Chile/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate  

4.2.4 Cultural diversity and inclusion policies

Public policy focusing on the area of cultural diversity and inclusion are covered by the State of Chile through different institutions, including the National Corporation for Indigenous Development (CONADI), created in 1993 with the purpose of promoting, coordinating and carrying out actions from the State in favour of the comprehensive development of indigenous persons and communities, based on their recognition, the promotion of their culture and languages, and the protection of their lands, among other functions laid down in the Law (National Congress of Chile, 1993b).

Other institutions involved are those in charge of the protection of heritage, such as the National Monuments Council, the DIBAM and the National Council for Culture and the Arts. Objective N. 13 of the Cultural Policy 2011-2016 document orders the valuation and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, one of the main purposes of which is the safeguarding of cultural manifestations and expressions of the native peoples and traditional cultures of immigrants (CNCA, 2011a).

CNCA develops specific programs for cultural diversity and inclusion through its Cultural Heritage Section (see Chapter 4.2.2), which assumes international recommendations taken from documents and institutions such as the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (UNESCO, 2005) and the ILO Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ILO, 1989). In this sense, it should be pointed out that the documents of cultural policy of Chile and the CNCA units largely assume the recommendations and international commitments at the level of public policy; however, the level of implementation and achievement has not yet been studied fully through appropriate mechanisms of follow-up and evaluation, as was made clear in relation to the cultural policy in place during the 2005-2010 period (National Council for Culture and the Arts, 2012b).

Without prejudice to the above, the policy of cultural diversity and inclusion in our country is still in a gestational period of development, suffering from important problems in its political definitions (Chile still does not constitutionally recognise plurinationality and its multiculturality) and its institutional coordination between different public organisations. This situation has been made evident through the high levels of social conflict in territories corresponding to native peoples, especially the Mapuche; and those with a high proportion of migrant communities, specifically the north and centre areas of the country.

Chapter published: 28-12-2013