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18.3: Conclusion

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  • A power imbalance, and differences in worldviews, between states and Indigenous nations remains in our international system. Developments and critiques within the discipline of IR, and how it is theorised, highlight the struggle of Indigenous peoples to maintain their place-based existence so that their lands, cultures, communities and relationships will flourish for generations to come. Indigenous understandings of international relations come in many forms, whether through reinvigorating treaties with the natural world, (re)establishing alliances between Indigenous peoples or Indigenous advocacy in diplomatic activities within global forums. These efforts challenge the dominant state-centric system to include their different ways of understanding and structuring relations not just between peoples, but with the natural world and the planet. More specifically, they challenge the Westphalian notion of ultimate state sovereignty and seek ways of restoring selfdetermining authority regarding their relationships to their homelands and nations.