Indigenous Belonging: A Commentary on Membership and Identity in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Oxford Commentaries on International Law: A Commentary on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Oxford University Press), Forthcoming
37 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2013 Last revised: 20 Dec 2016
Date Written: June 9, 2013
The recognition of indigenous peoples’ right to determine their own membership is crucial to the survival of indigenous groups and for their ability to meaningfully exercise their right to self-determination. This chapter will begin with a discussion of who indigenous peoples are, and will then proceed to review the specific provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) as they pertain to indigenous-determined group membership and duties: Articles 9 (right to belong); 33 (right to determine membership); 35 (right to determine responsibilities of members); and 36 (right to maintain relations across borders). Together, these provisions reinforce the right of indigenous peoples to define themselves, both in terms of membership and geographic scope. These rights are not absolute, however, and are constrained by Articles 44 (gender equality) and Article 46 (compliance with international human rights standards).
Keywords: United Nations Declaration, indigenous people, membership, indigeneity, identity
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation