SLST 6010: ADVANCED CRITICAL ISSUES IN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND LAW
SLST 6010 3.0 credits
The course will explore the law and politics focusing upon indigenous peoples in law and anthropology. Who are indigenous peoples? How is this question addressed, in law, in anthropology and by indigenous peoples themselves? We will focus primarily upon the concept of sovereignty, the historical formation of modern states, the emergence of international law, and changes in international capitalism to address these issues over time.
Why have the numbers of people who identify as indigenous increased so dramatically in the past three decades? Do anthropologists and sociolegal scholars approach these questions in the same way? How does law define indigenous identity? What constraints does this pose? What opportunities does it afford? The course is global in orientation but issues pertinent to Canadian First Nations’ communities (and to the way we understand ourselves as Canadian) will be posed.
Some of the issues we will be addressing throughout the course include the historical relationship between indigenous peoples and the modern state, the political and legal conditions through which indigenous peoples negotiate and constitute themselves (including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), and the politics of environmentalism through which an indigenous political resurgence has been realised. By drawing on examples from around the world we will critically analyze the ongoing evolution of the international indigenist movement and the diverse ways that indigenous peoples are advocating for rights to land, resources, and new forms of political autonomy.
Course developed with the assistance of Daniel Huizenga.
Course Number: SLST 6010
Field: Socio-Legal Studies
School: York University
Date Published: January 5, 2015