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Restructuring RelationsIndigenous Self-Determination, Governance, and Gender$
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Rauna Kuokkanen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190913281

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190913281.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021



Foundational Value

(p.22) 1 Self-Determination
Restructuring Relations

Rauna Kuokkanen

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 examines the conceptions of Indigenous self-determination. It begins with an overview of the global political discourse of Indigenous self-determination as a foundational right articulated especially within the UN framework since the 1980s. Drawing on the author’s fieldwork and building on Iris Marion Young’s concept of nondomination and Jennifer Nedelsky’s theory of relational autonomy, the chapter develops a theory of Indigenous self-determination that posits it as a foundational value that seeks to restructure all relations of domination, including gender, governance, colonial social and material relations, and unequal relations of justice. The chapter argues that an exclusive focus on the rights discourse provides a limited legalistic and state-centered conception of Indigenous self-determination that does not reflect the breadth of Indigenous self-determination, nor pays adequate attention to relations of domination beyond the state. In the participant interviews, Indigenous self-determination was defined in much broader terms than political autonomy construed as having control of one’s own affairs and decision-making powers as a distinct entity. Instead of focusing on politics and international law, the participants typically discussed the underlying values shaping their conceptions of Indigenous self-determination such as relationality, the paramount significance of the land, and freedom from domination.

Keywords:   theory of self-determination, international law, noninterference, decolonization, sovereignty, Indigenous rights discourse, norm of integrity, territorial integrity, individual integrity

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