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Louis-Olivier Gervais

How have Indigenous Peoples responded to globalization?

University of Northern British Columbia
December 5th, 2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contents………………………………………………………..……………….p.2
Introduction………………………………………………………………….…………..p.3
1- Indigenous view on globalization…………………………………………………….p.4
1.1- Globalization is European Imperialism………………………………………….…p.41.2- Consequences of globalization on Indigenous people…...…………………………p.8
1.3- Images that Indigenous people have of themselves……………………………….p.11
2- Different Indigenous answers to globalization……………………………..……….p.12
2.1- The 4th World……………………………………………………………..……….p.13
2.2- Indigenous activism…………………………………………………………...…..p.15
2.3- Creation of a global voice for the recognition of Indigenousrights……………....p.18
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………..p.19
Bibliography…………………………………………….……………………………..p.22

“The question of justice only enters where the pressure of necessity is equal. The powerful exact what they can, and the weak grant what they must.”
Athenian spokesman, 416 B.C.

Indigenous peoples have always had problems in dealing with the nations that came tosettle over their territories. It is true that the treatments that they received, such as introduction of epidemic diseases, massive killings, assimilation, and ignorance, counts for a lot in this attitude. Throughout the world, First Nations have been suspicious about societies that European conquerors organized. Through these different plans of societies, Indigenous peoples have always had therecollection of being the victim, the ones that are left aside, and the ones that have been cheated on.

Therefore, when Indigenous peoples hear that globalization is a phenomenon that includes each and every person on the planet, they always have the same suspicion in their minds. Will the laws be able to prevent forests from being clear-cut? Is it possible to remain who we are (or who we shouldbe), or the only choice that is presented to us is to become a part of the market? Many questions arise in their mind and they consider the answers that they get from the “white” societies are troubling. Indeed, they see that globalization seems to create a world that would homogenize the planet, which would omit fundamental differences between the different cultures and societies.Indigenous people do not only ask for answers, but they also try to get involved in the movement to make their point of view heard. One difficulty that First Nations have encountered when they try to make their opinions heard at an international level is to try to speak in one common voice. Because the different Indigenous cultures put an emphasis on the adaptation on their environment, an incredibleamount of different cultures must be respected. Nevertheless, they managed to produce answers to the phenomenon of globalization that received good critics among the different Indigenous populations.

So what are the answers to the concept of globalization that were given and accepted by Indigenous peoples?

This paper describes the various responses of Indigenous people towardsglobalization. Prior to discus these responses, it is important to know the origins of these responses. Indeed, it is possible to notice that their responses are highly influenced by their unique view on globalization. In this paper, it will be argued that, globalization is seen as European imperialism by Indigenous people. After, consequences of globalization on Indigenous peoples will be discussed.These consequences affect subsequently Indigenous peoples self-image and their perception of their future situation. The three main responses will be summed up: the 4th World, which is an isolationist answer; Indigenous activism in order to promote their self-determination; and finally, the constant creation of a global voice for the recognition of Indigenous rights will be explained.
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