The Land Within: Indigenous Territory and the Perception of the Environment
By describing the fabric of relationships that indigenous peoples weave with their environment, this book attempts to define a more precise notion of indigenous territoriality. Beyond a natural environment from which they obtain the necessary natural resources for subsistence, the territory for indigenous peoples is a space made up of an intricate network of social ties which also interrelates with human groups. Other elements of the biosphere, such as plants, animals, mountains, etc., can also be part of these social networks, given that they are regarded as living beings attributed with a will and emotions similar to that of human beings. The territoriality of an environment imbued with feelings, memories, subjectivities and bonds consequently begins deep within the person who experiences it. An attack on the territorial rights of indigenous peoples is also therefore an attack on human rights. This state of affairs provides unusual implications for the legal development of indigenous rights to their territories, the defence of the status and protection required by these areas, many of which are now formally titled. A large part of the work of titling the South American indigenous territories may now indeed be completed. However this book aims to demonstrate that, in addition to management, these territories involve many other complex aspects that must not be overlooked if we are to avoid the risk of witnessing these territories and the people who inhabit them turned into further victims of the logic of production.