Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Aboriginal Title

Published: August 24, 2009, Author: JayTaber

Ethics of Eviction

Ethnic cleansing of indigenous peoples takes several forms throughout the world. Many removals of these inherent tenants are conducted under the cover of law, through leases and sales that ignore or misrepresent aboriginal title in favor of state dominion; most use police powers of the state to accomplish the evictions, although military violence and outsourced vigilantism is often used as well.

The recent removal of Maasai by Tanzanian forces, to create a game-hunting reserve for the royal families of the United Arab Emirates, appears to fit somewhere in the middle of ethnic cleansing violence, with Bosnia on the high end and British Columbia on the low end of the spectrum.

As atrocities mount in the coming decades in pursuit of pleasure and privilege for the developed world, and we rightly concern ourselves with both the process and violence of removal, we might also concern ourselves with presenting the patterns of legal instruments used to justify ethnic cleansing as a legacy of colonialism. In that way, the ethics of eviction are less apt to be obscured by state propaganda.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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