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Reparations for Indigenous PeoplesInternational and Comparative Perspectives$
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Federico Lenzerini

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199235605

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235605.001.0001

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Indigenous Peoples, Afro-Indigenous Peoples and Reparations

Indigenous Peoples, Afro-Indigenous Peoples and Reparations

(p.117) 5 Indigenous Peoples, Afro-Indigenous Peoples and Reparations
Reparations for Indigenous Peoples

Torres Gerald

Oxford University Press

Whether, as a moral matter, reparations are owed to the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere seems to be a closed question. There is no doubt that the original inhabitants of North and South America have as legitimate a claim to the wealth of the Americas as those who claimed it for the princes of Europe. Yet the contemporary legal status of the issue remains clouded in uncertainty. What are the legitimate property claims of the indigenous communities? Who are the legitimate communities in contemporary life that are properly situated to make valid legal claims? If conceptions of ownership and value differed, who is best situated to make a claim? What is the measure of valuation? How do the arguments of indigenous peoples compare with the arguments made by the descendants of those enslaved to produce wealth? This chapter examines some of these issues. First, it looks at the idea of reparations itself. Second, it focuses on the separate colonial projects in Anglo and Latin America, highlighting how these frame the relations of the indigenous peoples to the state. Finally, the chapter examines the ways in which current conceptions of race and culture structure the arguments for reparations within the context of human rights. It suggests that it is the discourse of human rights that dominates the concerns over compensation.

Keywords:   reparations, indigenous peoples, Latin America, North America, race, culture, human rights

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