The place of Indigenous peoples at the intersection of domestic and international arenas has shifted. While international law was traditionally used by states to oppress Indigenous peoples, today it can be used by Indigenous peoples to hold states to account and to assert specific demands for continued participation in law and politics at a domestic and international level. This shift is evidenced by the transformation of the concept of indigeneity. This was originally a term imposed upon Indigenous peoples by colonial powers, and was used to bind various groups of Indigenous peoples and to account for state action in relation to them. However, in recent years Indigenous peoples have had a significant stake in creating and clarifying the imposed concept and its contemporary use and meaning. This has transformed indigeneity from a tool of oppression to a tool of potentially greater freedom. For those Indigenous peoples searching for and demanding justice, this suggests a necessary starting point at the intersection of the domestic and the international.
McMillan, M., & Rigney, S. (2016). The Place of the First Peoples in the International Sphere: A Necessary Starting Point for Justice for Indigenous Peoples. Melbourne University Law Review, 39(3), 981-1002.