The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on August 9th pays tribute to the indigenous communities of the world. According to the World Bank, there are an estimated 476 million Indigenous Peoples worldwide.
When we think of Indigenous people, what comes to mind? Indigenous people are culturally ethnic groups who are directly descended from the first known inhabitants of a particular geographic region. Examples of indigenous groups are the Lakota in the USA, the Mayas in Guatemala and the Inuits of the Arctic.
Indigenous people hold amazing unique languages, beliefs and customs that have a special relation to their land. They possess incredible amounts of invaluable knowledge about sustainable management and regard the environment with deep respect.
The environment plays a key role in everyone’s lives. It is home to different living species that are all dependent on the environment just as much as humans. The quality of life will diminish if we have no environment.
The balance of the ecosystem will unravel as nature is the bedrock of human existence, which is why we must do everything that we can to keep it safe. From the time they were very young, Indigenous peoples were taught to respect their local environment. This is to ensure that resources will continue throughout the generations.
Did you know according to the UN that:
- Globally, 47% of all indigenous peoples in employment have no education, compared to 17% of their non-indigenous counterparts. This gap is even wider for women.
- More than 86% of indigenous peoples globally work in the informal economy, compared to 66% of their non-indigenous counterparts
- Indigenous peoples are nearly three times as likely to be living in extreme poverty compared to their non-indigenous counterparts.
To raise awareness of some of the issues faced by indigenous groups, this year the focus will be on indigenous women. Indigenous women are crucial, strong leaders and have important roles in their communities that preserve traditional ancestral knowledge and are carers of natural resources.
Despite their fierce and crucial roles within their communities, indigenous women are disproportionately negatively affected by decisions made on their behalf and are frequent victims of multiple expressions of discrimination and violence. Alongside this, their ancestral lands and control of resources have been violated over centuries which has made it hard for indigenous people to raise their concerns.
To help reclaim the roles of these superwomen from indigenous groups, the UN Department of Economic and social affairs has created social media content that you can reshare on your social media platforms.
There are a variety of talks and discussions that will be held in the upcoming days before the international day of indigenous peoples. For example, there will be a virtual commemoration on the 9th of August from 9:00 am – 11:00 am EDT which you can sign up for in the further resource section.
Remember to tag @RefashionMyTown into any posts being shared, as we would also like to help reclaim the roles of superwomen from indigenous groups around the world.