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From Hill tribes to Indigenous Peoples: The localisation of a global movement in Thailand

  • Micah F. Morton and Ian G. Baird
Abstract

This article presents a chronology of the growth of the concept of Indigeneity in Thailand, analysing the particular ways in which the global Indigenous movement has taken root in the country. In Thailand, transnational support networks and the opening of political associational space played key roles in facilitating the growth of, first, a regional, and later a national Indigenous movement during the 1980s and early 2000s, respectively. Indigenous Peoples in Thailand are asserting their identity by drawing on a new concept of Indigeneity being promoted by the United Nations and other international advocacy organisations that identifies them not only as first peoples, but crucially as colonised or oppressed peoples. Indigenous Peoples in Thailand are further asserting both their cultural distinctiveness and their compatibility with the Thai nation. The Indigenous movement in Thailand differs from movements in Australia, Canada, and the United States where Indigenous Peoples must perform their cultural distinctiveness to maintain political recognition, and in turn are accused of being not different enough when exercising their rights. In Thailand, rather, Indigenous Peoples are accused of being not Thai enough in their efforts to push for any political recognition. While the Thai government denies the relevance of the concept of Indigeneity to Thailand, it is clear that the Indigenous movement in Thailand has grown since the early 2000s. In fact, state policies between the 1950s and early 2000s contributed toward the scaling-up of a pan-Hill tribe identity among the core groups associated with the movement.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence in connection with this paper may be addressed to: morton.micah@gmail.com and ibaird@wisc.edu.
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The authors thank the following individuals for sharing their experiences and perspectives relating to Thailand's Indigenous Peoples’ movement: Christian Erni, Ken Kampe, Chupinit Kesmanee, Prasit Leepreecha, Luingam Luithui, Chutima Morlaeku, Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri, Sakda Saenmi, Yongyuth Seubtayat and Chayan Vaddhanaphuti. For supporting fieldwork in Thailand from 2009 to 2017, Micah Morton thanks the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Fulbright Institute for International Education, Centers for Southeast Asian Studies and Global Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, and Empowering Network for International Thai Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

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References
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1 We capitalise the words ‘Indigenous’, ‘Indigenous Peoples’, and ‘Indigeneity’ according to the reasoning that ‘such capitalization accords these terms dignity and recognition as collective proper nouns or derived forms’ (Graham, Laura and Penny, H. Glenn, ‘Performing Indigeneity: Emergent identity, self-determination, and sovereignty’, in Performing Indigeneity: Global histories and contemporary experiences, ed. Graham, L. and Penny, H.G. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014), pp. 131. ‘Peoples’ is capitalised only when it comes after ‘Indigenous’ and is used in the collective sense. Other nouns following ‘Indigenous’, such as ‘people and ‘representatives’, are not capitalised.

2 Warren, Kay, Indigenous movements and their critics: Pan-Maya activism in Guatemala (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998).

3 Brysk, Alison, From tribal village to global village: Indian rights and international relations in Latin America (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000).

4 Yashar, Deborah, Contesting citizenship in Latin America: The rise of indigenous movements and the postliberal challenge (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

5 This article focuses primarily on the historical period ranging from the 1980s through the late 2000s. For studies addresssing more recent developments in Thailand's Indigenous Peoples’ movement see: Micah F. Morton, ‘The Indigenous Peoples’ movement in Thailand expands’, Perspective, no. 68, 16 Dec. 2016 (Singapore: ISEAS); Morton, Micah F., ‘The rising politics of Indigeneity in Southeast Asia’, Trends, no. 14 (Singapore: ISEAS, 2017); Baird, Ian G., Leepreecha, Prasit and Yangcheepsujarit, Urai, ‘Who should be considered “Indigenous”? A survey of ethnic groups in northern Thailand’, Asian Ethnicity 18, 4 (2017): 543–62; Morton, Micah F., ‘Reframing the boundaries of Indigeneity: State-based ontologies and assertions of distinction and compatibility in Thailand’, American Anthropologist 119, 4 (2017): 684–96; and Prasit Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

6 Jonsson, Hjorleifur, ‘Mimetic minorities: National identity and desire on Thailand's fringe’, Identities 17, 2 (2010): 108–9.

7 Morton, ‘Reframing the boundaries of Indigeneity’.

8 Winichakul, Thongchai, ‘The others within: Travel and ethno-spatial differentiation of Siamese subjects 1885–1910’, in Civility and savagery: Social identity in Tai states, ed. Turton, Andrew (London: Curzon, 2000), pp. 3862.

9 The concept of Indigenous Peoples in Asia: A resource book, ed. Christian Erni (Copenhagen: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs [IWGIA]; Chiang Mai: AIPP, 2008).

10 Ibid.; Kingsbury, Benedict, ‘Indigenous Peoples in international law: A constructivist approach to the Asian controversy’, American Journal of International Law 92, 3 (1998): 414–57; and Baird, Ian G., of, ‘The constructionIndigenous Peoples” in Cambodia’, in Alterities in Asia: Reflections on identity and regionalism, ed. Yew, Leong (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 155–76.

11 Erni, The concept of Indigenous Peoples in Asia.

12 Leepreecha, Prasit, ‘พหุวัฒนธรรมนิยมจากรากหญ้า: กระบวนการเคลื่อนไหวของเครือข่ายชนเผ่าพื้นเมืองและชาติพันธุ์ในประเทศไทย’ [Multiculturalism from below: The movement of the Network of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Groups in Thailand], สังคมศาสตร์ 25, 2 (2013): 59106; Morton, ‘Reframing the boundaries of Indigeneity’.

13 Baird et al., ‘Who should be considered “Indigenous”?’

14 Baird, Ian G., ‘Translocal assemblages and the circulation of the concept of “Indigenous Peoples” in Laos’, Political Geography 46 (2015): 5464.

15 Gray, Andrew, ‘The Indigenous movement in Asia’, in Indigenous Peoples in Asia, ed. Barnes, R.H., Gray, Andrew and Kingsbury, Ben (Ann Arbor, MI: Association of Asian Studies, 1995), pp. 3558.

16 Ibid., p. 37.

17 United Nations, United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples (New York: UN General Assembly, 13 Sept. 2007).

18 Leepreecha, ‘Multiculturalism from below’; Vaddhanaphuti, Chayan, Leepreecha, Prasit, Sittikriangkrai, Malee and Boonyasaranai, Panadda, กึ่งศตวรรษการพัฒนาบนพื้นที่สูง: จากผู้ถูกพัฒนาสู่ผู้กำหนดทิศทางการพัฒนาด้วยตนเอง [A half century of upland development: From victims of development to self-developers] (Chiang Mai: CESD, Chiang Mai University, 2011), pp. 3843; Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

19 Baird et al., ‘Who should be considered “Indigenous”?’

20 See Kraidy, Marwan M., Hybridity, or the cultural logic of globalization (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005).

21 In this article we follow the Royal Thai General System for transcribing most Thai language terms into English.

22 Pholsena, Vatthana, Post-war Laos: The politics of culture, history and identity (Singapore: ISEAS; Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006).

23 Baird, ‘The construction of “Indigenous Peoples” in Cambodia’.

24 Laungaramsi, Pinkaew, ‘Ethnicity and the politics of ethnic classification in Thailand’, in Ethnicity in Asia, ed. Mackerras, Colin (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), p. 163.

25 Keyes, Charles F., ‘Presidential address. “The peoples of Asia”: Science and politics in the classification of ethnic groups in Thailand, China and Vietnam’, Journal of Asian Studies 61, 4 (2002): 1176.

26 Vandergeest, Peter, ‘Racialization and citizenship in Thai forest politics’, Society and Natural Resources 16 (2003): 1927.

27 Toyota, Mika, ‘Ambivalent categories: Hill tribes and illegal migrants in Thailand’, in Borderscapes: Hidden geographies at territory's edge, ed. Rajaram, Prem Kumar and Grundy-Warr, Carl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), pp. 91116; and Sakboon, Mukdawan, ‘Controlling bad drugs, creating good citizens: Citizenship and social immobility for Thailand's hill ethnic minorities’, in Rights to culture: Culture, heritage and community in Thailand, ed. Barry, Coeli (Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 2013), pp. 213–37.

28 Amanda Flaim, pers. comm., 11 Dec. 2013.

29 Daniel Calderbank, ‘Plight of the hill tribes: Education needed in struggle to empower hill tribe communities’, Bangkok Post, 12 Aug. 2008, p. E3.

30 See Toyota, Mika, ‘Subjects of the nation without citizenship: The case of “Hill tribes” in Thailand’, in Multiculturalism in Asia, ed. Kymlicka, Will and He, Baogang (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 110–35.

31 Chao Nawk and Thai Doi, ‘Thai-style apartheid?’, Bangkok Post, 6 June 1999, p. 4.

32 Mukdawan Sakboon, ‘Citizenship and education as the basis for national integration of ethnic minorities in north Thailand’ (PhD diss., Macquarie University, 2009), p. 41; Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

33 Saihoo, Patya, The Hill tribes of northern Thailand (Bangkok: Cultural Programme of the South-East Asia Treaty Organization, 1963), p. 14; and Laungaramsi, ‘Ethnicity and the politics of ethnic classification in Thailand’, pp. 161, 163.

34 Burutphat, Khachatphai, ปัญหาชนกลุ่มน้อยในประเทศไทย [The problem of minority groups in Thailand] (Bangkok: Phrae Phittaya, 1972), p. 7.

35 Vaddhanaphuti, Chayan, ‘The Thai state and ethnic minorities: From assimilation to selective integration’, in Ethnic conflicts in Southeast Asia, ed. Snitwongse, Kusuma and Thompson, W. Scott (Singapore: ISEAS, 2005), pp. 167–74.

36 Toyota, ‘Ambivalent categories’, pp. 104–8.

37 Buadaeng, Khwanchewan, ‘The rise and fall of the Tribal Research Institute (TRI): “Hill tribe” policy and studies in Thailand’, Southeast Asian Studies 44, 3 (2006): 362.

38 Pinkaew Laungaramsi, ‘วาทกรรมว่าด้วย“ชาวเขา”’ [On the discourse of ‘Hill tribes’], วารสารสังคมศาสตร์ 11, 1 (1998): 103; and Buadaeng, ‘The rise and fall of the Tribal Research Institute’, p. 376. When the Tribal Research Institute (TRI) was officially established in 1964, however, its initial research mandate focused on what were at the time considered the ‘six main tribal groups’: the Akha, Hmong, Iu-Mien, Karen/Pwakanyaw, Lahu and Lisu (see Tannenbaum's, NicolaForeword’ in Hanks, Jane R. and Hanks, Lucien M., Tribes of the north Thailand frontier [New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asian Studies, 2001], p. xvi). With the exception of the Karen, these groups were at the time considered the main opium-producing ‘Hill tribes’.

39 Ethnic Affairs Institute, อัตลักษณ์ชาติพันธุ์ บนพื้นที่สูง [Ethnic identities in the highlands] (Bangkok: MSDHS, 2011). The Kachin, Dara'ang, and many Shan are generally considered more recent migrants to Thailand from Myanmar/Burma.

40 Ethnic Affairs Institute, อัตลักษณ์ชาติพันธุ์บนพื้นที่สูง; and ‘เอกสารร่างยุทธศาสตร์เพื่อการพัฒนากลุ่มชาติพันธุ์และชนเผ่าพื้นเมืองแห่งประเทศไทย’ [Draft of strategy for the development of ethnic groups and indigenous tribal peoples in Thailand] (Bangkok: MSDHS, 2013), pp. 4–6.

41 See Winichakul, ‘The others within’.

42 Clark, Gerard, ‘From ethnocide to ethnodevelopment? Ethnic minorities and Indigenous Peoples in Southeast Asia’, Third World Quarterly 22, 3 (2001): 413–36.

43 Laungaramsi, ‘วาทกรรมว่าด้วย “ชาวเขา”’.

44 Marks, Thomas, ‘The Meo hill tribe problem in northern Thailand’, Asian Survey 13, 10 (1973): 929–44. Some individuals from upland minority groups, such as the Hmong, did in fact join the Communist Party of Thailand between the 1960s and 1980s.

45 Renard, Ronald D., ‘The making of a problem: Narcotics in mainland Southeast Asia’, in Development or domestication? Indigenous Peoples of Southeast Asia, ed. McCaskill, Don and Kampe, Ken (Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 1997), pp. 307–28.

46 Vandergeest, ‘Racialization and citizenship in Thai forest politics’; Delang, Claudio O., ‘Deforestation in northern Thailand: The result of Hmong farming practices or Thai development strategies?’, Society and Natural Resources 15 (2002): 483501.

47 Pinkaew Laungaramsi, ‘Redefining nature: Karen ecological knowledge and the challenge to the modern conservation paradigm’ (PhD diss., University of Washington, 2000).

48 Hongladarom, Krisadawan, ‘Competing discourses on hilltribes: Media representation of ethnic minorities in Thailand’, Manusya Journal of Humanities 3, 1 (2000): 119; and Prasit Leepreecha, pers. comm., 26 Mar. 2012.

49 Tapp, Nicholas, Sovereignty and rebellion: The White Hmong of northern Thailand (Bangkok: White Lotus, 2005[1989]).

50 Tapp, Nicholas, ‘Buddhism and the Hmong: A case study in social adjustment’, Journal of Developing Societies 2 (1986): 6888. For a more recent study of how the Thai monarchy, especially the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (r. 1946–2016), has figured into Thailand's Indigenous movement see Morton, ‘Reframing the boundaries of Indigeneity’.

51 Tapp, Nicholas, ‘Squatters or refugees: Development and the Hmong’, in Ethnic groups across national boundaries in Mainland Southeast Asia, ed. Wijeyewardene, Gehan (Singapore: ISEAS, 1990), pp. 162, 167.

52 Kammerer, Cornelia, ‘Of labels and laws: Thailand's resettlement and repatriation policies’, Cultural Survival Quarterly 12, 4 (1988): 712; Kesmanee, Chupinit, ‘Hilltribe relocation policy in Thailand’, Cultural Survival Quarterly 12, 4 (1988): 26; Keyes, “The peoples of Asia”, p. 1183.

53 Ken Kampe, ‘Introduction: Indigenous Peoples of Southeast Asia’, in McCaskill and Kampe, Development or domestication?, pp. 23–4; and Tapp, ‘Squatters or refugees’.

54 Siam Rath, ‘ชาวเขาได้ชื่อใหม่ชาวไทยผู้เขาตามพระราชดําริ’ [Hill tribes get a new name, Mountain Thai, by way of a royal suggestion), Siam Rath, 16 Mar. 1971.

55 Buadaeng, ‘The rise and fall of the Tribal Research Institute’.

56 Anan Ganjanaphan, รัฐชาติและชาติพันธุ์: พหุวัฒนธรรม ในบริบทของการเปลี่ยนผ่านทางสำคมและวัฒนธรรม [The nation and ethnicity: Multiculturalism in the context of societal and cultural changes] (Bangkok: MSDHS, 2012), p. 3; Ethnic Affairs Institute, อัตลักษณ์ชาติพันธุ์บนพื้นที่สูง.

57 The EAI was disbanded by the military regime which seized control of the government in May 2014.

58 Supara Janchitfah, ‘Natural scapegoats’, Bangkok Post, Perspective, 6 June 1999, p. 1; and Thai Rath Online, ‘อุทยานฯชี้ชนกลุ่มน้อยโค่นไม้-ปลูกกัญชารุกป่าแก่งกระจาน’ [National Park indicates that a minority group has invaded Kaeng Krachan forest and destroyed trees to plant marijuana], Thai Rath Online, 6 May 2012.

59 See Saihoo, The hill tribes of northern Thailand, pp. 11–12.

60 Other scholars attribute the scaling-up of intra-ethnic identities among upland minority groups in Thailand, such as the Karen/Pwakanyaw and Akha, to shifting state policies, expanding telecommunications, and the agencies of foreign Christian missionaries and ‘Hill tribe’ elite. See Buadaeng, Khwanchewan and Boonyasaranai, Panadda, ‘Religious conversion and ethnic identity: The Karen and the Akha in northern Thailand’, in Living in a globalized world: Ethnic minorities in the Greater Mekong Subregion, ed. McCaskill, Don N., Leepreecha, Prasit and He, Shaoying (Chiang Mai: Mekong Press, 2008), pp. 61–2.

61 Scott, James C., The art of not being governed: An anarchist history of upland Southeast Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).

62 Lewis, Paul W. and Lewis, Elaine T., ‘The fourth dimension in Thailand’, in Gospel tide in Thailand: American Baptist World Mission study, ed. Powers, Helen M. (Valley Forge, PA: American Baptist International Ministries, 1973), p. 49.

63 Jonsson, Hjorleifur, ‘Presentable ethnicity: Constituting Mien in contemporary Thailand’, in Dislocating nation-states: Globalization in Asia and Africa, ed. Abinales, Patricio N., Noboru, Ishikawa and Akio, Tanabe (Kyoto: Kyoto University Press, 2005), p. 242.

64 Sommart Sukonthaphathipak, ‘Recollections of the Hill tribes’, in McCaskill and Kampe, Development or domestication?, p. 71.

65 Vaddhanaphuti et al., กึ่งศตวรรษการพัฒนาบนพื้นที่สูง, pp. 38–39; Ken Kampe, pers. comm., 22 Mar. 2012.

66 Buadaeng, Khwanchewan, Boonyasaranai, Panadda and Leepreccha, Prasit, วิถีชีวิตชาติพันธุ์ในเมือง [Ethnic lifestyles in the city] (Chiang Mai: SSRC, Chiang Mai University, 2003).

67 Kathleen Gillogly, pers. comm., 19 Oct. 2013.

68 MPCDE was founded by a network of government officials as well as Thai and foreign scholars and social critics, including the Dutch anthropologist Leo Alting von Geusau and the Thai scholar Chupinit Kesmanee. Prominent Thai social critic Sulak Sivaraksa served as the first chair.

69 In their public performances of Indigeneity, Indigenous Peoples in Thailand are simultaneously working to meet and challenge many of the stereotypes about them that have been propagated and exploited by the tourism industry. See Morton, ‘Reframing the boundaries of Indigeneity’.

70 Leepreecha, pers. comm., 26 Mar. 2012.

71 Marks, ‘The Meo hill tribe problem in northern Thailand’.

72 See also Michael Dunford, ‘Indigeneity, ethnopolitics, and taingyinthar: Myanmar and the global Indigenous Peoples’ movement’, this vol.

73 See Kuper, Adam, ‘The return of the native’, Current Anthropology 44 (2003): 389402; Tilley, Virginia, ‘New help or new hegemony? The transnational Indigenous Peoples' movement and “Being Indian” in El Salvador’, Journal of Latin American Studies 34 (2002): 525–54; and Warren, Indigenous movements and their critics.

74 See also Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

75 Luingam Luithui, pers. comm., 30 Sept. 2013.

76 Indigenous Peoples in Asia: Towards self-determination; Report of the Indigenous Peoples Forum, Chiengmai, Thailand, August 1988, ed. Colin Nicholas (Bombay: AIPP, 1989), p. iii.

77 Luithui, pers. comm., 30 Sept. 2013.

78 ‘Black May’ refers to the events surrounding a mass demonstration of largely middle-class urbanites in Bangkok in May 1992 in opposition to a military junta that dismissed the results of a national election in March 1992. The junta violently suppressed the demonstration, causing a major public outcry and the intervention of the King. Shortly thereafter an interim civilian government was installed and national elections held. As a result, the military suffered a major blow to its public image. See Baker, Chris and Phongpaichit, Pasuk, A history of Thailand (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 243–6.

79 Tuanjai Deetes co-founded the Hill Area Development Foundation (HADF) in 1986.

80 Luithui, pers. comm., 30 Sept. 2013.

81 Indigenous News, ‘To live as an exile, and to be back home’, Indigenous News, 18 Dec. 2014, http://www.indigenousnews.info/2014/12/live-exile-back-home (accessed 20 Apr. 2015).

82 Luithui, pers. comm., 30 Sept. 2013.

83 The Bangladesh government was also unhappy with Luithui due to his involvement in the Chittagong Hill Tribes negotiation process.

84 Luithui, pers. comm., 30 Sept. 2013.

85 Ibid.

86 Chupinit Kesmanee, pers. comm., 23 July 2013.

87 See Martínez-Cobo, José R., Study of the problem of discrimination against Indigenous populations. Vol. 5: Conclusions, proposals and recommendations (New York: United Nations, 1987). See also Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

88 Jonsson, ‘Presentable ethnicity’, pp. 232, 246.

89 Kesmanee, ‘Hilltribe relocation policy in Thailand’; IWGIA, IWGIA Yearbook 1989 (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 1990), pp. 115–16; and Prasert Trakansuphakon, ‘The history and contemporary situation of Karen and other Indigenous Tribal Peoples’ movements in Thailand’, in ‘…Vines that won't bind …: Indigenous Peoples in Asia, Proceedings of a Conference held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 1995, ed. Christian Erni (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 1996), p. 176.

90 Chayan Vaddhanaphuti, ‘The present situation of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, in Erni, ‘…Vines that won't bind …’, pp. 85–7.

91 Lakanavichian, Sureeratna, ‘Forest policy and history’, in Forest in culture, culture in forest: Perspectives from north Thailand (Copenhagen: Research Centre on Forest and People in Thailand, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, 2001), pp. 120–21.

92 Colchester, Marcus and Erni, Christian, eds., Indigenous Peoples and protected areas in South and Southeast Asia: From principles to practice (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 1999).

93 The groups represented in this network included Akha, Dara'ang, Hmong, H'Tin, Iu-Mien, Karen/Pwakanyaw, Khamu, Lahu, Lisu, Lua/Lawa, Mlabri, Moken/Moklaen, and Sagai.

94 Inter-Mountain Peoples’ Education and Culture in Thailand (IMPECT), ‘คำประกาศเจตนารมณ์และขอเสนอของ 13 ชนเผ่าในประเทศไทย’ [Declaration of the intentions and proposals of the 13 tribal groups in Thailand’], Life on the Mountain 3, 9 (1993): 3–5.

95 Kesmanee, pers. comm., 23 July 2013.

96 IMPECT, ‘คำประกาศเจตนารมณ์’, pp. 3–4.

97 Thailand Government Statement, ‘Hill-tribe welfare and development’, U.N. Doc. E./ CN.4/ AC.2/ 1992/4, United Nations, 12 May 1992; and Kingsbury, Benedict, ‘The applicability of the international legal concept of “Indigenous Peoples” in Asia’, in The East Asian challenge for human rights, ed. Bauer, Joanne R. and Bell, Daniel A. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 357.

98 See Trakansuphakon, ‘The history and contemporary situation of Karen’, p. 176; and Vaddhanaphuti, ‘The present situation of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, p. 83.

99 Vaddhanaphuti, ‘The present situation of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, p. 83.

100 Saenmi, Sakda, ‘Thailand: Right to citizenship for indigenous and tribal peoples’, in Assessing the first decade of the world's Indigenous People (1995–2004). Vol. I: The Southeast Asia experience, ed. Tamayo, Ann Loreto and Tapang, Bienvenido Jr. (Baguio City: TEBTEBBA Foundation, 2010), p. 509; and Chayan Vaddhanaphuti and Karan Aquino, ‘Citizenship and forest policy in the north of Thailand’, paper presented during the 7th International Thai Studies Conference, Amsterdam, 6 July 1999, p. 4.

101 Vaddhanaphuti et al., กึ่งศตวรรษการพัฒนาบนพื้นที่สูง, p. 39. In the original Thai script the organisation's name was written as, ‘สมัชชาชนเผ่าในประเทศไทย’. For more details on the ATT/AITT, see Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

102 IWGIA, The Indigenous World 1998–99 (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 1999), pp. 224–7; and Saenmi, ‘Thailand’, pp. 502, 509; see also Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

103 The regional Northern Farmers Network and national Assembly of the Poor are two prominent rural-based social movements that emerged in the early to mid-1990s out of a series of ongoing demonstrations staged in response to increasing natural resource conflicts between the Thai state and rural communities. See Baker and Pasuk, A history of Thailand, pp. 216–20; and Bruce Missingham, The Assembly of the Poor in Thailand: From local struggles to national protest movement (Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 2003).

104 Vaddhanaphuti and Aquino, ‘Citizenship and forest policy’; and Supara Janchitfah, ‘Broken promises and bad faith’, Bangkok Post, Perspective, 6 June 1999, p. 1.

105 Vaddhanaphuti and Aquino, ‘Citizenship and forest policy’, p. 1; and Johnson, Craig and Forsyth, Timothy, ‘In the eyes of the state: Negotiating a “rights-based approach” to forest conservation in Thailand’, World Development 30, 9 (2002): 1597–8.

106 Chao Nawk and Thai Doi, ‘Thai-style apartheid?’, p. 4.

107 See IWGIA, The Indigenous World 1999–2000 (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 2000), pp. 255–9.

108 Ibid., p. 258.

109 Supara Janchitfah, ‘A dark memory’, Bangkok Post, Perspective, 6 June 1999, p. 3.

110 Saenmi, ‘Thailand’, pp. 503–5.

111 See Vaddhanaphuti and Aquino, ‘Citizenship and forest policy’.

112 Julian Gearing, ‘The struggle for the highlands: Accused of endangering the environment, Thailand's tribespeople face eviction and an uncertain future’, Asiaweek Magazine 25, 43, 29 Oct. 1999.

113 Ibid.

114 See Vaddhanaphuti, Chayan and Lowe, Celia, ‘The potential of people: An interview with Chayan Vaddhanaphuti’, Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique 12, 1 (2004): 7191.

115 Gearing, ‘The struggle for the highlands’.

116 Thurakit Phumipak, ‘ผู้ว่าฯระเบิดโทสะซัด “NGOs” รับเงินขายชาติช่วยต่างด้าว’ [The Governor of Chiang Mai explodes with anger and accuses ‘NGOs’ of receiving money to betray the nation and help aliens], Thurakit Phumipak, 21 July 1999, p. 1; and Krungthep Thurakit, ‘“ผู้ว่าฯเชียงใหม่เปิดศึกกลุ่มเอ็นจีโอ” [The Governor of Chiang Mai bursts with anger at NGO groups], Krungthep Thurakit, 21 July 1999, p. 1.

117 Gearing, ‘The struggle for the highlands’.

118 In the original Thai script this term is written as ชนเผ่าพื้นเมือง.

119 Leepreecha, pers. comm., 26 Mar. 2012. Recall Kuper's argument that the very notion of ‘indigenous peoples’ represents a revival of the concept of primitive peoples on the part of presumably benevolent foreign actors from the global north (Kuper, ‘The return of the native’).

120 See also Prasit Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

121 Chon phao forum, ‘งานมหากรรมชนเผ่าพื้นเมืองแห่งประเทศไทย: ประกาศตั้ง “เครือข่ายชนเผ่าพื้นเมืองแห่งประเทศไทย” ขับเคลื่อนสิทธิชนเผ่า’ [The Festival of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand: Announcing the establishment of the ‘Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’ in order to work on behalf of Indigenous Peoples’ rights], 12 Sept. 2007.

122 See Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

123 Dutta, Kalpalata and Khongkachonkiet, Pornpen, Reclaiming rights in forests: Struggles of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (Bangkok: IWGIA and Highland Peoples Taskforce, 2008), p. 9.

124 Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT), ‘The Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, Public relations document, 5 May 2012.

125 Chon phao forum, ‘งานมหากรรม’.

126 Vaddhanaphuti et al., กึ่งศตวรรษการพัฒนาบนพื้นที่สูง, p. 42.

127 Chon phao forum, ‘งานมหากรรม’.

128 The international agreements referenced in the statement include the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979); Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989); and Convention on Biological Diversity (1992).

129 Chon phao forum, ‘งานมหากรรม’.

130 Tribal Center, ‘คำประกาศเจตนารมณ์เครือข่ายชนเผ่าพื้นเมืองแห่งประเทศไทย’ [Declaration of the intentions of the Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand], Tribal Center, 9 Aug. 2011, http://tribalcenter.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-post_8700.html (accessed 9 Sept. 2012).

131 Vaddhanaphuti et al., กึ่งศตวรรษการพัฒนาบนพื้นที่สูง, p. 42.

132 See McKinnon, Katharine, ‘Being Indigenous in northern Thailand’, in The politics of Indigeneity: Dialogues and reflections on Indigenous activism, ed. Venkateswar, Sita and Hughes, Emma (London: Zed, 2009), pp. 145–71. See also Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

133 Vaddhanaphuti et al., กึ่งศตวรรษการพัฒนาบนพื้นที่สูง, p. 42.

134 Ganjanaphan, รัฐชาติและชาติพันธุ์, p. 3.

135 Ethnic Affairs Institute, อัตลักษณ์ชาติพันธุ์ บนพื้นที่สูง.

136 United Nations, General Assembly resolution 61/295, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 13 Sept 2007; undocs.org/A/RES/61/295.

137 Dutta and Khongkachonkiet, Reclaiming rights in forests, p. 9.

138 See also Nasir Uddin's article about Bangladesh in this volume, ‘The local translation of global indigeneity: A case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts’.

139 S. James Anaya, ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, S. James Anaya — Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received’, HRC 9a 8/15/2008 A/HRC/9/9/Add.1, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 15 Aug. 2008.

140 S. James Anaya, ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, S. James Anaya — Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received’, HRC 9a 9/10/2008 A/HRC/9/9/Add.1/Corr.1, OHCHR, 10 Sept. 2008.

141 NIPT, ‘Report on the situation of human rights and fundamental rights of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, submitted to S. James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous People, NIPT, 19 Jan. 2010.

142 Ibid., p. 17.

143 Ibid., p. 1.

144 Prachatai, ‘เครือข่ายชนเผ่าฯเดินรณรงค์พร้อมประกาศเจตนารมณ์ – ยื่นหนังสือถึงมาร์ค-เลขายูเอ็น’ [The Network of Indigenous Peoples holds a public demonstration to declare their intentions and submits a report to UN Secretary Mark], 10 Sept. 2009, http://prachatai.com/journal/2009/08/25398 (accessed 5 Nov. 2012].

145 See United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and Baird, ‘The construction of “Indigenous Peoples” in Cambodia’.

146 See also Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

147 Surayuth Kaenphongthong, pers. comm., 25 July 2013.

148 Rattanakrajangsri, pers. comm., 24 July 2013.

149 Yongyuth Seubtayat, pers. comm., 25 July 2013.

150 Rattanakrajangsri, pers. comm., 24 July 2013.

151 Kesmanee, pers. comm., 23 July 2013.

152 See Leepreecha, ‘Becoming Indigenous Peoples in Thailand’, this vol.

153 For a discussion of this matter in reference to the Iu-Mien in Thailand, see Jonsson, ‘Presentable ethnicity’, pp. 239–47.

154 Rosaldo, Renato, ‘Cultural citizenship and educational democracy’, Cultural Anthropology 9, 3 (1994): 402.

155 Erni, The concept of Indigenous Peoples in Asia.

156 Jonsson, ‘Mimetic minorities’, pp. 108–9.

157 Cattelino, Jessica R., High stakes: Florida Seminole gaming and sovereignty (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), p. 8; and Povinelli, Elizabeth A., The cunning of recognition: Indigenous alterities and the making of Australian multiculturalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002).

158 Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri, ‘Update 2011: Thailand’ (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 2011), http://www.iwgia.org/regions/asia/thailand/898-update-2011-thailand (last accessed 15 Nov. 2013].

159 Ministry of Culture, แนวนโยบายและหลักปฏิบัติในการฟื้นฟูวิถีชีวิตชาวกะเหรี่ยง [Policy trends and key practices in revitalising the Karen way of life] (Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University Press, 2011).

The authors thank the following individuals for sharing their experiences and perspectives relating to Thailand's Indigenous Peoples’ movement: Christian Erni, Ken Kampe, Chupinit Kesmanee, Prasit Leepreecha, Luingam Luithui, Chutima Morlaeku, Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri, Sakda Saenmi, Yongyuth Seubtayat and Chayan Vaddhanaphuti. For supporting fieldwork in Thailand from 2009 to 2017, Micah Morton thanks the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Fulbright Institute for International Education, Centers for Southeast Asian Studies and Global Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, and Empowering Network for International Thai Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

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Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
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