Successfully achieving nationhood under the banner of what Anderson (2003) terms â€˜aggregated nativenessâ€™, Timor-Leste is southeast Asia's newest nation. Yet as Anderson asserts â€˜for the culture of nationalism â€¦ survival cannot be enoughâ€™ (2003: 184) and as with all other nationalisms, Timor-Leste's nation-making agenda is now engaged in the search for inclusive futures for its citizens. In this paper, we examine the extent to which Timor-Leste's independence trajectory has included the active involvement of Indigenous Timorese traditions, practices and priorities in the governance of the new nation. By theorising these shifting â€˜Indigenousâ€™ ontologies and examining the ways in which they correspond (or not) with the tensions evident in more internationalised approaches to Indigeneity, we illuminate the socio-political challenge of carving out spaces for plural identities and meaningfully diverse economic futures in Timor-Leste. We argue that the term â€˜Indigenousâ€™ is not (yet) a term mobilised as a vehicle for the politics of recognition at either national or local levels of civil society.