Indigenous Peoples’ Issues article

The term indigenous has gained a considerable amount of attention within the past decade. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in 2007 to work alongside the indigenous to resolve global issues including working to identify the term indigenous. People are increasingly self-identifying as indigenous—declaring themselves a part of an indigenous society. However, establishing a definition is a complex task that must account for numerous meanings. In this Discussion, you consider your current understanding of the term indigenous and provide a definition of indigenous peoples, along with examining the difficulties of establishing a general definition.


  • Review pages 7–9 of the United Nations Resource Kit on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues article in the Learning Resources.
  • Review the Anthropological Perspectives Checklist provided in the Learning Resources. Consider the five perspectives and how they impact the study of other cultures.
  • Review the article, “Who Are Indigenous Peoples?” located in this week’s Resources.
  • Think about your current understanding of the term indigenous.
  • Identify any challenges in crafting a comprehensive definition or characterization of indigenous peoples.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post one paragraph in which you define indigenous peoples based on your current understanding. In a second paragraph, examine the potential problems in defining indigenous peoples. Consider the five anthropological perspectives and analyze the role you might choose if you were studying another culture: reformer, critic, scientist, humanist, or cosmopolite. Which perspective would you chose? Explain your reasoning for this selection.

Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

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