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International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
9 August

Theme for 2006: "Indigenous Peoples: Human Rights, Dignity and Development with Identity"

Q'orianka Kilcher

Actress Q’orianka Kilcher, whose first name means Golden Eagle in Quechua language, at the panel discussion (Credit: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)

The 2006 observance coincided with a number of landmark events for indigenous peoples around the world. A significant achievement was the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the inaugural session of the Human Rights Council. Indigenous peoples were looking forward to the final adoption of the Declaration by the General Assembly (which took place on 13 September 2007). Advocates believe that the Declaration should serve as a crucial international instrument to protect and ensure indigenous rights.

Celebrations and discussions in 2006 drew upon the theme of “Partnership for Action and Dignity”, the central focus of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, which runs from 2005 to 2015.

Estimates point to more than 370 million indigenous peoples in some 70 countries worldwide. While they are from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds, they share common difficulties which include lack of basic healthcare, limited access to education, loss of control over land, abject poverty, displacement, human rights violations, and economic and social marginalization.

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