Self-determining Multiculturalism

  • Laine Schultz
    Harvard University, USA


The burgeoning human rights discourse of the twentieth century inspired new attention to the location of minority groups within the nation-state and their experiences of violence, discrimination and inequality. The result has been attempts by the nation to address the diversity of its population through the recognition of cultural difference. Attending to two particular rights claims—those of Indigenous self-determination and multiculturalism—we can find a tendency toward subsuming the former within those of the latter. This is a move that results from a top-down approach to the recognition of difference, reproducing colonialist priorities and jurisprudence, and significantly undermining the goals and meanings of Indigenous self-determination. By contrast, when self-determination is approached from the bottom-up, we can gain new perspectives on the meanings of this Indigenous right, expanded to encompass a range of relationships, all crucially built in response to Indigenous identities as First Peoples.

Published: 2015-06-01
Pages:55 to 66
Section: Articles
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How to Cite
Schultz, L. (2015). Self-determining Multiculturalism. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 8(2), 55-66.