Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples, Treatment of
The treatment of aboriginal and indigenous peoples by colonizing Western powers since the sixteenth century has varied widely depending on the ideology and practices of the colonizer and the local circumstances and conditions of the colonized people. Only in the twentieth century did a transnational effort emerge that strove to recognize the legal rights and sovereignty of those people who arrived first and developed societies on the continents other than Europe. The United States, among all liberal-democratic settler states, arguably has the most widely polarized pattern of countervailing policies concerning the legal status of aboriginal societies. During much of the history of U.S. Indian policy, far-reaching accommodation of Indian sovereignty has largely gone hand in hand with a wide range of policies aimed at legal assimilation, or “termination.” The complex dynamic of these trends includes Indian interests in self-determination and a conservative liberalism insistent on legal equality, constitutional uniformity, and ...