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date: 15 April 2024

p. 32015. Indigenous Rights and Language Sovereigntylocked

p. 32015. Indigenous Rights and Language Sovereigntylocked

  • Odilia Romero,
  • Joseph Berra
  •  and Shannon Speed


This chapter covers indigenous rights and language sovereignty. It discusses the underlying logic and role of settler colonialism in the dispossession and erasure of Indigenous people. Human rights practice lies at the intersection of languages, Indigeneity, and sovereignty. The human rights world has been primarily dominated by a Western colonial mindset as the dispossession and forced migration of Indigenous people resulted in the erasure of identities and persistence of racial hierarchies, overt racism, and cultural biases. The chapter clarifies that language is not neutral as the approach and access to language needs to be decolonized and language is inextricably linked to cultural identity. It also expounds on how human rights could harm Indigenous language knowledge keepers by referencing the work of Communidades Indígenas en Liderazgo (CIELO) on language rights and language sovereignty.

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