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International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 

This year marks the 27th anniversary of World Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to honour and acknowledge Indigenous peoples around the globe. August 9th was chosen as it represents the first meeting of the United Nations’ Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP), a group formed to focus on Indigenous human rights.  

Today, take space to acknowledge the 476 million Indigenous peoples living across the world and the unique cultures, traditions, languages, and knowledges held by Indigenous communities. It is a day to remind ourselves of the support and actions needed to maintain Indigenous cultures and ways of life. For example, of the 6,700 languages spoken across the globe, over 4,000 of them are Indigenous languages. And it is estimated that one Indigenous language dies every two weeks. This harrowing information reminds us of the importance of language revitalization and the special measures needed to preserve Indigenous cultures globally. Therefore, as recommended by the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues, 2022-2032 has been proclaimed the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.  

Along with being among the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, World Indigenous Peoples Day 2022 also has a specific theme of focus: ‘The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge’. This theme was determined to acknowledge the significant role of women “in caretaking of natural resources, being keepers of scientific knowledge, and in the transmission of ancestral knowledge” to current and future generations. The theme also highlights how despite having a crucial role in their communities, Indigenous women experience layers of discrimination and are under-represented in decision-making processes. Learn more at the UN’s commemoration on August 9, 2022.  

To commemorate World Indigenous Peoples Day: 

  1. Familiarize yourself with UNDRIP. The United Nations Declaration of the Rights on Indigenous Peoples.  
  1. Access resources to learn more about Indigenous peoples globally. 
  1. Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations 
  1. The UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 
  1. Indigenous Foundations (UBC): Global Actions  
  1. UNDP’s Indigenous Stories 
  1. Attend the United Nation’s virtual commemoration on August 9th from 9am -11am EST: ‘The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge’. 
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