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Individual autonomy,Group Self-determination and the Assimilation of Indigenous Cultures

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Chapter Summary

For many, the solution to the crisis and survival of the community has centred on special group rights aimed at both the protection of these groups and their empowerment. This philosophy has served as powerful rationale for policies designed to enhance the potential self-determination of indigenous communities, communities which in the past have suffered extensive cultural destruction from settlers and colonists. Kymlicka?s formulation thus brings together two concepts, that of autonomy with respect to individual agency, and autonomy as applied to the group. This chapter point outs that these two forms of autonomy may well prove to be antithetical in practice. It concludes that if the survival of indigenous communities as distinct cultural enclaves is guided by a policy which aims for autonomy and self-determination, it is difficult to avoid the economic imperative which links self-determination with a degree of financial self-sufficiency.

Keywords: aboriginal empowerment; group self-determination; indigenous cultures; individual autonomy; Kymlicka?s formulation



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