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Instituto Nacional Indigenista

Instituto Nacional Indigenista

The Instituto Nacional Indigenista (INI) was formed on December 4, 1948, by the Mexican government to design culturally sensitive policy regarding the indigenous people of Mexico. The institute coordinated projects, programs, and services for indigenous people and compiled resources pertaining to the indigenous groups of Mexico, including national media, statistics, and census information. Further, the Institute supported cultural programming and indigenous languages through radio, television, and film that served Native audiences. Mexico is home to approximately twelve million indigenous people with diverse cultural backgrounds and languages. Throughout Mexico's history, many indigenous communities have faced economic underdevel-opment and suffered from a lack of political recognition. By the 1980s and 1990s, the assimilatory INI had evolved to a participatory model, allowing indigenous groups the space to organize. The institute headed up campaigns to train community promoters who enabled indigenous communities to better represent themselves in the justice system. The Mexican government has since made legislative changes to promote the development of indigenous communities and preserve Native languages. In 2003 the Instituto Nacional Indigenista was replaced by the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CDI, translated as National commission for the development of native towns).

See alsoIndigenous Languages; Indigenous Organizations.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Armendáriz, Lorenzo. Instituto Nacional Indigenista, 1948–1998. Mexico, D. F.: Instituto Nacional Indigenista, 1998.

Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas. Available from http://www.cdi.gob.mx/ini/. The Internet site of the CDI.

                                           Alison Fields

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