Discrimination against indigenous populations

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Violation of rights of indigenous peoples
Denial of rights of native peoples
Internal colonialism
Prejudicial treatment of endemic populations
Discriminatory practices used against indigenous populations in matters of education, employment, housing and social services involve their exploitation and an entrenchment of their dependency. Discrimination may also seek to destroy their cultural heritage by inadequate education and failure to incorporate a sense of their cultural identity with that of the national identity. Total disregard for them leaves the way open for ethnocide. Discrimination against indigenous populations may occur through inadequate government policy to provide for their welfare and their integration into national society without the loss of their cultural heritage.
Indigenous peoples are not racial, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities. In certain countries the indigenous peoples constitute the majority of the population, and in certain countries indigenous peoples constitute the majority in their own territories.

Historically, indigenous populations have been regarded as a threat to the opening up of a new land and resources and have been dispossessed and killed. Those that remain have been exploited as cheap labour and, having none of the trappings of the developed society, are felt to be no good for anything better. Inadequate allocation of educational facilities and the difficulties involved in attempting to educate nomadic and working children perpetuate dependency and despondency. Companies sell inferior goods to indigenous populations. Legal restrictions may segregate them onto reservation land or deny political rights and the right to strike.

Among the many basic rights indigenous peoples are denied, are: to call themselves by their proper name and behaviorally express their own identity; to have official status and to be able to form their own representative organizations; to engage in foreign relations and trade with some degree of autonomy; to control their own local economies; to maintain the use of their own language and to have it recognized as officially acceptable in all transactions and for legal and governmental purposes; to be free to practice indigenous, or any other, religions or philosophies; to own land, preferably their original territorial base; to refuse removal to any reservation or any other dispersion; to control their own educational systems in every way.

This is a 20th Century text for colonial managers: 20 ways to take away treaty rights
1 Make the NATIVE a nonperson. Convince them that their ancestors were savages, the violent drunkards that made them wards of the state.

2) Convince NATIVES that they should be patient. What's 163 years? Tell them progress is being made.

3) Make NATIVES believe that things are being done for their own good.

4) Get some NATIVE people to do the dirty work. There are always those who will act for you to disadvantage their own. (Find the "chief to be" / quisslings). 5) Consult NATIVES but don't act on what they tell you. Tell NATIVES that they do have a voice indeed. 6) Insist that NATIVE people go through the proper channels. (This is very expensive and cumbersome. Until they run out of energy and)or resources, finances and never achieve their goals). 7) Make the NATIVES believe that you are putting a lot of effort into working for them and they should really be appreciative. It is particularly rewarding when they thank you. 8) Allow a few individuals to make the grade, point to them as an example. (Well if XYZ of the ABC-people can make the grade - read 'our' grade! - so can you. You can do it if you only try. If you don't 'succeed' that's your fault!). 9) Appeal to the NATIVE sense of fairness or love or god fearing. Tell them that even though things are pretty bad it's not good for them to make strong protest. (We won't discuss your grievances with you or deal with your complaints until you stop protesting - ie: stop that land occupation before we will talk to you). 10) Encourage the NATIVES to take their case to the council or even to the Court. This takes much time and energy and is very expensive, therefore a safe strategy because the laws (colonial laws) are still stacked against them. 11) Make NATIVES believe that things could be worse. Instead of complaining they should be grateful for the state owned houses they're renting and the plots they get allocated for their subsistence. 12) Set yourself up a pretend court with no power like a Tribunal. Impress on them that things will be given back. Accuse them of greed when they point out nothing has been (or is being) returned. 13) Pretend that the reason for the loss of human rights is for some other reason than the fact that the person is a NATIVE. 14) Make the situation more complicated than is necessary. 15) Insist on unanimous decision making. Tell them that when all NATIVES of that clan or tribe can make up their minds and speak with one voice then you will act. You have plenty of opportunities to always find some quarrelsome guys among them. 16) Select very limited alternatives which have little merit and tell NATIVES that they indeed do have a choice. 17) Convince NATIVES that the leaders who are the most beneficial to them are actually dangerous and not to be trusted. Or simply lock them up on some trumped up charge like disturbing public order or driving with no car lights 18) Talk about what's good for everyone. Tell the NATIVES that they can't consider themselves when there's the whole country to think of. (Farcical envelope). 19) Remove rights gradually. Manifest the changes in new laws. 20) Rely on reason and logic (your reason and logic) instead of rightness and morality.

Indigenous peoples should have all these rights but also the right to participate freely on an equal basis in the affairs and development of their countries. For indigenous peoples, most of these rights of internal self-determination are denied; they are denied the full rights and obligations of external self-determination, namely, independence.
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
13.09.2003 – 00:00 CEST