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International Day Of The World’s Indigenous Peoples 2023: Date, theme, Significance and History

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous population. Also known as World Tribal Day, this event also recognises the achievements and contributions that Indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

Theme of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

This year’s theme is: Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change for Self-determination.

  • Climate Action and the Green Transition
  • Mobilizing for Justice
  • Intergenerational connections

Significance of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous and tribal cultures, and communities, allow us to look back at our roots. Taking cognisance of the knowledge acquired by indigenous people is vital culturally and also scientifically. Ancient cultures had perfected their survival strategies over centuries and discovered remedies to ailments which have helped modern scientists tremendously. Apart from science, understanding and preservation of indigenous languages, their spiritual practices, and philosophies are also vital.

History of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 

In December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples should be observed on August 9th each year. The date was chosen in recognition of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights held in Geneva in 1982. The day is needed, as across the world, indigenous peoples are often among the poorest ethnic groups in society. According to the UN, indigenous people make up less than 5 per cent of the world’s population but account for 15 per cent of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures.

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