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Unformatted text preview: have maintained their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions since
colonization and the establishment of new states. Furthermore, the ILO Convention 169 says that self-
identification is crucial for indigenous peoples. This
criterion has for example been applied in a land-
claims agreement between the Canadian government and
the Inuit of the Northwest Territories.
Martinéz Cobo's working definition
According to the Martinéz Cobo’s Report to the UN Sub-
Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination of Minorities (1986), indigenous peoples may be identified as follows:
“Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with
invasion and pre-
colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from
other sectors of the societies now prevailing in those territories, or parts of them. They form at present
dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future
generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as
peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal systems.”
This historical continuity may consist of the continuation, for an extended period reaching into the present,
of one or more of the following factors:
● Occupation of ancestral lands, or at least of part of them;7 ● Common ancestry with the original occupants of these lands;7 ● Culture in general, or in specific manifestations (such as religion, living under a tribal system,
membership of an indigenous community, dress, means of livelihood, lifestyle, etc.);7 ● Language (whether used as the only language, as mother-
tongue, as the habitual means of
communication at home or in the family, or as the main, preferred, habitual, general or normal
language);7 ● Residence in certain parts of the country, or in certain regions of the world;7 ● Other relevant factors S...
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This document was uploaded on 02/17/2014.
- Fall '14