Colonialism and the Imposed Identities of the Indigenous in North America, Latin America and Africa

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Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, colonialism swept across the globe like a brush fire engulfing the African Savanna on a dry summers day. Long since colonial rule has seised though, the detrimental effects left by the imposed structure and influence have charred and damaged the identities of the indigenous populations of the world. To this day, the collective identities of the indigenous populations are being regrown and transformed, but the barriers left by colonialism ensure a painstakingly slow process and recovery to local indigenous identities based on cultural tradition and heritage. The specific colonial rule and influence over the indigenous populations in the areas of Africa, North America and Latin America have imposed notions of uncivilized and primitive collective identities, which continue to create barriers for these populations to achieve social justice and cohesion into the 21st century. Through scrutiny of local traditions and practices, imposed formal legal structures and ways of life, the use of modernity theory and ethnocentric views, the indigenous have been set back generations and have continuously struggled to combat their negative colonially imposed collective identities. Although colonialism has imposed serious set backs for the indigenous populations to achieve social justice, they have also combated their collective identities through the continuation of cultural traditions and practices, social cohesion based on local heritage, family, community and kinship ties, as well as the rejection of ethnic labeling.

Paragraph 1- North America

The indigenous of North America, otherwise known as Native Americans’ or the Aboriginal population have suffered the greatest set...

... middle of paper ... process and experience. Through the processes of, ethnic labeling, legitimation, juridification, “disenchantment”, and overall imposition of colonialist views of modernity and civility, indigenous populations were stained with collective identity labels of incivility and primitiveness. In the recent years through, from Africa to North America, the indigenous have made considerable strides in combating their negative collective identity labels through the rejection of ethnic labels, sub-surface continuation of cultural traditions and practices, race riots and protest, land claims and overall legal amendments to treaties and constitutions. The indigenous still have many barriers to overcoming these imposed collective identity labels left by colonial rule and influence, but are on a positive path towards cultural regrowth and recognition of traditions and practices.

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