The Impression of Hybridised Indigeneity
A History of the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Emergence of a Globalised Construction of Indigeneity
The purpose of this article is to examine how the work of the United Nations (UN) nurtures hybridised constructs of indigeneity, especially through the activities of the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). This article surveys particular aspects of the literature relating to cultural and indigenous hybridisation, and then applies this to the activities of the UNPFII as a means of interpreting the contribution of the organisation’s work and objectives to portrayals of indigeneity, drawing in the experiences New Zealand’s indigenous Maori as a case study. It concludes that the UNPFII—as a globalising agent—simultaneously promotes the rights of indigenous peoples while masking many of the cultural differences between its constituent members, resulting in a broad conception presented to outsiders of a single, hybridised indigeneity in the international sphere, which is defined and only exists in the hegemonic space created by the UN.