This dissertation assesses the doctrine of sovereignty in international law and the manner in which it has defined human rights as forwarded by indigenous peoples, especially through their invocation of the right to 'self-determination.' The starting point of this observation is the argument that the state's role has changed, rather then 'disappeared', in so far as the state has become a facilitator of private investment. In this sense, the constitution of the polity has also created boundaries that regulate private interactions. This study's analysis will include a proposal for a critique and re-imagining of various communities and their corresponding laws (the sovereign state, community of nations, transnational commercial community, etc.) in such a way so as to displace the absolutism of the state and politics of market economics as the most prevalent consideration in the evaluation of human rights concerns. It is a deconstruction of the totalitarian logic embedded in the creation of community and particular conceptions of communications. The first chapter looks at the concept of community as an imagined totality and represented through 1) sovereignty and the nation, 2) international community of sovereign nations, or 3) transnational communities representing corporate interests. The second chapter observes the evolution of the principle and right to self-determination in international law and centers on the contemporary sovereignty claims of indigenous peoples. The third chapter discusses principles of indigenous peoples' permanent sovereignty over natural resources and free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), as well as the complaint procedures for the U.N. Human Rights Committee and Individual Communications under the Optional Protocol to the ICCPR; the Inter-American System and; complaint procedures connected to ILO Conventions. The fourth chapter looks at the cases of domestic legislation surrounding indigenous land rights in Peru and Canada. The fifth chapter examines the questions concerning the nature and parameters of the human, as they are regulated through state and private and corporate interests. It addresses the processes of consultation with indigenous communities and environmental assessments first in Canada, and then Peru, in relation to development and extractive projects.