaders of the euro-derivative world order strive to convince everyone that they have put an end to the colonial destruction of every Indigenous culture on the planet, a primary strategy is to bifurcate the problem of European overseas colonialism and to treat both of the resulting halves of discussion as if the other half never existed. This division permits the United Nations (UN) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to engage in discourse regarding Indigenous peoples that are so misrepresentative that they would qualify as farce if the actual problems were not so tragic. It also facilitates revolutions in social consciousness, producing gaps in social memory that are filled by new narratives celebrating the new tragedies in the making, those posed by hyper-individualism-based market logics and deculturation through statist democracy building and large-scale structural integration programs. Indigenous societies remain under attack, and post-colonialism perpetuates the status quo of colonial territoriality and neocolonial economic dependency. The international system and its discourse plays an important role in this perpetuation. The "new" mode of thought and material production that emerged in the prelude to the “decolonization era” puts all life on an omnicidal track.
Degree ProgramGraduate College