Indigenous and 21st Century Nationalisms
The goal for indigenous political management was to achieve reciprocal, respectful, and balanced relations with all nations of power beings, including the human nations. In some sense the indigenous vision of nation was like a separate species of animals, or distinct patterns of phenomena that have repeated and recognized personalities and effects. Humans are not the center of the universe, but are one of many power beings who have a role to play within the cosmic order and future unfolding of life and history.
Indigenous institutions are overlapping, interrelated, and holistic composites of spiritual, political, kinship, economic, and community relations. Political relations are not separable from economic, spiritual, or kinship issues. Western secular democratic nation states compartmentalize and separate government, religion, economy, community, and individuality. The worldviews and organization of Indigenous Peoples significantly interferes with assimilation and acceptance of nation state citizenship and government.
While many Indigenous Peoples participate as individual citizens in the nation state, Indigenous Peoples do not want to give up their own forms of government, territory, and interrelated worldviews and institutional relations. While nation states prefer to recognize only individual citizens, Indigenous Peoples want to be recognized as the holistic nations with powers of self-government and territorial rights.
United Nation diplomats suggest and hope that the 21st century will be characterized by increasing development of multicultural and multi-national states. Such developments would suggest progress over single culture nation states. However, many Indigenous Peoples will continue to resist even the new multicultural and multi-national state formations, because most indigenous nations in practice do not separate culture, government, land, and economy. Multi-national and multi-cultural nation states assume individual citizens will accept the rules of the secular nation state, but that is exactly what many Indigenous Peoples refuse to do entirely and continue to defend their own forms of self-government, cultures, and territories.
The absence of shared understandings of government, land, culture, institutional relations, and associated identities will ensure continued contested relations between Indigenous Peoples and nation states.
You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page