Indigenous people, Terms and etymologies

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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 adjective indigenous is derived from the Latin etymology meaning "native" or "born within". According to its meaning in English, any given people, ethnic group or community may be described as indigenous in reference to some particular region or location that they see as their traditional tribal land claim.Mario Blaser, Harvey A. Feit, Glenn McRae, In the Way: Indigenous Peoples, Life Projects, and Development, IDRC, 2004, p.53 However, during the late twentieth century the term Indigenous people evolved into a legal category, which refers to culturally distinct groups that had been affected by the processes of colonization.

Other terms used to refer to indigenous populations are: aboriginal, native, original, first, and hereditary owners in indigenous law.

The use of the term peoples in association with the indigenous is derived from the 19th century anthropological and ethnographic disciplines that Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as "a body of persons that are united by a common culture, tradition, or sense of kinship, which typically have common language, institutions, and beliefs, and often constitute a politically organized group".

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