World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Fiji Islands : Rotumans
|Publisher||Minority Rights Group International|
|Cite as||Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Fiji Islands : Rotumans, 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49749d2428.html [accessed 21 October 2014]|
The small, outlying formerly volcanic island of Rotuma was early incorporated into Fiji.
Rotumans are Polynesians with a distinct Polynesian language within the more Melanesian Fiji. Rotuma is a small island with few development prospects and is dependent on agriculture. Rotuman rights were protected in the 1990 Constitution and Rotumans were identified as 'indigenous' alongside the majority Melanesian population.
Rotuma has its own Senator, three representatives in the Great Council of Chiefs and greater autonomy than other political subdivisions in Fiji. Rotumans have been highly dependent on government employment in Fiji and many have also migrated overseas. In the wake of the 1987 coup there was some interest in gaining a separate independence, but this interest has subsequently declined.