The term indigenous people gained legitimacy within international law with the creation in 1982 of the United Nations Working group on Indigenous Populations.This group has representation from all six continents.
Social movements worldwide have adopted the term indigenous people as a self-identifying and political label based on past oppression but now legitimizing a search for social,cultural and political rights.
Working to promote cultural survival is a growing international pan tribal movement.In June 1992 the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples met in Rio De Janeiro with 300 representatives of the tribal diversity that survives in the modern world.
In Latin America the drive by indigenous people for self-determination has emphasized their cultural distinctiveness;political reforms involving restructuring of the state;territorial rights and access to natural resources including control over economic development and reforms of military and police powers over indigenous peoples.
The indigenous rights movement and government responses to it take place in the context of globalization including transnational social movements focusing on such issues such as human rights,women's rights and environmentalism.Transnational organizations have helped indigenous peoples influence national legislative agendas.
Ceuppens and Geschiere explore a recent upsurge of the notion of autochthony being native to or formed in the place where found with an implicit call for excluding strangers in different parts of the world.This term go back to Classical Greek history with similar implications.Autochthony refers to self and soil.Indigenous means born inside with the connotation in Classical Greek of being born inside the house.Both the concepts stress the need to safeguard ancestral lands from strangers along with the rights of first comers to special privileges and protection versus later immigrants - legal or illegal.
Autochthony became an issue in Africa in 1990s which later became a key notion in debates about immigration and multiculturalism in Europe.It has been claimed by majority groups in Europe.