Population Mobility and Indigenous Peoples in Australasia and North America

Population Mobility and Indigenous Peoples in Australasia and North America

Population Mobility and Indigenous Peoples in Australasia and North America

Population Mobility and Indigenous Peoples in Australasia and North America

Synopsis

Focusing on the four 'New World' countries - Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA - this work explores key themes and issues in indigenous mobility.

Excerpt

John Taylor and Martin Bell

Indigenous peoples in the new world countries of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States comprise those descendants of the original inhabitants of these lands, who retain cultural difference from majority settler populations that have usurped their territory, and who identify themselves as Indigenous (Taylor 2003). Aside from initial population decline, one of the most tangible and lasting demographic impacts of colonization on these peoples has been their widespread dispersion and spatial redistribution. They are now located in a wide variety of residential settings ranging from major metropolitan areas to the remotest and smallest of localities, either within their traditional homelands or far from them.

Despite widespread recognition of this impact, there has been no systematic analysis of the geographic movement of these peoples, either historically or in contemporary times. Although the literature concerned with Indigenous demography and mobility is not inconsiderable, it tends to be unsystematic, spatially restricted, and generally inaccessible to wide readership. Furthermore, what knowledge we do have of population movement among Indigenous peoples remains, all too often, a by-product of some other investigation into social and economic conditions with only few attempts to make it the primary focus of attention. What is particularly lacking, as a consequence, is a sense of the overall spatial structure of Indigenous mobility behaviour within which new studies of population movement might be situated, and research priorities set. One glaring effect of this lack of context is an inability to compare patterns of movement among Indigenous peoples with those observed at national and regional levels for the majority populations in each country, about whom much more is known. This has drawbacks, not only in regard to the development of migration theory, but also in terms of applications to policy and planning, since effective policy development depends fundamentally upon understanding the distinctiveness of Indigenous social and economic behaviour.

There are clear commonalities in the colonial and post-colonial experiences of Indigenous peoples in North America and Australasia that make them obvious candidates for comparative research. There are also several

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.