Accommodation and Rectification: A Dual Approach to Indigenous Peoples in International Law


This Note seeks to demonstrate that the goals of multiculturalism and historical injustice rectification are closely interrelated, and that a dual analysis of these two fields can aid international law in resolving claims by indigenous peoples for both historical injustice rectification and multiculturalist accommodation. Using a “multiculturalist lens” to inform rectification efforts and a “historical injustice lens” to inform accommodation measures, this Note proposes a revised approach towards indigenous peoples in international law. Compared to the current property-based rectification scheme in international law, a rectification agenda that emphasizes multiculturalist group-differentiated rights for indigenous peoples offers a remedy that is more effective for indigenous victims of historical injustice and more palatable for the implementing states. In turn, an accommodation agenda that relies on considerations of historical injustice to circumscribe indigenous self-government rights offers the limiting principle that multiculturalism has so crucially lacked when dealing with illiberal indigenous groups.