The Special Claims of Indigenous Minorities to Corrective Justice
JUSTICE IN TIME – RESPONDING TO HISTORICAL INJUSTICE, pp. 339-353, L. Meyer, ed., Interdisziplinaere Studien zu Recht und Staat, 2004
13 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2004
Are indigenous minorities different from other national minority groups? Some hold that the indigenous are normatively justified in requesting both legal claims on material resources, and to political autonomy aimed at maintaining their own ways of life. The indigenous have more extensive claims in these regards than citizens generally, and than do other identifiable groups who have long historic ties with the territory, and a distinctive culture compared to other citizens – often called ‘national minorities’. The following remarks defend these claims, based on the indigenous ancestors’ historic control over territories later forcefully incorporated into a state, combined with the impact of their ancestors’ culture on present practices and expectations. This is not to deny that national minorities also have claims of justice owing to their long history on the territory and injustice regarding language and property rights, as well as unjust coercive assimilation. Yet their claims are different, stemming from the fact that while national minorities have distinct cultures and long histories on the territory, they did not have historic control over the territory.
Keywords: Indigenous Rights, Minorities, ILO Convention 169, Human Rights
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