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Peer Commentary 3 - Self-determination and the politics of indigeneity

Author(s): Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald

Journal: MAI Review
ISSN 1177-5904

Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: historical injustice | indigeneity | indigenous rights | self-determination

O’Sullivan’s paper claims that Māori have self-determination rights as indigenous people, not just needs as citizens. Such a claim requires a normative theory of indigenous self-determination; but such theory has many compelling problems, when it views self-determination rights as held within a state. Most obviously, indigenous claims for self-determination rights within the state are often seen to be trumped by contemporary distributive justice theories. Also, historical injustice and structural inequality arguments are arguments for self-determination by secession not self-determination. But when arguments for indigenous rights are shorn of claims of structural inequalities within the state or historical injustice, they look like aristocratic privileges.
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