Week 6- Citizenship and Rights in the New Republics


This week I was so intrigued by the comparison between Latin American citizenship and rights discussion versus Canadian citizenship and rights discussion. Although I am originally from Argentina, my academic knowledge of this subject is much more centered in the Canadian indigenous perspective due to the direction my academics have taken me.

One of the things that were mentioned in the lecture video, which I so agree with is the fact that rights must be first agreed upon (by all parties). The brackets are important, because as Professor Beasley- Murray mentions, Caucasian males are often propelled to the forefront of historical events or processes without acknowledgement of the marginalized communities that are physically at the front.

One of the first things that I was taught at UBC Anthropology was the fact that we all view the world through our own culturally constructed lens, whether we are aware of it or not. Thus, I, a Caucasian female who has never lived in a First Nations reserve cannot assume that I understand their struggles no matter how much I think I do. Today, I would never dare to tell a Bands or Nation how I think they should construct their political and social narrative, because I am aware that I am just an outsider working and learning with these communities. However, at the time of independence in many Latin American countries, effect  which have continued into the present day, many political leaders who have never even physically gone to the marginalized parts of their perspective countries or fully understand their time-specific struggles, are in charge of constructing laws that are supposed to ‘protect’ them or even to help them ‘develop’ or ‘prosper’. How is this possible?!

In Canada, many Nations are self-governed. They make a lot of decisions within themselves and some groups rarely even ask for government intervention other than some financial aid when needed. These groups also get tax breaks or independent fishing and hunting laws (these are small things that I mention just to make the whole discussion less abstract). However, in Argentina for example, Bands struggle to even get political recognition within the ever-revolving governments, much less do they ever get serious and independent self-government or any other sort of ‘benefit’. I truly do think that a large reason for this is the political and economic instability of so many Latin American countries. Because these countries are constantly trying to rebuild themselves, so many other issues are put before indigenous issues, which continues a never-ending suffocating cycle of minority group neglect and rejection within their own geographical borders.

Although in other countries in Latin America indigenous groups are recognized by their governments, like I mentioned previously, they are often ignored, taken from their land, or their land is taken from them or severely damaged through ‘development projects’….what do you think are immediate things that should be improved?

—Within the discussion of the impacts of trans-Atlantic slavery in Latin America, do you think that there were any benefits ‘imported’ to Latin America? Perhaps in the field of technology or economy?

I am genuinely curious as to what everyone thinks so I appreciate your replies! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *