Celebrating indigenous cultures, stories and design

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples will be commemorated in New York on 9 August

In cooperation with the United Nations Department of Public Information/DPI and the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (SPFII) is organizing the celebration of the International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

The event will take place on Tuesday, 9 August at the UN Headquarters in New York, from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm at the ECOSOC Chamber. The theme of the year will be “Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future”.

The event will include the screening of a short video on the theme and an interactive dialogue to reflect this issue will be hosted. The dialogue is aimed at providing different perspectives on: the spiritual dimension of designs in traditional wear as a way of expressing identity, art, intellectual knowledge and culture.

It will also deal with the threat of appropriation of indigenous cultures and need of cultural preservation and revitalization; examples of good practices of businesses taking inspiration from indigenous peoples’ cultures and customs with emphasis on the nature and extent of involvement of indigenous peoples in this process. The focus will be on indigenous peoples’ rights and challenges in terms of ownership of their cultures, identities and traditions, intellectual property rights, and related economic development opportunities.

Previously, two Permanent Forum members, Edward John and Valmaine Toki, and SPFII staff attended the annual session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva on 11 – 15 July. Particular focus of this year’s session was on indigenous peoples and the right to participate in decision-making. In connection with the indigenous fellowship programme hosted by OHCHR, SPFFI also conducted a training session on 19 July in Geneva.

The Small Grants Programme for the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations Trust Fund on Indigenous Issues opened its 2012 call for proposals on 1 July. It will end on 1 September. Projects focusing on indigenous peoples and education, health, environment, culture, human rights and social and economic development are accepted.

For more information: http://www.un.org//esa/socdev/unpfii/index.html

Further information and application forms: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/tf_ha.html

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