This article was approved as a good article on 27 March 2024

Indigenous nation

From MicroWiki, the free micronational encyclopædia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Muruwari—an Aboriginal Australian people—holding a flag of the Murrawarri Republic indigenous nation

An indigenous nation[a] is a secessionist territorial micronation in which Indigenous peoples claim pre-existing sovereignty over their parent macronation as a nation—a community (society) of people, usually composed of one ethnicity, possessing a roughly defined territory and government. Indigenous nations claim statehood under the presumption that their residents themselves are the pre-eminent legal authority of its claimed territory. As such, they are hard secessionist in nature and are far less likely to practice macronational privilege (the act of adopting a parent macronation's laws to avoid criminal persecution) compared to other micronations. They seldom participate in the intermicronational community. Most Indigenous nations are established in Australia within the context of the Australian Indigenous Sovereignty movements. Coined in August 2022 by micronationalist Danny Racovolis, the concept on its own has yet to be widely studied within micropatriology.


Indigenous nations have yet to be extensively researched by micropatriologists, and as such there is no academic consensus on a criteria nor precise definition. The term—a neologism—was coined in the micronational sense on 11 August 2022 by micronationalist Danny Racovolis, who created the titular entry for the term on the micronational wiki and encyclopaedia MicroWiki.[1] Racovolis used the Sovereign Yidindji Government as an example of an indigenous nation, and opined that indigenous nations do not practice macronational privilege—the act of adopting a parent macronation's laws to avoid criminal persecution. This would make indigenous nations hard secessionist in nature. The word was later included in the Institute of Micropatriological Research's Micronational Dictionary, first published on 18 October 2022. The entry, written by author of the dictionary Zabëlle Skye, based the sense on Racovolis' original definition. As of the fourth edition, published on 4 January 2024, indigenous nation is defined as:

A secessionist micronation established by indigenous peoples claiming pre-existing sovereignty over their macronation, often not adhering to macronational privilege.

— Micronational Dictionary, page 20[2]

Although the term itself was recently coined, there have been prior studies performed regarding these Indigenous micronations. In "Micronations: A lacuna in the law", an article published on 23 April 2021 in the International Journal of Constitutional Law by Australian legal academics and micropatriologists Harry Hobbs and George Williams, they draw a distinction between indigenous nations and micronations. They argue that, under their own definition of micronation, indigenous nations are not micronations as they ostensibly hold legitimate claims to sovereignty whilst micronations do not. Hobbs and Williams assert that the legitimacy of indigenous nations is based on their status as unique political communities consisting of people united by their historical shared identity, while holding a distinct "economic, religious and spiritual relationship to their land".[3]


Passport of the Sovereign Yidindji Government

One early example of an indigenous nation may be the repossessed Mohawk nation of Ganienkeh. Ganienkeh was established in May 1974 by traditionalist Mohawks who claimed land northeast of Old Forge under the idea that it had been rightfully part of their historic territory and that the state of New York had illegally purchased it in 1797. Mohawk warriors successfully repossessed the land until 1977, when, following nearly 200 negotiation talks with New York state officials, the Mohawk agreed to move to territory at Miner Lake through an intermediary trust offer. Ganienkeh is not an Indian reservation and its status and relationship with both New York and the United States has not been legally defined. As of 2002, issues of sovereignty and governmental relations had not yet been settled.

In 2013 and 2014, two Aboriginal Australian nations declared independence from Australia as part of the wider concept of Australian Aboriginal sovereignty. First was the Murrawarri Republic—comprising the Muruwari—on 30 March 2013, claiming territory straddling the borders of New South Wales and Queensland; second was the Sovereign Yidindji Government—comprising the Yidindji—in 2014, claiming land in north Queensland. In both cases, the declarations of independence were completely ignored by the Australian government. However, in May 2015, Murrumu Walubara Yidindji, leader of the Yidindji government, was fined by Australian police for driving a car with registration plates issued by the Yidindji government. As of February 2024, neither micronation has yet participated in the intermicronational community, perhaps further distinguishing themselves from being regarded as micronational entities.


Indigenous peoples are the earliest known inhabitants of an area that has been colonised by a now-dominant state. Some Indigenous peoples were persecuted or given limited rights in a macronation following colonisation. As such, the sentiment of self-determination is still felt by Indigenous peoples of certain ethnic groups. Indigenous nations are closely associated with the concept of indigenous sovereignty, which legal academic Rashwet Shrinkhal defines as "an attempt towards claiming autonomy and legitimacy as sovereign authority within the realm of State. […] It is a source for indigenous people's right to self-determination."[4] However, indigenous sovereignty movements are rare in comparison with general indigenous rights movements.

See also


  1. In Australia (where the word originates), the word Indigenous is usually capitalised in contexts relating to Indigenous Australians.


  1. Racovolis, DannyRacovolis](23:31, 11 August 2022). "Page creation of Indigenous nation" – on MicroWiki. Revision ID 1235213. Archived URL via the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  2. Skye, Zabëlle (4 January 2024) [18 October 2022]. "indigenous nation". Micronational Dictionary (4 ed.). Institute of Micropatriological Research. p. 20. Retrieved 29 February 2024.
  3. Hobbs, Harry; Williams, George (23 April 2021). "Micronations: A lacuna in the law". International Journal of Constitutional Law. Oxford University Press; New York University School of Law. Volume 19, issue 1, pp. 71–97. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  4. Shrinkhal, Rashwet (15 March 2021). "“Indigenous sovereignty” and right to self-determination in international law: a critical appraisal" – via SAGE Publishing. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. Volume 17, issue 1, pp. 71–82. Retrieved 27 March 2023.