Similarities and differences of policies Compare the policies of Mexico with the policies of the United States toward its indigenous peoples. What are the similarities and differences?
Indigenous peoples are afforded many rights in Mexico. For one thing, many indigenous languages have "national" status, meaning they have equal standing with Spanish. They have the right to have their own cultural systems enshrined in local laws, provided they do not violate basic human rights as identified by the Mexican constitution. They also have the right to elect their own representatives to city and local governments in the areas where they make up a significant portion of the population. These rights are protected by the Mexican constitution, and apply to indigenous groups that have migrated to Mexico from the United States and Central American countries.
Recent policies in Mexico were more broad minded than early U.S. policies. Mexico's indigenous population were given voice at the First Inter-American Indian Congress launched in 1940 by Mexico's Autonomous Department of Indigenous Affairs. During ensuing years, demands were made for greater incorporation of indigenous people into Mexico's national life, which included demands for wage parity, land, and self-determination. Most recently, combat between government and indigenous groups has been replaced with political negotiation for full realization of indigenous rights.
I agree. Mexico and the United States share a similar colonial history that is hard to erase. In each case, explorers came and basically attempted to either enslave or wipe out the native population. There is no way either can begin to make up for that, especially in the case where the natives are gone.
Mexico has many, many more indigenous people than the US does. This helps cause it to have different policies towards them. The Mexican policy has been more supportive of the culture of indigenous people, particularly in recent times. Even its constitution defines it as a country made up of many cultures.
Some people in the United States have a very hard time identifying who is indigenous to America. Therefore, while Mexico has repeatedly celebrated its indigenous people, America is still trying to figure out how to celebrate its indigenous people.