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Bonita Lawrence

In: The SAGE Handbook of Identities

Chapter 27: Legislating Identity: Colonialism, Land and Indigenous Legacies

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Legislating Identity: Colonialism, Land and Indigenous Legacies
Legislating identity: Colonialism, land and indigenous legacies

For Indigenous peoples around the world, land and the web of relationships that the land sustains are at the heart of what it means to be ‘the people’ (as most Indigenous peoples conceptualize themselves, in their own languages). The land sustains the practices fishing, hunting, planting, harvesting through which people live. It also carries the stories, the songs and the ceremonies, which in turn sustains language and teaches the children who they are as part of ‘the people’. And yet, centuries of colonization have persistently attacked and undermined these connections a process that continues as globalization impoverishes land-based peoples, appropriates their lands, and forces profound changes on their communities. Indigenous peoples are ...

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