From Naga nation to an indigenous people: a struggle for independence and indigenous rights movement in Asia
Makiko Kimura (Tsuda College)
Paper short abstract:
This paper will analyze the reason and the way the Naga people, who aimed for independence through an armed struggle, joined the international indigenous rights movement and contributed to establishing the concept of “indigeneity” in Asia.
Paper long abstract:
The Naga people, whose traditional territory falls between the northeastern part of India and Burma/Myanmar, declared independence and started their struggle against the Indian and Burmese governments in 1947. In the beginning, they claimed that the Naga people is a nation and thus entitled to the right to self-determination, and started armed struggle in the 1950s. However, in the late 1980s, a group of Naga people started to associate with international activities for indigenous rights movement, and began to define themselves as an "indigenous people." In collaboration with other so-called tribes, mountain peoples and other ethnic minorities, they started a network organization of indigenous peoples in Asia and urged the international community to recognize their right. By doing so, the Naga people tried to enhance a platform to allege the human rights infringement by the Governments of India and Burma, and also to assert their political rights in the international arena. In this paper, I am going to analayze the reason and the way the Naga people joined the international indigenous rights movement and contributed to establish the concept of "indigeneity" in Asia.
On being "indigenous peoples": connecting local practices with global context