International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
• This year’s theme is COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience. The virtual commemoration will feature an interactive panel discussion on the innovative ways indigenous peoples continue demonstrating resilience and strength in the face of the pandemic while confronting grave threats to their survival. The aim is to highlight how the preservation and promotion of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and practices can be leveraged more fully during this pandemic. Panelists will share good practices with the audience through an interactive virtual event that will focus on building back stronger. • 9 August commemorates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples worldwide. • This date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. • BACKGROUND • There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. • They make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population but account for 15 percent of the poorest. • They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures. • Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. • They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. • Indigenous peoples have sought recognition of their identities, their way of life and their right to traditional lands, territories and natural resources for years, yet throughout history, their rights have always been violated. • Indigenous peoples today, are arguably among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people in the world.