A contemporary working definition of "indigenous people" for certain purposes has criteria which would seek to include cultural groups either:
* before or its subsequent colonisation or annexation; or
* alongside other cultural groups during the formation and/or reign of a colony or nation-state;
and who furthermore
* have maintained at least in part their distinct cultural, social/organisational, and/or linguistic characteristics, and in doing so remain differentiated in some degree from the surrounding populations and dominant culture of the nation-state.
To the above, a criterion is usually added to also include:
* peoples who are self-identified as indigenous, and/or those recognized as such by other groups.