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Part II Substantive Aspects, Ch.18 Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Heritage

Dalee Sambo Dorough, Siegfried Wiessner

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Cultural Heritage Law

Edited By: Francesco Francioni, Ana Filipa Vrdoljak

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 18 January 2021

Indigenous peoples — Self-determination — Customary international law

This chapter explores Indigenous peoples’ culture and cultural heritage, a global treasure in urgent need for safeguarding and space for flourishing. It arrives at four conclusions. First, Indigenous peoples’ rights are essentially culturally grounded and culturally bounded. They are intended to sustain and intensify the colours of the tapestry of global cultural diversity. Second, Indigenous cultural heritage encompasses a wide variety of tangible and intangible elements. To effectively safeguard them, a holistic definition is needed. Third, the right to self-determination empowers Indigenous peoples to define their identity through their own interpretation, continuation, or modification of their ways of life. Lastly, access to and use of their traditional lands, territories, and resources is essential to the survival and flourishing of Indigenous cultural heritage. Other manifestations of their culture are to be safeguarded as well, cherishing their traditions and values in the quest for an inclusive world order of human dignity.

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