Indigenous Peoples Experiences with Injustice and Oppression Paper


General Background ~

For this research project you will explore indigenous peoples’ experiences with injustice/oppression and their civic engagement efforts to bring about justice for theircommunities, and indigenous peoples in general. Specifically, you will select various indigenous peoples from the list below and, in a comparative manner, examine their experiences of injustice and their civic engagement responses to them.

There are four written assignments for this project: a proposal, position essay, final research paper, and final research paper revision. There also is a required research meeting with me after the proposal is completed. (400 points, distributed as indicated below)

IIFocus & Core Question

A. Focus –

For your project you will select at least three (3) indigenous peoples, either from different regions of the world – global focus – or from the same region – regional focus. That is, a single country focus in not acceptable.

Geographic Regions & Indigenous Peoples If there are any indigenous peoples not listed below that you would like to focus on, please come see me.

1. AfricaAmazigh, Fulani, Gikuyu, Maasai, Mbuti (Bambuti), Ogoni, Samburu, San, Tuareg, Twa

2. Asia & OceaniaAboriginals, Ainu, Hmong, Ladakhi, Māori, Papuans, Torres Straight Islanders

3. Europe & Middle East Bedouins, Kurds, Saami

4. Latin America Guarani, Kogi, Maya, Miskitu, Mapuché, Quechua, Yanomami

5. North America – Cherokee, Cree, Diné (Navajo), Haudenosaunee, Inuit, Lakota, Matis, Miqmac, Ojibwe, Seminole, Tewa (Pueblo peoples)

Note: As a starting point for your research, you should consult The Indigenous World 2019report by the International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues website. Also, do not forget that I am one of your resources; come see me early and often for assistance with your research project!

B. Core Question

Your research project will address the following core question through a series of four progressive assignments: a research proposal, position essay, final research paper, and final research paper revision (detailed below).

Has indigenous peoples’ civic engagement been successful in minimizing or ending their injustice/oppression?

Ultimately, therefore, you will compare and contrast various indigenous peoples’ experiences with oppression/injustice and their respective civic engagement efforts.


The assignments for this research project are progressive in nature. Therefore, each should be submitted in sequence, and returned with feedback and a grade, prior to submitting the next assignment. An assignment will not be accepted until all previous assignments in the research project have been submitted, graded, and returned. Each assignment will focus on certain aspects of the core question.

Proposal – overview of project and initial potential sources

Research Meeting entire project

Position Essay – compare and contrast of injustices/oppression experienced by threeindigenous peoples

Position Essay Revision – complete and thorough revision of the position essay that addresses all substantive and stylistic flaws. A revision that merely corrects grammar and formatting errors will not be accepted.

Final Research Paper add compare and contrast of civic engagement of the same three indigenous peoples; future civic engagement efforts by indigenous peoples

A. Research Proposal: Topic Description & Working Bibliography – (50 pts)

1. PurposeThe proposal should reflect your early thoughts about the topic and early research efforts. It also provides you with initial feedback from me on your ideas for the research project: context, specific indigenous peoples, etc.

2. Content – This assignment has two parts.

a. The Topic Description, 1 page (325 words) in length, provides initial, basic information about the specific indigenous peoples that you have selected, the global or regional focus, and why you chose them. In essence, what are your preliminary thoughts about the nature of indigenous peoples’ experiences with injustice and civic engagement?

Early research should include the following areas:

i. Nature of injustice/oppression experienced by the indigenous peoples

ii. Historical, political, cultural, etc. dynamics of the injustices. For example, do the injustices correspond to any of the topical areas of our course? If so, which ones?

b. The Working Bibliography, a minimum of 15 sources, is a preliminary list of sources to be consulted for your research. You are not expected to have read the material at this point. Rather, this is a bibliography of specific sources – not just URLs or homepages of websites – that you think are going to be relevant for the project. There needs to be a balance between the following types of sources.

i. scholarly/refereed sources (at least 5)

ii. reliable news media

iii. films/documentaries/videos

iiii. primary and secondary sources – including potential interviews

Finally, you should review required course material that may be relevant for your project based on the indigenous peoples, regions, and topics that you have identified.

B. Research Meeting:(25 pts)

After your proposal has been returned with comments, you are required to meet with me for 10-15 minutes to discuss your research project. The purpose is to review the proposal and develop strategies to successfully complete the remaining assignments. The meeting must take place no later than Thursday, Sept. 26th. It is your responsibility to contact me to set up an appointment for the meeting.

C. Position Essay: (100 pts)

1. Purpose – A position essay asserts and supports a well-developed argument. It relies on a clear, arguable thesis statement that does not simply provide a descriptive or informative statement of the topic. In addition, the argument needs to be supported with ample evidence and examples. This essay will evolve into the final paper so careful attention should be paid to its content and underlying research.

2. Content – This is an initial analysis of the three indigenous peoples’ oppression/injustices.The essay should present an argument by comparing and contrasting the nature of oppression/injustice experienced by the selected indigenous peoples. The following questions, stemming from the Core Question above, should be used to guide your essay.

a. In what ways have indigenous peoples experienced injustice and is it still ongoing?

b. Who is primarily responsible for it – governments, corporations, individuals, etc.?

c. Why is the injustice happening; what are the causes or reasons for it?

d. How does the injustice/oppression differ among the indigenous peoples and/or what similarities are there?

Again, the essay should include all three indigenous peoples that you selected for your project. Finally, a lucid conclusion should be made that brings the narrative to a definitive close.

3. Format/Style RequirementsYour essay should be 4-5 pages in length (roughly 1300-1600 words) and use the APA Style Manual for proper formatting and citation technique.

D. Position Essay Required Revision(75 pts)

The required revision of the position essay should reflect all substantive, writing (grammar, spelling, etc.), and formatting comments provided on the graded and returned position essay. Those feedback comments are found in the margin and end comments in the essay document, and the content and writing rubrics.If you have any questions about any of the comments you should come see me in a timely manner for further assistance. All technical, formatting, and writing requirements for the essay apply to the required revision.

E. Research Paper – (150 pts)

1. Purpose – The final research paper brings to fruition the research project. It provides a thorough and complete analysis of the selected topic. As with the position essay, there needs to be a clearly stated arguable thesis that is supported with ample evidence and examples. The research sources and related course material (if applicable) should be explicitly integrated into your analysis.

2. ContentThe final paper is an expansion of the position essay. It adds a comparative analysis of the civic engagement undertaken by the indigenous peoples in response to the oppression that they experienced. Moving beyond this, the final research paper also offers recommendations for the future (the conclusion). That is, in addition to the questions addressed in the position essay, the questions below need to be included.

a. What methods of civic engagement have been used by the indigenous peoples to respond to the injustices?

b. Have local, national, regional/global organizations also undertaken civic engagement on their behalf?

c. Has the civic engagement been successful; that is, has justice been achieved? Why or why not?

d. What similarities and differences exist among the various indigenous peoples regarding (in)justice and civic engagement?

e. What other civic engagement efforts could be undertaken by the indigenous peoples, the dominant society, and global community now and in the future?

Finally, the research paper should reflect the feedback from all previous research project assignments and meetings with me.

3. Format/Style Requirements – The research paper should be a minimum of 8-10 pages (roughly 2,600 – 3,250 words) and use the APA Style Manual for proper formatting and citation technique.


Each assignment will be assessed using the corresponding rubric provided in our Canvas course (Modules à Assignments, Guidelines & Rubrics).

Reminder: Your assignments will automatically be submitted to Turnitin when you submit them in Canvas. Therefore, I highly recommend that you submit each one a day or two early to help you determine if all material is properly cited; this provides enough time for you to correct citation errors that may occur. Please contact me in a timely manner if you need help with Turnitin.

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