With globalization and colonization taking over almost the entire known world, native tribes who are indigenous to their lands are losing control of the lands that their people have lived in for ages to the hands of foreign colonizers who claim the land as their own. Now, indigenous people all around the world are struggling to reclaim the lands and rights that were taken away from them through non-violent social relations with national governments and large corporations. Anthropologists have recorded how indigenous people across the globe attempt to create relations with national governments to reclaim rights and lands that they once had before the colonization of their ancestral homeland.
Compiled in this essay are three examples of ethnographic research done by anthropologists who followed different aboriginal people’s journey to reclaim their land from the hands of the government. The first two articles discuss two different tribes in Canada; the Nisga’a, and the Cheslatta T’en, while the third and final article discusses the struggle of the U’wa tribe in Colombia. All three tribes have different ways and reasons for their struggle but they each have the same goal; freedom to live in their homeland and practice their culture and beliefs in peace without interference from the national government of the country in which they reside.
Carole Blackburn writes the first article, titled, Differentiating Indigenous Citizenship, Seeking Multiplicity in Rights, Identity, and Sovereignty in Canada. Her ethnographic research brought her to British Columbia where she examined the delicate society of the Nisga’a people; an aboriginal tribe who has fought for differentiated indigenous citizenship for over a century. She examines the Nisga’a’s struggle to obtain autonomy over their land and governance from the Canadian government to live freely and practice their cultures without being harassed by government officials. To summarize, Blackburn examines the Nisga’a tribe’s long fight for autonomy from the Canadian government. The Nisga’a believe that the land in which they are currently living is their ancestral homeland and they deserve to be autonomous from the Canadian government, who colonized their land centuries ago. Their struggle is soon brought to court where they requested to be considered citizens of the Nisga’a nation, rather than being considered citizens of Canada. Eventually, a treaty is signed between them and the federal government so the Nisga’a people can claim sovereignty over their ancestral homeland, while still being confined within the nation-state. This article helps answer the question of this essay by showing the effects of globalization through colonization on aboriginal people’s identities. Since their land had been under colonization, the Nisga’a found it absolutely necessary to fight for their national identity to claim autonomy from the colonizers. By having the right to call themselves Nisga’a...