Stateless nation

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A stateless nation is an ethnic group or nation that does not possess its own state[1] and is not the majority population in any nation state.[2] The term "stateless" implies that the group "should have" such a state (country).[3][4] Members of stateless nations may be citizens of the country in which they live, or they may be denied citizenship by that country. Stateless nations are usually not represented in international sports or in international organisations such as the United Nations. Nations without state are classified as fourth-world nations.[5][6][7] Some of the stateless nations have a history of statehood, some were always a stateless nation, dominated by another nation.

The term was coined in 1983 by political scientist Jacques Leruez in his book L'Écosse, une nation sans État about the peculiar position of Scotland within the British state. It was later adopted and popularized by Scottish scholars such as David McCrone, Michael Keating and T. M. Devine.[8]

Stateless nations either are dispersed across a number of states (for example, the Yakthung Limbu People residing in east of Nepal, includes (Sikkim and Darjeeling) India and north-western part of Bangladesh as the Yakthung Limbuwan nation[9] and Yoruba people are found in the African states of Nigeria, Benin and Togo) or form the native population of a province within a larger state (such as the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region within the People's Republic of China). Some stateless nations historically had a state, which was absorbed by another; for example, Tibet's declaration of independence in 1913 was not recognized, and it was reunited in 1951 by the People's Republic of China which claims that Tibet is an integral part of China, while the Tibetan government-in-exile maintains that Tibet is an independent state under an unlawful occupation.[10][11] Some ethnic groups were once a stateless nation that later became a nation state (for example, the nations of the Balkans such as the Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks, Slovenes, Montenegrins and Macedonians were once part of a multinational state of Yugoslavia; since the breakup of Yugoslavia many nation states were formed).

Stateless nations can have large populations; for example the Kurds have an estimated population of over 30 million people, which make them one of the largest stateless nations.[12] Multiple stateless nations can reside in the same geographical region or country; for example, the Assamese, Brahui, Maithils, Kashmiri, Sikhs, Tamils and Santhals in South Asia, or Chin, Kachin, Karen, Mon, Rakhine, Rohingya and Shan in Myanmar, and Amazighs within Algeria in North Africa.[13] However, not all peoples within multi-cultural states have the same awareness of being a stateless nation.

As not all states are nation states, there are ethnic groups who live in multinational states without being considered "stateless nations".

Nation-states and nations without states[edit]

The symbiotic relationship between nations and states arose in early modern Western Europe (18th century) and it was exported to the rest of the world through colonial rule. Whereas the Western European nation-states are at present relinquishing some of their powers to the European Union, many of the former colonies are now the zealous defenders of the concept of national-statehood.[4]

Only a small fraction of the world's national groups have associated nation-states. The proportion was estimated to be 3 percent by Minahan. The rest are distributed in one or more states. While there are over 3000 estimated nations in the world, there were only 193 member states of the United Nations as of 2011, of which fewer than 20 are considered to be ethnically homogeneous nation-states. Thus nation-states are not as common as often assumed, and stateless nations are the overwhelming majority of nations in the world.[4]

Consequences of colonialism and imperialism[edit]

During the imperial and colonial era, powerful nations extended their influence outside their homeland and this resulted in many colonized nations ceasing to be self-governing and have since been described as stateless nations.[14] Some nations have been victims of "carve out" and their homeland was divided among several countries. Even today the colonial boundaries form modern national boundaries. These often differ from cultural boundaries. This results in situations where people of the same language or culture are divided by national borders, for example New Guinea splits as West Papua (former Dutch colony) and Papua New Guinea (former British colony).[15] During decolonization, the colonial powers imposed a unified state structure irrespective of the ethnic differences and granted independence to their colonies as a multinational state. This led to successor states with many minority ethnic groups in them, which increased the potential for ethnic conflicts.[16][17][18][19] Some of these minority groups campaigned for self-determination. Stateless nations were not protected in all countries and become victims of atrocities such as discrimination, ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced assimilation, Exploitation of labour and natural resources.[20][21]

Nationalism and stateless nations[edit]

People with a common origin, history, language, culture, customs or religion can turn into a nation by awakening of national consciousness.[22] A nation can exist without a state, as is exemplified by the stateless nations. Citizenship is not always the nationality of a person.[23] In a multinational state different national identities can coexist or compete: for example, in Britain English nationalism, Scottish nationalism and Welsh nationalism exist and are held together by British nationalism.[24] Nationalism is often connected to separatism, because a nation achieves completeness through its independence.[25]

Throughout history, numerous nations declared their independence, but not all succeeded in establishing a state. Even today, there are active autonomy and independence movements around the world. The claim of the stateless nations to self-determination is often denied due to geopolitical interests and increasing globalization of the world.[26][27][28][29] Stateless nations sometimes show solidarity with other stateless nations and maintain diplomatic relations.[30][31]

Unionism vs Separatism[edit]

Not all ethnic group claim to be a nation or aspire to be a separate state. Some of them see themselves as part of the multinational state and they believe that their interests are well represented in it. The favoring of a united single state is also associated with unionism (Indian nationalism, Chinese nationalism,[32] British nationalism, Spanish nationalism, Russian nationalism). In many countries, unionism is also encouraged by governments and separatism is considered illegal.

Claims of stateless nations and ethnic groups with autonomous status[edit]

The following is a list of ethnic and national groups that has been described as stateless nations in reliable sources[which?]. States made bold under the "homeland" column are countries of the respective ethnic groups which are native to them and still host the majority (more than half) of their population.

People Flag Languages Language family[a] Predominant religion Population Continent States Homeland[b] Irredentist movement Notes
Bicolor flag of Tamil Eelam.svg

Tamil Eelam Flag.svg

Tamil language Dravidian languages Hinduism (mostly Shaivism) 78,000,000 Asia India, Sri Lanka Tamil Nadu, Tamil Eelam Tamil nationalism, Greater Tamil Nadu, TNRT, Tamil Nadu Liberation Army, Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism, LTTE, Sri Lankan Civil War, TGTE, Vaddukoddai Resolution Historically ruled Tamilakam and parts of Sri Lanka. Has regional autonomy in Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand autonomy in North Eastern Province or total secession from Sri Lanka.[37]
Flag of Kurdistan.svg
Kurdish languages, (originally) Arabic, Turkish, Persian (assimilation) Iranian languages Islam (Sunni, Shia, Alevi), Zoroastrianism, Yarsanism, Yazdânism 30,000,000–45,000,000[39][40] Asia Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria (homeland), Germany (largest diaspora) Kurdistan Kurdish nationalism, Kurdish–Turkish conflict, Kurdish-Iranian conflict, Iraqi–Kurdish conflict, and Kurdish–Syrian conflict Regional autonomy achieved in Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava.[41] Data rough due to censuses not taking ethnicity in homeland countries.
Yoruba people[38]
Oduduwa Flag.jpg
Yoruba language Volta-Congo languages Christianity, Islam, Yoruba religion 35,000,000[42][43] Africa Nigeria, Benin and Togo, Ghana Yorubaland Oodua Peoples Congress
Igbo people[citation needed]
Flag of Biafra.svg
Igbo, English Volta-Congo languages Christianity (primarily Roman Catholicism with significant Protestant minorities), Indigenous beliefs 30,000,000[44] Africa Nigeria (almost exclusively) Igboland Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, Indigenous People of Biafra Attempted secession from Nigeria in 1967 sparked the Nigerian Civil war
Occitan people[citation needed]
Flag of Occitania (with star).svg
Occitan, French, Italian, Spanish Romance languages Roman Catholicism 16,000,000 Europe France, Monaco, Italy and Spain (Val d'Aran) Occitania Occitan nationalism (Occitan Party, Partit de la Nacion Occitana, Libertat) Seek self-determination, greater autonomy or total secession from France.
Assamese people[citation needed]
Flag of United Liberation Front of Asom.svg
Assamese language Indo-Aryan languages Hinduism 15,000,000[45] Asia India Assam Assam separatist movements, ULFA Insurgency in Northeast India Seeks greater regional autonomy for natives of Assam or total secession from India.[46]
Uyghur people[citation needed]
Kokbayraq flag.svg
Uyghur language Turkic languages Sunni Islam 15,000,000[47] Asia China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan East Turkestan (Uyghuristan) Irredentism is politically fragmented (East Turkestan Liberation Organization, East Turkestan independence movement) Limited autonomy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Flag of Palestine - long triangle.svg
Arabic, Hebrew Semitic languages Sunni Islam (majority), Christianity 5,242,679[49] Asia State of Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon Palestine Palestinian nationalism (PLO) Seek self-determination from occupying powers.[c]
Zulu people[citation needed]
Conjectural flag of Zululand (1884-1897) by Roberto Breschi taken from The South African Flag Book by A.P.Burgers.png
Zulu language Volta-Congo languages Christianity, Zulu religion 12,159,000 Africa South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini KwaZulu-Natal Inkatha Freedom Party Limited autonomy in the KwaZulu-Natal region, which maintains a traditional Zulu king.
Kongo people[citation needed]
Royal banner of Kongo (Afonso I).svg
Kongo language, Lingala, Portuguese, French Volta-Congo languages Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism), African Traditional Religion 10,000,000 Africa Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Angola Kongo Kongo nationalism, Bundu dia Kongo Historically occupied the independent Kingdom of Kongo.
Baloch people[citation needed]
Flag of Balochistan.png
Balochi Iranian languages Sunni Islam 10,000,000[51] Asia Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan(homeland), UAE (diaspora) Balochistan Balochistan conflict, Baloch nationalism Seeks total independence from Pakistan.
Kabyle people[citation needed]
Kabyle language, Algerian Arabic Berber languages Islam 4,000,000[52] Africa Algeria Kabylie Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie, Provisional Government of Kabylia
Romani people[citation needed]
Flag of the Romani people.svg
Romani language Indo-Aryan languages Christianity Islam Hinduism 2,000,000-5,000,000[53] Worldwide, mostly Europe and Americas
Ahwazi Arabs[citation needed]
Flag of Arabistan.svg
Arabic, Persian (assimilation) Semitic languages Shia Islam 1,320,000[54] Asia Iran Al Ahwaz Arab separatism in Khuzestan Democratic Solidarity Party of Ahwaz Ahwazi includes 30 tribes which see themselves as a distinct Arab nation.[55] Seek self-determination, greater autonomy or total secession from Iran.
Andalusians[citation needed]
Flag of Andalucía.svg
Andalusian Spanish, English (in Gibraltar) Romance languages Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 9,500,000 Europe Spain, Gibraltar Andalusia Andalusian nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Puerto Rico[56]
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg
Spanish, English Romance languages Christianity (primarily Roman Catholicism) 9,000,000 America United States Puerto Rico Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña, Boricua Popular Army, Puerto Rican Independence Party Unincorporated territory of the United States.
Flag of Catalonia.svg
Catalan, Spanish, Occitan, French, Italian Romance languages Roman Catholicism, Agnosticism 8,500,000[59] Europe Spain, Italy, Andorra and France Catalan Countries Catalan independence movement, Catalan nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Flag of Quebec.svg
French Romance languages Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 8,215,000 America Canada Quebec Quebec sovereignty movement, Quebec nationalism The total population of the Province of Quebec is 8.2 million, of which over 80% are French speakers.
Mon people[citation needed]
Flag of the Mon National Party.svg
Mon language Monic languages Buddhism 8,145,500 Asia Myanmar, Thailand Mon State Mon Nationalism, Mon National Party, All Mon Region Democracy Party Historically occupied the Mon kingdoms
Circassians[citation needed]
Flag of Adygea.svg
Circassian language, Russian Circassian languages Islam 5,000,000 Europe Russia Circassia Russo-Circassian War, Circassian nationalism Majority of the Circassians were destroyed by Russia in the Circassian genocide[61]
Karen people[citation needed]
Flag of the Karen National Union.svg
S'gaw Karen language Karenic languages Christianity, Theravada Buddhism 7,000,000 Asia Myanmar, Thailand Kawthoolei Karen nationalism, Karen National Union, Karen National Liberation Army
Maya peoples[citation needed]
Maya flag.svg
Mayan languages Mayan languages Christianity (Catholicism), Maya religion 7,000,000 America Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador Mesoamerica Pan-Maya movement, Rigoberta Menchú, Zapatista Army of National Liberation Historically occupied the Maya civilization
Volga Tatars[citation needed]
Flag of Tatarstan.svg
Tatar language, Russian Turkic languages Islam 7,000,000 Europe Russia Tatarstan All-Tatar Public Center Regional autonomy in Tatarstan.
Veneto[citation needed]
Flag of Veneto.svg
Venetian language Romance languages Catholicism 5,000,000 (est.) Europe Italy Veneto Venetian nationalism Many groups seek for total independence from Italy, while some just want more autonomy and recognition of Venetian language and people. Historically occupied the independent Republic of Venice.
Tibetan people[citation needed]
Flag of Tibet.svg
Tibetan language, Chinese language Sino-Tibetan languages Buddhism 7,000,000[62] Asia China, India, Nepal Tibet Tibetan independence movement Limited autonomy in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Historically occupied the Tibetan Empire.
Indian Gorkhas[citation needed]
Flag of Gurkhaland.svg
Nepali language Hinduism 6,360,000[63] Asia India Gorkhastan Gorkha National Liberation Front, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Gorkhaland is a proposed state in India demanded by the people of the Darjeeling Hills and the people of Gorkha ethnic origin on the Northern part of West Bengal.
Riffian people[citation needed]
Flag of the Republic of the Rif.svg
Riffian language, Arabic Afroasiatic Islam 6,000,000[64] Africa Morocco and Spain Rif Rif War, Rif Republic 95% of the land is controlled by Morocco with the rest being controlled by the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla as autonomous cities.
Shan people[citation needed]
Flag of the Shan State.svg
Shan language, Thai Kra-Dai Buddhism 6,000,000 Asia Myanmar Shan State Shan State Army, Declaration of independence in 2005; see also Hso Khan Pha Historically occupied the Shan states.
Kashmiri people[citation needed]
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front flag.svg
Kashmiri language Islam 5,600,000 Asia India, Pakistan and China Kashmir Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir Administered by India (Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh), Pakistan (Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan) and China (Aksai Chin).
Lozi people[citation needed]
Flag of Barotseland.svg
Lozi Christianity 5,153,000 Africa Zambia Barotseland Barotse Patriotic Front[65]
Valencians[citation needed]
Senyera del nacionalisme valencià.svg
Catalan, Spanish Romance languages Roman Catholicism[66] 5,111,706 Europe Spain Valencian Community Valencian nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Moro people[citation needed]
Flag of Bangsamoro.svg
Filipino language, other Philippine languages Islam 5,100,000 Asia Philippines Muslim Mindanao Moro autonomy The Moro people of Muslim Mindanao has since been granted autonomy as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region with the adoption of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
Kuki-Mizo-Zo-Chin people[citation needed]
Flag of Chin State.svg
Kuki-Chin languages Christianity 5,000,000 Asia Myanmar, Bangladesh, India Mizoram, Zogam and Chin State Mizo National Front, Chin National Front, Kuki National Army, Zomi Revolutionary Army, Zomi nationalism Kuki-Mizo-Zo-Chin are an ethnic group known by different names and speak different dialects.
Scottish people[60][58]
Flag of Scotland.svg
Scottish Gaelic, Scots, English Celtic languages Christianity (Protestantism, Catholic minority) 5,000,000 (only Scotland)[67] Europe United Kingdom Scotland Scottish independence Formerly a Sovereign state, Regional autonomy in Scotland.
Sicilian Flag.svg
Sicilian, Italian, Gallo-Italic of Sicily, Arbëresh Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 5,000,000 (only Sicily) Europe Italy Sicily Sicilian nationalism Regional autonomy in Sicily.
Mthwakazi people[citation needed] IsiNdebele, Venda, Khalanga, Shona, Tonga, Xhosa, Sotho, Nambya, Tswana (a total of over 13 tribes and languages in addition to the ones listed here Christianity with native 5,000,000 Africa Zimbabwe Southern party of Zimbabwe, today described as Matabeleland and the Midlands Province Various political and revolutionary restoration movements Mthwakazi was a Kingdom whose last King was King Lobhengula. Mthwakazi was colonised by the British independently as a State in 1893 after a war between the British and the natives of Mthwakazi. Mashonaland which neighbours Mthwakazi, had been colonized without resistance in 1890. Britain later amalgamated these two states.
Hmong people[citation needed]
Hmong flag.svg
Hmong language Buddhism with native 4,000,000 Asia Laos, China, Vietnam and Thailand Hmong ChaoFa Federated State Insurgency in Laos
Rohingya people[citation needed]
Rohingya flag.png
Rohingya language Islam 3,600,000 Asia Myanmar Rohang State Rohingya conflict The Rohingyas are not recognized as a native ethnic group by Burmese government.[69]
Afrikaners[citation needed]
Afrikaner Vryheidsvlag.svg
Afrikaans Christianity (mainly Protestantism) 3,500,000 Africa South Africa and Namibia Volkstaat Afrikaner Nationalism, Freedom Front Afrikaners are an Ethno-racial group. Demand autonomy or total secession from South Africa.
Flag of the Assyrians.svg
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Turoyo, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic Semitic languages Christianity (Chaldean Catholicism Syriac Christianity) 3,300,000[71] Asia Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey Assyria, Beth Nahrain (Mesopotamia) Assyrian nationalism, Assyrian independence movement Historically occupied the Assyrian empire.
Basque people[58]
Flag of the Basque Country.svg
Basque, French, Spanish Language isolate Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 3,000,000[72] Europe France and Spain Basque Country Basque nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Iraqi Turkmen people[citation needed]
Flag of Iraq Turkmen FrontVEC.svg
Turkish language, Azerbaijani language Islam 3,000,000 Asia Iraq Turkmeneli Iraqi Turkmen Front Not to be confused with Syrian Turkmen of Latakia or Central Asian Turkmens of Turkmenistan who share only their ethnonym.[73]
Welsh people[58]
Flag of Wales.svg
Welsh, English Celtic languages Christianity (Protestantism, Catholic minority) 3,000,000 Europe United Kingdom Wales Welsh independence, Welsh nationalism, Meibion Glyndŵr, Plaid Cymru Regional autonomy in Wales. Historically occupied the independent kingdoms of Wales (Gwynedd, Powys, Dyfed, Seisyllwg, Morgannwg and Gwent).
Galician people[58]
Bandeira galega civil.svg
Galician language, Spanish, Portuguese Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 2,800,000 Europe Spain Galicia Galician nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain. Historically occupied the Kingdom of Galicia.
Kachin people[citation needed]
Kachin Independence Army flag.svg
Jingpo, Zaiwa, Maru, Lashi, Azi Buddhism, Christianity, Animism 2,750,000 (2002)[74] Asia Myanmar Kachin State Kachin Independence Army, Kachin Independence Organisation, Kachin conflict The tribes of Kachin Hills form the Kachin Nation.
Aragonese people[citation needed]
Flag of Aragon.svg
Aragonese language, Spanish Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 2,278,000 (Spain only)[75] Europe Spain Aragon Aragonese nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain. Historically occupied the Kingdom of Aragon.
Meitei people[citation needed]
In manipur1.gif
Meitei language Hinduism 2,500,000 Asia India Imphal Valley, Manipur UNLF, PLA, Insurgency in Manipur, Anglo-Manipur War Historically occupied the Kingdom of Manipur.
Chechen people[citation needed]
Flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.svg
Chechen language, Russian Islam 2,000,000 Europe Russia Chechnya Chechen insurgency, Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Regional autonomy in Chechnya.
Naga people[citation needed]
Unofficial flag of Nagaland.svg
Tibeto-Burman dialects / Nagamese creole Christianity 2,000,000 Asia India Nagaland Naga National Council, Insurgency in Northeast India Regional autonomy in Nagaland.
Sardinian people[76][77][78][79]
Flag of Sardinia, Italy (1950–1999).svg
Sardinian, Corso-Sardinian, Italian, Catalan, Ligurian Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 1,661,521 Europe Italy Sardinia Sardinian nationalism National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Italy.
Ryukyuan people[citation needed] Ryukyuan, Japanese Buddhism 1,600,000[80] Asia Japan Ryukyu Islands Ryukyu independence movement Historically occupied the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Frisians[citation needed]
Flag of Frisia.svg
Frisian, Dutch, German, Danish Christianity (Protestantism and Roman Catholicism) 1,500,000 Europe Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany Frisia Frisian National Party, Groep fan Auwerk The creation of a new Frisian state. Historically occupied the Frisian Kingdom.
Tripuri people[citation needed]
Unofficial flag of Tripura.png
Kokborok Hinduism 1,520,000 (2002)[81] Asia India Tripura Tripuri nationalism, All Tripura Tiger Force, National Liberation Front of Tripura Historically occupied the Twipra Kingdom. 1949, Tripuris had a population of 85% in Tripura, 2002 they make up 29% and became a minority in their own homeland.[81]
Bodo people[citation needed]
Bandera Bodoland.svg
Bodo language Hinduism Bathouism 1,300,000 Asia India Bodoland Bodo nationalism, National Democratic Front of Bodoland National devolution or further autonomy from the India.
Tuareg people[citation needed]
MNLA flag.svg
Tuareg language Islam 1,200,000 Africa Mali and Niger Azawad National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, Tuareg rebellion (2012), Northern Mali conflict National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Mali.
Mapuche[citation needed]
Flag of the Mapuches.svg
Mapudungun Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 1,000,000[82] America Argentina and Chile Wallmapu Mapuche conflict
Asturian people[citation needed]
Bandera del Panasturianismo.svg
Asturian language, Spanish Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 1,925,000 (2020) Europe Spain and Portugal Asturias Asturian nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Lezgins[citation needed]
Lezgian flag.svg
Lezgian Islam 800,000+ Europe Russia, Azerbaijan Lezgistan Lezgin Nationalism Unification of the Lezgin people in Azerbaijan and Dagestan (Russia).
Fur people[citation needed]
Flag of Darfur.svg
Fur, Arabic Islam 800,000[83] Africa Sudan Dafur War in Darfur, SLM/A Historically occupied the Sultanate of Darfur.
Māori people[citation needed]
Tino Rangatiratanga Maori sovereignty movement flag.svg
Māori, English Christianity with native 750,000 Oceania New Zealand New Zealand Māori protest movement
Aboriginal Australians[citation needed]
Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg
Aboriginal languages Christianity (principally Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism) with native 680,000 Oceania Australia Australia Movement is fragmented or focused on specific aboriginal groups
Karakalpaks[citation needed]
Flag of Karakalpakstan.svg
Karakalpak language Islam 620,000 Asia Uzbekistan Karakalpakstan Karakalpak Nationalism Regional autonomy in Karakalpakstan
Hawaiian people[citation needed]
Kanaka Maoli flag.svg
Hawaiian language Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) with native 527,000 Oceania United States Hawaii Hawaiian sovereignty movement Historically occupied the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Moravians[citation needed]
Banner of arms of Moravia.svg
Czech (Moravian), Slovak Traditionally Roman Catholicism presently Irreligion 525,000[84][85] Europe Czech Republic and Slovakia Moravia Moravians Historically occupied Great Moravia
Kashubians[citation needed]
Kashubian flag.svg
Kashubian Christianity (Roman Catholicism) ~0.5 million (2002–07)[86][87] of which 233,000 as ethnic-national identity (2011) Europe Poland Pomerania Kaszëbskô Jednota Kashubians with Slovincians (extinct) formed the West Slavic tribes of Pomeranians.
Ogoni people[citation needed]
Flag of the Ogoni people.svg
Ogoni language Christianity with native 500,000 Africa Nigeria Ogoniland Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
Crimean Tatars[citation needed]
Flag of the Crimean Tatar people.svg
Crimean Tatar, Russian, Ukrainian Islam 500,000 Europe Ukraine Crimea Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
Tatars in Republic of Crimea
Deportation of the Crimean Tatars
Previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, after being invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014 the Crimean Tatars are currently seeking autonomy[88]
Sahrawi people[89]
Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.svg
Hassaniya Arabic (native), Berber languages (native), Modern Standard Arabic (written only), and Spanish (lingua franca) Islam (Sunni Islam (Maliki), Sufism) 500,000[90] Africa Morocco, Algeria, Mauretania Western Sahara Western Sahara conflict, Polisario Front, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic partially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially Moroccan-occupied
Yakuts[citation needed]
Flag of Sakha.svg
Yakut language, Russian language Turkic Christianity, Shamanism, Tengrism 480,000–510,000 Asia Russia Yakutia Yakut revolt (1918) Regional autonomy in Sakha Republic, Yakut leaders declared Yakutia's sovereignty in 1991 in an attempt to take advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union, though this was unsuccessful[91]
Chams[citation needed]
Bandera Front Alliberament Cham.svg
Cham language Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism 400,000 Asia Vietnam South Central Coast United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races, Cham rights movement[92] Historically occupied the Kingdom of Champa. The Cham in Vietnam are only recognized as a minority, and not as an indigenous people by the Vietnamese government despite being indigenous to the region.
Corsican people[citation needed]
Flag of Corsica.svg
Corsican, French, Ligurian, Italian Christianity (Roman Catholicism 322,120 Europe France Corsica Corsica Libera Territorial collectivity in France.
Navajo[citation needed]
Navajo flag.svg
Navajo language, Navajo language, Navajo Sign Language Navajo Traditional, Christianity (principally Roman Catholicism) 300,460 America United States Navajo Nation Navajo Wars Regional autonomy in the Navajo Nation.
Tuvans[citation needed]
Flag of Tuva.svg
Tuvan language, Russian language, Mongolian language, Chinese language Tibetan Buddhism, Tengrism 300,000 Asia Russia, Mongolia, China Tuva People's Front "Free Tuva", People's Party of Sovereign Tuva[93] Regional autonomy in Tuva.
Sikkimese people[citation needed]
Flag of Sikkim (1967-1975).svg
Sikkimese language Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity 290,000 Asia India Sikkim Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee[94] Formerly the Kingdom of Sikkim. The Sikkimese people are split among the Lepcha, Limbu and Bhutias In 1990 Sikkimese Nationalist leaders declared the annexation of Sikkim by India to be illegal[95]
Lakota people[citation needed]
Pine Ridge Flag.svg
Lakota, English Christianity with native 170,000[96] America United States Lakotah Sioux Wars, Lakota Freedom Movement Native American reservation politics.
Sami people[citation needed]
Sami flag.svg
Sami languages, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian Christianity (principally Lutheran), Animism 163,400 Europe Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia Sapmi Sámi politics Have their own Parliaments in Norway, Sweden & Finland but Sami groups seek more territorial autonomy.
Inuit[citation needed] Inuit languages, Danish, English, Russian Christianity with native 135,991 America Canada, United States and Denmark Alaska, Northern Canada and Greenland Greenland Referendum, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Semi-autonomous rule in Greenland with autonomy within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Yupik peoples[citation needed] Yupik languages, English, Russian Christianity with native 35,567 (est.) Asia and America Russia and the United States Siberia and Alaska Calista Corporation, Bristol Bay Native Corporation
Pamiris[citation needed]
Flag of the Pamiris.svg
Pamir languages Islam 135,000[97] Asia Tajikistan Badakhshan Pamiri nationalism, Lali Badakhshan party, Tajikistani Civil War Regional autonomy in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region
Faroese people[citation needed]
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg
Faroese language, Danish Christianity (principally Lutheran) 66,000 Europe Denmark Faroe Islands Faroese independence movement Regional autonomy in Faroe Islands.
Sorbs[citation needed]
Flag of Sorbs.svg
Sorbian language, German Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 60,000–70,000 (est.) Europe Germany Lusatia Domowina Divided into Upper Sorbs and Lower Sorbs.
Ainu people[citation needed]
Flag of Ainu.svg
Ainu languages, Japanese people, Russian language Animism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Christianity 25,000 – 200,000 (est.) Asia Japan, Russia Hokkaido Ainu Movement Seek greater independence in Japan[98][99][100]
Rapa Nui people[citation needed]
Easter Island flag 1876 to 1888.svg
Rapa Nui language, Spanish language Christianity (Catholicism) 5,682 Oceania Chile Easter Island Rapa Nui independence movement[101][102] The Rapa Nui Parliament is a pro-independence organisation[103]
Pastusos[citation needed]
Flag of San Juan de Pasto.svg
Spanish language (Pastuso dialect) Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 1,800,000 (est., 2015)[104] South America Colombia and Ecuador Nudo de los Pastos Agustín Agualongo, José Rafael Sañudo Pasto was annexed by Colombia after the Pasto Campaign and Black Christmas. During 2021 protests, many Colombian symbols in the region were destroyed.[105]

Formerly stateless nations[edit]

Some stateless nations have achieved their own independent state. Examples include Greeks before the Greek War of Independence[106] and Irish people before the Irish War of Independence.[107]

Some would include the Jews until the 1948 Israeli declaration of independence,[108] however others would point out that different groups of Jews have very different characteristics such as languages, cultures, and territories, rendering the idea that all Jews constitute a single nation questionable.[109][110]

During the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the breakup of Yugoslavia, several ethnic groups gained their own sovereign state.[111]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Can also help with understanding the cultural/ethnic proximity with other people of that paternal language group, but not necessarily. The largest language family is not recommended, as a large number of cells would contain similar content.
  2. ^ Proposed or historical homeland desired.
  3. ^ Although the Palestinians are the majority in Jordan, the country was not created as a nation state for the Palestinians.[50]


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External links[edit]