Epilogue: From Indigenous Demographics to an Indigenous Demography

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Contribution to Books

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There has always been a close association between enumeration, the classification of peoples and state power. Demographers working with indigenous populations find themselves at the intersection of these forces. Demographic arguments have often been marshalled when settler states have an interest in taxation, in 'protecting' rural minorities or enfranchising populations to vote in ethnically stratified parliaments. At the start of the twenty-first century there are now populations on all inhabited continents making claims to indigenous status, and with each of those claims some sociological and demographic representations of their entitlements in each place. The workshop and the dialogue which leads to this volume have aimed at the broader goal of sketching out what might be called an indigenous demography. Although the context of the indigenous situation in each place is important, the contributions here show that there are also commonalities which make it a good time to introduce a new field.

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