Indigenous rights: a celebration and a caution

Indigenous peoples make up more than five per cent of the world’s population. Although their societies have contributed much to scientific and cultural knowledge, their ways of life continue to be threatened by the pace and scale of global development.

The UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August was commemorated with a panel discussion on the theme Indigenous designs: Celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future, highlighting the need to protect the rights and support the aims of indigenous groups. It was also stressed that the world cannot afford to lose the cultural wealth of indigenous societies, a point beautifully illustrated by the film Kalimantan’s Craft; Harmony of Culture and Nature.

Video: http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2011/08/panel-discussion-on-indigenous-designs-celebrating-stories-and-cultures-crafting-our-own-culture.html

UN DESA’s website story, featuring the film Kalimantan’s Craft; Harmony of Culture and Nature: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/social/celebrating-indigenous-peoples.html

Indigenous Day resources: http://www.un.org/en/events/indigenousday/resources.shtml

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/index.html

UN News story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39258&Cr=indigenous&Cr1