Considering the Implications of the Concept of Indigeneity for Land and Natural Resource Management in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos

March 14, 2014
12:30 PM - 01:30 PM
Lunch and learn
Harry Hickman Building, Room 110. Uvic.
Profile photo
Rice grower in Thailand

Over the last couple of decades the concept of “Indigenous Peoples” has gained increased traction in Asia, with some countries—such as the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, and Cambodia—having adopted legislation that recognizes Indigenous Peoples. Still, other national governments in Asia continue to resist, with many following the ‘salt-water theory’, which specifies that the concept of Indigenous Peoples is only applicable in places where there has been considerable European settler colonization (such as the Americas, Australia and New Zealand). Elsewhere, the concept is seen as irrelevant, since is either considered to be indigenous or nobody is recognized as indigenous. Still, even in these countries the movement has made some inroads, albeit unevenly, due to varied political and historical circumstances. Much of the increased attention to the concept of Indigenous Peoples is linked to advocacy associated with attempts to gain increased access and control over land and other natural resources. In this presentation, Ian Baird considers the links between the Indigenous Peoples movement and land and resource tenure in three countries in mainland Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.

This talk is by Ian G. Baird, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.