9 August – International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous people make up only 5 percent of the worlds population, approximately 370 million, across 90 countries. There are approximately 5000 cultures represented and 7000 languages spoken within them. The United Nations established this international day of recognition to highlight the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations in the world. The need to preserve the native languages, practices and cultures of these people is highly important as technology, modernisation and the globe’s dominant cultures slowly erodes them to the point of extinction. It is now recognised by the international community that these populations need special measures to preserve their cultures, rights and way of life.

As the UN states: “ 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. Despite their cultural differences, indigenous peoples from around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples.” https://www.un.org/en/events/indigenousday/

A great source of learning resources for exploring the indigenous peoples of the world are our ‘Discovery Boxes’ containing various instruments, artworks and textiles from around the globe. Find out here: http://www.oneworldcentre.org.au/library/discovery-boxes/

Other resources to explore and learn about indigenous peoples can be searched through our online catalogue here: http://www.oneworldcentre.org.au/library/online-catalogue/

For more information, visit the United Nations website: https://www.un.org/en/events/indigenousday/