Indigenous Peoples, the State, and the Economy in Indonesia
National Debates and Local Processes of Recognition
Keywords:Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), Indigenous Peoples, Indonesia, Land Titles, South Sulawesi
Some communities in Indonesia’s margins have adopted indigenous identities to overcome stigmatization as 'backward'. Following recent government efforts to develop Indonesia’s peripheral areas, these communities can also identify as entrepreneurs because they can now apply for land titles – a change that government officials hope will boost local economies. The question of who is 'indigenous' has thus become an area of political controversy that the state must address. Through analysis of legal documents and political processes, this paper focuses on state-indigenous relations in Indonesia, with an emphasis on economic processes. Participatory observations and interviews have been carried out to gain better insights into ongoing recognition of indigenous communities. Preliminary findings suggest that indigenous activists are disappointed, as the government is not pushing forward crucial legislation, and recognition of land titles is slow. Therefore, activists have instead turned their attention to means of rec- ognition in the regencies. The example of Enrekang, South Sulawesi, provides insights into these developments and into the current relations between the state and indigenous peoples.
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