Talk:Indigenous peoples

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Why does this article only include "minority" ethnic groups?
A: Because we apply the definition of "indigenous peoples" used by international legislation by UN, UNESCO, ILO and WTO, which applies to those ethnic groups that were indigenous to a territory prior to being incorporated into a national state, and who are politically and culturally separate from the majority ethnic identity of the state that they are a part of.


Q: Why does this article not include European ethno-national groups such as Irish, French, Georgian etc. They are also indigenous to their countries.
A: Yes they are indigenous to their countries and territories but they are not indigenous peoples under the definition used by international legislation described above. The reason this definition is useful is that under a broader definition of "indigenous" simply as "native to a territory", the definition would include all peoples and ethnic groups, because all groups are indigenous to somewhere. The article would then the same scope as an article on the ethnic groups of the world and it would be redundant as a separate article. Furthermore literature on indigenous peoples always apply a definition similar to the one used in international legislation, exactly because otherwise it would simply be an article about human political, cultural and migrational history - that is another topic. This is the RfC where the inclusion criteria were decided by broad consensus

This is not an article on "indigenous people"[edit]

It seems clear to me, as a lawyer with an anthropology background, that this article is NOT about indigenous people per se, but rather addresses relatively recent efforts to protect the rights of certain indigenous people based on the perception that they are being discriminated against or persecuted.

That being the case, it seems that this article, which is really a poorly-written and sourced hodge-podge and needs a lot of work--should be renamed. Protecting the Rights of Disadvantaged Indigenous Peoples, perhaps. Another short article with the traditional, common sense definitions could be titled Indigenous Peoples.

The fact is that neither the UN nor other organizations can change the definition of a common word. The UN can define which types of indigenous people are to be protected, but that is different. Combining all these concepts in one article is confusing in the extreme, and makes no sense. Avocats (talk) 19:29, 21 August 2014 (UTC)


Well yes and no. The article is a mess and it is about the conception of indigenous peoples but that term is very much a constructed one that is legally and politically defined. There has been a fight over the last 30 years about the definition of the word - it seems common now but wasn't for a long time e.g. the fight over calling the working group at the UN the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, not Peoples and then calling the permanment forum the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues. Peoples have specific rights in international law, like the right to self-determiniation, which states don't want to give up as that is a sovereign prerogative and would pull countries apart in theory.

'Indigenous' itself is a constructed term - which the article mentions briefly. It was used in the 1600s originally but it's 'new' use was constructed as part of an international activist movement. I have lots of notes of this but not on this computer. I'll come back to this article when I have time and the notes. Would love help on it?

Developmentnerd (talk) 08:37, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

How come?[edit]

How come Hungarians, Bulgarians, Yugoslavians, Albanians, Greeks, and Romanians aren't considered indigenous peoples in this article? They were all colonized, subjugated, marginalized, and dispossessed by the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years. 97.122.181.40 (talk) 19:44, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but today they are majority ethnic goups in their own nation states.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:40, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
So? If indigenous people become the majority population where they live, how does that render them "not indigenous"? Either they originated in a particular place, or they didn't -- regardless of what subsequently happens to them. Being fruitful and multiplying doesn't change their origin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.95.43.249 (talk) 00:11, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Many of the groups listed here make up the majority of their own nation states. Just a few examples are the Tajiks in Tajikistan. The Yamato in Japan. The Amhara in Ethiopia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_indigenous_peoples 97.122.181.40 (talk) 13:06, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Then they should be removed.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Will the English or French ethnic groups be added sometime ? Both of those groups are plummeting in numbers in their homelands, while foreign ethnic groups will become the majority in the future. 107.222.205.242 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 20:10, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Indigenous White People in Europe[edit]

White People are also Indigenous to Western and Northern Europe. I demand a passage relating to Germanic White People be placed on this Page immediately. Germanic White People deserve to be recognized as having a Homeland, and should not be denied their Geographical and Racial Roots. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.110.57.68 (talk) 02:24, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Please read the FAQ. Being an indigenous people does not mean to have a homeland. All peoples have homelands and identities, but they do not all fall under the international definitions of the ILO, and UNESCO's convention for indigenous peoples.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:33, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

The UN have specifically reformulated the word indigenous to exclude Europeans, and this article is written as if the partisan political activities of the UN get to redefine a word in usage for centuries, which clearly violates NPOV Rivalin (talk) 03:05, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

No they have not. Saami are European Indigenous people under the established UNESCO definition.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 03:14, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
In recent times the word indigenous is frequently misused. What it means, is "having originated in; growing, living, or occurring naturally in a given region or environment." It is therefore incorrect to speak of "indigenous peoples of the Americas", for example, as there is no scientific evidence that any human beings -- ancient or modern -- evolved from a more primal species here in the Americas.
It is correct, however, to refer to "aboriginal peoples of the Americas," as aboriginal means "being the first of its kind in a region". There are aboriginal Americans, but none of them are indigenous Americans, as their ancestors all migrated to the Americas from somewhere else.
This article not only fails to make this distinction clear; it further confuses it, beginning with the very first sentence in which indigenous, aboriginal, and native are used as if they are all synonymous. The function of an encyclopedic article should be to make careful distinctions and clear up confusion. As it stands, the article is both inaccurate, and creates confusion, rather than dispelling it.
I agree with the first commenter, who suggested that the article be more appropriately renamed something like: Protecting the Rights of Disadvantaged Indigenous, Aboriginal, and Native Peoples. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.95.43.249 (talk) 00:32, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
As has been discussed umpteen times on this talk page, the title of this article is not indigenous, it's indigenous people. We are going by the established usage of that term in relevant and reliable sources (not just the UN/UNESCO – they just happen to give us an explicit and widely accepted definition to work from). This is an encyclopaedia, not a dictionary, so it's not our place to prescribe a "correct" or all-inclusive definition of the word indigenous. There are plenty of other articles on the history of white people in Europe. Joe Roe (talk) 10:06, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

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