Will Kymlicka’s Liberal Theory of Multiculturalism : A case study of Greenland

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Abstract: The Inuit people in Greenland are internationally recognized as indigenous. They, therefore, have been granted protective measures, such as self-government rights in 2009. However, some scholars have started to question whether protective measures are still a necessity because of their increased autonomy rights. To contest this questioning, this paper examines the contemporary political discourse in Greenland regarding the Inuit people’s emphasis on their cultural heritage, ongoing identity issues, and aspirations of independence, in the light of Will Kymlicka’s liberal theory of multiculturalism. The paper concludes that the Inuit people in Greenland, to a large extent, apply to Kymlicka’s theory regarding his criteria of national minorities and the importance of belonging to a societal culture. However, the study also finds that his theory is limited in protecting potential sub-cultures and lacks nuances about secessionist thoughts among indigenous groups. The results underline the importance of continuingly protect indigenous peoples in Greenland and suggests considering additional measures to other minorities on the island.

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