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Reconsidering Indigenous rights and Indigeneity: A perspective from Fiji

Nakamura, Naohiro (2016) Reconsidering Indigenous rights and Indigeneity: A perspective from Fiji. Hokkaido Minzokugaku (Hokkaido Journal of Ethnology), 12 . pp. 1-14. ISSN 1881-0047

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    Abstract

    This article discusses how the concept Indigenous rights have been interpreted in Fiji where Indigenous peoples are the majority and/or retain political power, by looking at the constitution, statement of politicians, and constitution reports. In Fiji, since the independence in 1970, about 87% of country’s land has been owned by Indigenous Fijians and Indigenous land rights have been protected under the constitution. Furthermore, politics has been under the control of Indigenous Fijian’s political parties with merely a few-month exception. Nevertheless, the infringement of Indigenous rights was often claimed by ethno-nationalists and the nationalists pursued Indigenous political paramountcy or ‘affirmative action’ for Indigenous Fijians, which resulted in political instability, including coups and overthrows of Indian-led regimes. Although such views are still alive among some Indigenous Fijians, the review report of the 1990 constitution and the explanatory report of the 2013 draft constitution denied Indigenous political paramountcy, while recognising land rights. The present regime also affirms that the rights of Indigenous Fijians are protected. Still in the premature stage of democracy, the country needs to enhance the awareness of (Indigenous) rights among citizens in order that other ethnic groups, particularly Indo-Fijians, will not be victimised any further.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Indigenous rights; Indigenous peoples; Indigenous politics; Fiji; Infringement; Paramountcy
    Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
    G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
    H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
    H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
    J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
    Depositing User: Naohiro Nakamura
    Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 15:30
    Last Modified: 19 Apr 2017 15:30
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9746
    UNSPECIFIED

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