My Reflections on Indigeneity
In this philosophical paper, I present my views on the notion of indigeneity – I relay my understanding, interpretation, and definition of “indigeneity” and justify the applicability of this definition to the New Zealand context and my experience as a practitioner. I also compare this definition with three others from different authors: Firstly, Guenther (2006) discussed the concept of indigeneity and identified two key elements including a link to a history of hunting and gathering and having a weak political position.
Secondly, McCormack (2012), reflected on the social identities study of race, nation, and culture, and discussed indigeneity as a process from the perspective of Māori claims and neoliberalism. McCormack (2012) looks at Indigeneity through various lenses: as a process intertwined with property struggles, dynamically constituted and reconstituted about the prevailing political economy, facilitated and inhibited by state organisations, and as both primordial and depending. Thirdly, Merlan (2009), looked at indigeneity from global and local perspectives. The term indigeneity, long used to distinguish between those who are native and others in specific locales, has also become a term for a social and cultural category, presupposing a world where are contrasted indigenous people to various others (Merlan, 2009). The three definitions are from different individuals with varying perspectives. In this paper, I present my understanding of indigeneity and indigenous philosophy that aligns with both my past experiences and current practice.