chapter  23
13 Pages

Indigenous rights claims in international law: self-determination, culture and development

ByKaren Engle

This chapter examines the emergence and application of the human right to culture as the primary legal and political strategy for making rights claims on behalf of indigenous peoples. It discusses the different ways in which advocates invoke the right to culture, presenting a typology ranging from claims that make a relatively small claim on the state in terms of resource sharing and development (culture as heritage) to those that pose significant challenges to the neo-liberal state (culture as land and culture as development). I consider the successes and dark sides of each of these uses of the right to culture and caution indigenous rights advocates against the temptation to embrace “strategic essentialism.”