“Indigenous Peoples” As a Concept of Scientific and Educational Discourses: Terminology and Interpretation Problems

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Lubov’ M. Mosolova, Alexey V. Bondarev, Alexey V. Zykin


The paper considers a notion “minority indigenous peoples”, analyses the interpretation of terms “minority” and “indigenous” people, sets a question about using them in the scientific discourses and social-political practices. 

The research is aimed at analyzing a heuristic status and a practice-oriented function of these terms as scientific categories. Methods of historiographic,terminological,conceptographic and comparative analyses, which are used in the paper, problematisation andthematisationof the terms analyzed, historical-legaland historical-topologicalmethods on a specifichistorical materialshow thepermanency of the peoples’ migrationto various world regionswith their subsequentrootingon a new territoryand interaction with the peoples who came there earlier. A critical analysis of using the term “indigenous peoples” in the modern sciencesand legal documentsmade it possible to conclude that the term does not meet the criteria of a scientific notion or a category. It is often related to myth construction of national histories. In the context ofinterethnic interrelation,the term “indigenous peoples” is fraught with a conflict-generating potentialand can serve as adangerous weapon in the arsenal of radical forces and those for which their actions are politically advantageous.

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