The term 'cultural genocide' comes from the word
gens, meaning a clan or community of people related by common descent.
The idea of cultural genocide implies the process of
undermining, suppressing, and ultimately eliminating, native cultures.
The deliberate destruction of the cultural heritage of a
people or nation for political or military reasons is also termed as cultural genocide.
The `Stolen Generations' and Cultural
Genocide - The Forced Removal of Australian Indigenous Children from their Families
and its Implications for the Sociology of
ROBERT VAN KRIEKEN, University of Sydney - Childhood, Vol. 6, No. 3, 297-311 (1999)
From around the turn of 20th century up to the 1970s, Australian government authorities
assumed legal guardianship of all Indigenous children and removed large numbers of them
from their families in order to `assimilate' them into European society and culture. This
policy has been described as `cultural genocide', even though at the time it was presented
by state and church authorities as being `in the best interests' of Aboriginal children.
Earthen Spirituality or Cultural Genocide?:
Radical Environmentalism's Appropriation of Native American Spirituality -
Taylor B, Source: Religion, Volume 27, Number 2, April 1997
Abstract: The appropriation by non-Indians of Native American religious practices has
become a highly contentious phenomenon. The present analysis focuses on the controversy as
it has unfolded within the `Deep Ecology' or `Radical Environmental' Movement in North
America. Taking as its central case study Earth First!, the radical vanguard of this
movement, it describes the diverse forms such borrowing takes, the plural American indian
and non-indian views shaping the ensuing controversy, and the threats this controversy
poses to a nascent and fragile Indigenous-Environmentalist alliance.
Morsink, Johannes "Cultural Genocide, the
Universal Declaration, and Minority Rights"
Human Rights Quarterly - Volume 21, Number 4, Nov. 1999, The Johns Hopkins University
Excerpt: This essay will show how the drafting of the Convention on the Prevention
and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
overlapped in a significant manner. That overlap helps explain why neither of these
documents directly addresses the crime of cultural genocide. The drafters of the Genocide
Convention severely weakened the prevention part of their goal when they cut out of their
document the prohibition and punishability of acts of cultural genocide. Prohibition was
in the first draft of the Genocide Convention. During the drafting process, it was clear
that the communist and Arab delegations favored a cultural genocide article for the
Genocide Convention as well as a minority rights article for the Universal Declaration.
Having witnessed Hitler's acts of ethnic cleansing first-hand, the Western delegates
understood the connection between cultural genocide and physical genocide, which the
communist and Arab delegations were making. They argued, however, that the right place to
make that connection was in the Universal Declaration and not in the Genocide Convention
itself. Therefore, they voted to delete the cultural genocide prohibition from the
Convention on the promise that they would support a similar measure for the Universal
The Puzzle of Genocide - Freeman, Michael
Recognizes the difficulties involved in trying to define the term "genocide" and
how concepts such as "cultural genocide" and "political genocide"
affect debate on the subject. Argues that to be clearly understood, genocide must be
defined widely enough to identify appropriate cases, yet narrowly enough that it is not
'Cultural' Genocide - A Prelude/Counter-part of Genocide?
Pamela de Condappa, King's College -
This paper seeks to discuss and define the problematic concept of Cultural genocide.
Cultural genocide is an emotive and controversial schema that must be qualified to the
strictest possible degree, nonetheless it is arguably a concept that archaeologists
and those involved in associated fields of heritage have a responsibility to engage with.
Acknowledging that the term genocide is itself affected by legal, political and
culturally specific considerations, genocide is most simply defined as the intent to
destroy in whole or in part a racial, ethnic, religious, or national group as such, by
killing members of the group or imposing conditions inimical to survival (Kuper
Taking this definition as a launching point, I argue that this process may involve
symbolically pertinent (material) culture within the context of a particular cultural
landscape. Thus symbols of culture (most specifically that which is termed as
'heritage/archaeological') associated with the identity of a particular group, which has
been subjected to destruction/redefinition as part of a widespread and planned strategy,
in turn renegotiating the identity of other group(s) in conflict with the initial
group, is potentially comparable to the processes that define (and indeed may even be a
precursor of) genocide. This therefore constitutes a type of 'Cultural' genocide.
Accepting the above premise, attention must then be drawn to the potentially critical role
that archaeologists and anthropologists, with invaluable experience of the relevant
geographical and cultural fields over time, could play in highlighting cultural genocide
as a potential precursor to physical genocide.
Article 7 of the "United Nations draft declaration
on the rights of indigenous peoples" defines "Cultural genocide":
Indigenous peoples have the collective and individual right not to be subjected to
ethnocide and cultural genocide, including prevention of and redress.