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Indigenous–European Encounters in Settler Societies
Editor: Lynette Russell

Cross-cultural encounters produce boundaries and frontiers. This book explores the formation, structure, and maintenance of boundaries and frontiers in settler colonies. The southern nations of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have a common military heritage as all three united to fight for the British Empire during the Boer and First World Wars. The book focuses on the southern latitudes and especially Australia and Australian historiography. Looking at cross-cultural interactions in the settler colonies, the book illuminates the formation of new boundaries and the interaction between settler societies and indigenous groups. It contends that the frontier zone is a hybrid space, a place where both indigene and invader come together on land that each one believes to be their own. The best way to approach the northern Cape frontier zone is via an understanding of the significance of the frontier in South African history. The book explores some ways in which discourses of a natural, prehistoric Aboriginality inform colonial representations of the Australian landscape and its inhabitants, both indigenous and immigrant. The missions of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Polynesia and Australia are examined to explore the ways in which frontiers between British and antipodean cultures were negotiated in colonial textuality. The role of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand society is possibly the most important and controversial issue facing modern New Zealanders. The book also presents valuable insights into sexual politics, Aboriginal sovereignty, economics of Torres Strait maritime, and nomadism.

This book is a full-length study of the rights of indigenous peoples in international law, focusing in particular on instruments of human rights. The primary reference point is contemporary law, though the book also examines the history of indigenous peoples through the lens of historical legal discourses. The work critically assesses the politics of definition and analyses contested definitions and descriptions of indigenous groups. Most of the chapters are devoted to detailed examination of existing and emerging human rights texts at global and regional levels. Among the instruments considered in the book are the International Covenants on Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, and the ILO Conventions on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

Indigenous peoples and the development of international law

of trust or guardianship and looks at the early work of the ILO. The conclusion reflects briefly on the beginnings of the engagement of indigenous groups with contemporary instruments and concepts, with their promise of renewal and empowerment. An indigenous perspective Through indigenous lenses, international law can look like a system for the vindication of Eurocentric State practice – the ‘apologist’ pole of the Koskenniemi characterisation.6 On such a view, it has done little to salvage indigenous societies and much to damage them – though recalling the stances

in Indigenous peoples and human rights
Article 27 and other global standards on minority rights

profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language. The examination of indigenous rights has proceeded despite the fact that Article 27 deals with ‘minorities’ and not indigenous groups. As noted in a previous chapter, ‘minority’ is not defined in the article, a silence which many have attempted to fill on the basis of varying degrees of scholarship.1 The most notable definition remains that of UN Special Rapporteur Capotorti who defined ‘minority’ not in a canonical manner but specifically for the purposes of Article 27. As noted,2 the key definitional

in Indigenous peoples and human rights
A reflective narrative

Indigenous peoples and HR 17 Indigenous peoples and the discourses of human rights: a reflective narrative The system of human rights is not closed. It is theoretically possible that forms of closure of normative categories will in time descend on indigenous groups, disabling the groups (normatively) from accessing minority rights, just as minorities are not encouraged to access indigenous rights. Such an outcome is not certain, and appears improbable in the present state of international law and relations. Closing off categories is also dubious morally and

in Indigenous peoples and human rights

Regional HR protection and indigenous groups 12 European instruments on human and minority rights Emanating principally from the Council of Europe, key European instruments have considerable potential to advance human rights strategies of indigenous groups. The Council of Europe was founded in 1949 as a European organisation for intergovernmental and parliamentary cooperation. The central motive for the creation of the Council was the need to secure democracy in the light of recent and actual totalitarianism and to prevent the recurrence of the gross

in Indigenous peoples and human rights

Global instruments on HR 7 The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) does not contain a specific article on indigenous groups or – unlike the ICCPR1 – on minorities.2 None the less, concern about the conditions of indigenous life has exercised the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the ESC Committee) on many occasions and will doubtless continue to do so. The Covenant is structured as a programmatic or promotional human rights treaty.3 The basic obligation for the

in Indigenous peoples and human rights
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Convention 169

preamble of the UDHR, the Covenants on human rights, and ‘the many international instruments on the prevention of discrimination’. The recitations of non-discrimination apply to the peoples, and to individuals, including ‘male and female members of these peoples’.58 The non-discrimination context is important, especially in view of the work of CERD and the HRC, some of whose insights may inform the interpretation of Convention 169.59 Discrimination may be a factor in the failure of some governments to recognise the existence of indigenous groups, or to recognise some and

in Indigenous peoples and human rights
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Concept, definition, process

/Indigenous Condition (Delhi, Konark Publishers PVT LTD., 1998). 8 See chs 1 and 17 of this volume. 9 The utility of a minority rights strategy for indigenous groups is assessed in chapters 6 and 12 of this volume. 10 P. Thornberry, ‘On some implications of the UN declaration on minorities for indigenous peoples’, in E. Gayim and K. Myntti (eds.), Indigenous and Tribal Peoples – 1993 and After (Rovaniemi, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, 1995), pp. 46–91. 11 For an account of the development and content of minority rights up to 1990, see the present author

in Indigenous peoples and human rights

Regional HR protection and indigenous groups 10 The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; African perspectives on indigenous peoples The strictures of Special Rapporteur Alfonso Martinez concerning the concept of indigenous peoples in Africa and Asia will be recalled. His comments flag up the possibility that indigenousness raises difficult questions for African States, most of which are relatively recent beneficiaries of the decolonisation movement, and governed by indigenous political élites. African States, according to one author, represent a mixture

in Indigenous peoples and human rights