This article uses the stalled Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the impetus for an examination of arguments championing and opposing the framing of Indigenous rights as human rights. Failings both theoretical and practical – in the conceptualisation, promulgation and interpretation of human rights – have long left Aboriginal peoples at a disadvantage. The dual focus of Indigenous claims is unique in the rights lexicon, asserting the right to be simultaneously different from and equal to the majority population. Yet Indigenous rights are often perceived, by governments with the power to block their progress, as a threat to state sovereignty; to the equality of citizens; to national unity; to the sanctity of private property; and to the fostering of a free-market economy. A concerted effort to broaden existing conceptions and frameworks to include not only group rights, but those specific rights essential to Aboriginal collectivities, is imperative to the survival of Native peoples as peoples. Additionally it has much to offer the discourse of human rights itself.
- human rights,
- international law,
- Indigenous Peoples' rights,
- theories of justice
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/samgrey/12/