Indigenous groups may be deprived of land (especially arable land) and resettled onto marginal lands, or into a condition of homelessness. In the process the relationship to their sacred sites may be broken, their valued cultural artefacts (through which their collective identity is articulated) may be scattered or acquired by collectors, to whom they may be forced to sell. Their local knowledge may result in patenting of products from which they do not benefit. In this process their particular language may be endangered to the point of extinction.
Language and land are considered by most dispossessed indigenous peoples as equally constitutive of their identity as soveriegn peoples, and of their right to live as such.