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Indigenous land rights

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indigenous land rights are the rights of Indigenous peoples to land and natural resources therein, either individually or collectively, mostly in colonised countries. Land and resource-related rights are of fundamental importance to Indigenous peoples for a range of reasons, including: the religious significance of the land, self-determination, identity, and economic factors.[1] Land is a major economic asset, and in some Indigenous societies, using natural resources of land and sea form the basis of their household economy, so the demand for ownership derives from the need to ensure their access to these resources. Land can also be an important instrument of inheritance or a symbol of social status. In many Indigenous societies, such as among the many Aboriginal Australian peoples, the land is an essential part of their spirituality and belief systems.

Indigenous land claims have been addressed with varying degrees of success on the national and international level since the very beginning of colonisation. Such claims may be based upon the principles of international law, treaties, common law, or domestic constitutions or legislation. Aboriginal title (also known as Indigenous title, native title and other terms) is a common law doctrine that the land rights of indigenous peoples to customary tenure persist after the assumption of sovereignty under settler colonialism. Statutory recognition and protection of Indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge, with the gap between formally recognized and customarily held and managed land is a significant source of underdevelopment, conflict, and environmental degradation.[2]

International law

The foundational documents for Indigenous land rights in international law include the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 ("ILO 169"), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

China

Arab Region

Common law

Aboriginal title, also known as native title (Australia), customary title (New Zealand), original Indian title (US), is the common law doctrine that the land rights of indigenous peoples to customary tenure persist after the assumption of sovereignty. Indigenous peoples may also have certain rights on Crown land in many jurisdictions.

Australia

Indigenous land rights have historically been undermined by a variety of doctrines such as terra nullius.[3] which is a Latin term meaning "land belonging to no one"[4] In 1971, a group of Meriam people in Australia issued a legal claim for their ownership of their island of Mer in the Torres Strait.[5] In their legal claim they issued that their land is inherently and exclusively owned, lived and governed by Meriam people, where they historically managed its political and social issues.[6] After years of the case being heard by the legal courts, and after the death of one of the plaintiffs (Eddie Mabo), the High Court’s judgement issued a recognision of the native's ownership to land and the denial of the myth of the terra nullius. [7]

Canada

The leading case for Aboriginal title in Canada is Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (1997). Another important case for Aboriginal title is the Tsilhqot'in Nation v. British Columbia (2014).

Latin America

As the political systems of some Latin American countries are now becoming more democratic and open to listening and embracing the views of minorities these issues of land rights have clearly come up to the surface of the political life. Despite this new “re-recognition” bit by bit, the indigenous groups are still among the poorest populations of the countries and they often have less access to resources and they have lesser opportunities for progress and development. The legal situation of Indigenous land rights in the countries of Latin America is highly varied. There is still a very broad variation of Indigenous rights, laws and recognition throughout the whole continent. In the year 1957, the International Labour Organization(ILO), made the ILO Convention 107. This convention created laws and norms for the protection and integration of Indigenous peoples in independent countries. All the independent countries of Latin America and the Caribbean of that time ratified this convention. Since the 1960s they started with the recognition of the first Indigenous land claims since the colonial era. In the year 1989 the ILO made the Convention 169; the convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, which updates the ILO 107 of 1957. In this convention was also the recognition of the very close and important relationship between land and identity, or cultural identity very important. Today, this convention has been ratified by 15 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Even in countries where it has been ratified, limited implementation has led to conflicts over indigenous land rights such as the Escobal mine protests in Guatemala.[8]

New Zealand

Indigenous land rights were recognised in the Treaty of Waitangi made between the British Crown and various Māori chiefs. The Treaty itself has often been ignored, but New Zealand courts have usually accepted the existence of native title. Controversies over Indigenous land rights have tended to revolve around the means by which Māori lost ownership, rather than whether they had ownership in the first place.

United States

"Next to shooting indigenous peoples, the surest way to kill us is to separate us from our part of the Earth."

Hayden Burgess, Hawaii[9]

The foundational decision for Aboriginal title in the United States is Johnson v. McIntosh (1823), authored by Chief Justice John Marshall.

Native Americans in the United States have largely been relegated to Indian reservations managed by tribes under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Civil law

Brazil

Mexico

The years after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 saw agrarian reforms (1917–1934), and in article 27 of the Mexican Constitution the encomienda system was abolished, and the right to communal land for traditional communities was affirmed. Thus the ejido-system was created, which in practice should comprise the power of private investments by foreign corporations and absentee landlords, and entitled the indigenous population to a piece of land to work and live on.
Since the 1980s and 1990s the focus of Mexico's economic policy concentrated more on industrial development and attracting foreign capital. The Salinas government initiated a process of privatization of land (through the PROCEDE-program). In 1992, as a (pre)condition for Mexico for entering the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Canada, art.4 and art.27 of the Constitution were modified, by means of which it became possible to privatize communal ejido-land. This undermined the basic security of Indigenous communities to land entitlement, and former ejidatorios now became formally illegal land-squatters, and their communities informal settlements. (see also the Chiapas conflict)

Customary law

See also

References

  1. ^ Bouma; et al. (2010). Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies. Springer.
  2. ^ "Indigenous & Community Land Rights". Land Portal. Land Portal Foundation. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  3. ^ Gilbert, Jérémie. (2006). Indigenous peoples' land rights under international law : from victims to actors. Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers. ISBN 978-90-474-3130-5. OCLC 719377481.
  4. ^ "Mabo and Native Title The end of Terra Nullius, the beginning of Native Title". Australians together.
  5. ^ "Eddie Koiki Mabo". aiatsis.
  6. ^ "THE MABO CASE AND THE NATIVE TITLE ACT" (Australian bureau of statistics). Australian bureau of statistics. 1995.
  7. ^ "THE MABO CASE AND THE NATIVE TITLE ACT" (Australian bureau of statistics). Australian bureau of statistics. 1995.
  8. ^ editor., Bull, Benedicte, 1969- editor. Aguilar-Stoen, Mariel (13 November 2014). Environmental politics in Latin America : elite dynamics, the left tide and sustainable development. ISBN 978-1-317-65379-0. OCLC 1100656471.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Eede, Joanna (2009). We are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples. Quadrille Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84400-729-5.

Bibliography

  • Richardson, Benjamin J., Shin Imai & Kent McNeil. 2009. Indigenous peoples and the law: comparative and critical perspectives.
  • Robertson, L.G., (2005), Conquest by Law: How the Discovery of America Dispossessed Indigenous Peoples of Their Lands, Oxford University Press, New York ISBN 0-19-514869-X
  • Snow, Alpheus Henry. 1919. The Question of Aborigines in the Law and Practice of Nations.

External links

This page was last edited on 9 May 2021, at 11:20
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