By Curtis Cook, Juan Lindau
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Additional info for Aboriginal Rights and Self-Government. The Canadian and Mexican Experience in North American Perspective
Two major themes emerged in the discussions. First, Aboriginal peoples in Canada and Mexico are engaged in three similar types of struggle: a struggle to free themselves from internal colonisation by the Canadian and Mexican governments,1 to govern themselves democratically by their own laws and ways on their territories, and to establish a just relationship between Aboriginal and nonAboriginal peoples of Canada and Mexico. Moreover, they have a long history of struggle stretching back to when Europeans arrived, reduced their population by 90 percent, took their territories, and subjected them to colonial rule.
The ways in which Aboriginal peoples have suffered and resisted extermination, marginalisation, and assimilation; preserved elements of self-rule, languages, and cultures; and fought for freedom are also 40 Overview various. 2 To understand these differences, there is no alternative to specific historical studies, and one can only hope that a discipline of the comparative politics of the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas will soon be established to carry out and coordinate these indispensable studies.
Yet the doors remain open, and the resources of a civil society may yet arm Canadians to press forward with recognition and accommodation of their Aboriginal citizens. 39 One, propounded by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (the PRD) - the centre-left opposition in Mexico - originally proposed to establish autonomous regions. Because of the presence of nonindigenous people in indigenous regions these autonomous regions would be "pluri-ethnic" and would occupy an administrative hierarchy between municipal governments and state governments.