Indigenous people, Historical cultures

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Summary

Indigenous people are people defined in international or national legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness from other populations that are often politically dominant.Coates 2004:12 The concept of indigenous people defines these groups as particularly vulnerable to exploitation, marginalization and oppression by nation states that may still be formed from the colonising populations, or by politically dominant ethnic groups. As a result, a special set of political rights in accordance with international law have been set forth by international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank. The United Nations has i

Details

The migration, expansion and settlement of societies throughout different territories is a universal, defining thread that runs through human history. Many cross-cultural interactions that arose from these historical encounters involved societies that were considered indigenous by themselves or others.

Most often, these past encounters between indigenous and non-indigenous groups lack contemporary account or description. Any assessment or understanding of impact, result and relation can at best only be surmised, using archaeological, linguistic or other reconstructive means. Where accounts do exist, they frequently originate from the viewpoint of the colonizing, expansionary or nascent state or from rather scarce and fragmented ethnographic sources compiled by those more congenial with indigenous communities and/or representatives thereof.

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