One of the ways of acquiring the power to change relationships between peoples is through political organizing. To facilitate coherence and continuity to that organizing, political parties are essential tools.
If we look at the achievements of Indigenous political parties like Maori, Sinn Fein and Sortu, it is clear that having a political infrastructure — where learning leadership can take place — is an investment that pays off. If the goal of political organizing by Indigenous peoples is to further their autonomy, reunification or independence, then they need to establish their own political parties to fight for that. Becoming a minority caucus in one of the colonial parties dissipates that effort.
While other aspects of establishing an Indigenous political identity and organized presence are also important, the lack of a vibrant political organization relegates much of that to the status of cultural curios. No matter the authenticity and wisdom of these heritages, if they can be politically marginalized, assimilated and annihilated. Standing up for Indigenous relations includes nurturing political protectors, and to do that effectively parties that can successfully challenge dominant assumptions are a tool that should not be overlooked.
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