• Indigenous peoples in Kanaky

    Indigenous peoples in Kanaky

    The indigenous peoples of Kanaky - New Caledonia are the Kanak peoples. Kanaky - New Caledonia is currently undergoing a decolonisation process from France leading to debates about the Kanak peoples’ right to vote, self-determination, and indigeneity.
  • Peoples

    39 per cent of Kanaky - New Caledonia’s population are Kanak. 27 per cent of Kanaky - New Caledonia’s population are Europeans, mainly French
  • Rights

    2007: France adopts the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
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  • Kanaky - New Caledonia

Kanaky - New Caledonia

Indigenous peoples in Kanaky

The indigenous people of Kanaky (New Caledonia) are the Kanak people. New Caledonia is currently undergoing a decolonization process in France leading to debates on the right of the Kanak people to vote, to self-determination and to indigenity.

France adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on September 13, 2007. However, the indigenous peoples of New Caledonia have not yet benefited from the full implementation of the Declaration.

Indigenous peoples in New Caledonia

New Caledonia is an archipelago in the South Pacific, in the process of decolonization from France. According to the 2014 census, 268,767 people live in New Caledonia, made up of 39% of Kanak, 27% of Europeans, mainly French, 8% of Wallisians and Futunians, and almost 15% of residents of other origins, such as Tahiti, Indonesia, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Fighting for the right to vote, self-determination and indigeneity

There are ongoing debates about the right to vote of the Kanak peoples, self-determination and indigenism. The Kanak people have been demanding their right to independence and self-determination since 1975. Today, the independence parties, mainly the Kanaks and the anti-independence political parties, are at odds with the formation of the electoral bodies for future elections.

In relation to the 2016 electoral census, the pro-independence political groups denounced the fact that some 25,000 kanaks were not registered in a special list to be able to vote in the referendum on independence. As an indigenous people of the country, these Kanaks could not exercise their right to self-determination and independence. The first consultation on decolonization (independence) is planned for the end of 2018.

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About IWGIA

IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

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