Indigenous peoples' concept of sovereignty is intimately linked to their culture, their language, and their land. These three essential components of their self-determination have been, and remain, under existential threat. This essay explores how international law has responded to Indigenous peoples' demands for cultural survival, appraising progress made and suggesting further improvements to the international legal regime. In doing so, the essay focuses on the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, overwhelmingly passed by the UN General Assembly, as well as pertinent treaty and customary international law.

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