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The Kanak AwakeningThe Rise of Nationalism in New Caledonia$
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David Chappell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838188

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838188.001.0001

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Visions of Sovereignty

Visions of Sovereignty

(p.117) Chapter 4 Visions of Sovereignty
The Kanak Awakening

David Chappell

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the debates among New Caledonia's radicals over paths to sovereignty and the growing polarization between loyalists and supporters of restored autonomy or full independence. The radical anticolonial movement had split into two ethnic groups in 1970 to work within their own communities, but ties between leftist Caledonians and Kanak activists endured in various meetings, protests, and publications. Their symbiosis became an ongoing dialogue due to the potential contradictions between Kanak cultural nationalism and visions of class liberation. This chapter first considers the formation of a new movement called the Union des Jeunesses Calédoniennes before turning to Kanak intellectuals and their own concept of sovereignty, along with the proclamation of “Kanak Independence” by Groupe 1878 and the Foulards Rouges. It also discusses Territorial Assembly President Yann Céléné Uregei's request for a statute of internal autonomy for New Caledonia and Premier Jacques Chirac's response, sparking a debate about what “Kanak independence” meant.

Keywords:   autonomy, New Caledonia, sovereignty, independence, anticolonial movement, Kanak, Union des Jeunesses Calédoniennes, Groupe 1878, Foulards Rouges, Yann Céléné Uregei

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