“In the context of global challenges, indigenous peoples offer us unique solutions to move forward. However, for the world to benefit from their wisdom, their voices must be heard”. Message from Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, August 9, 2021.

In 1994, during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, the United Nations General Assembly decided, in its resolution A / RES / 49/214, that each year the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People be celebrated on August 9, with the aim of claiming their inclusion, participation and also the approval in each constitution of a system with social and economic benefits for all. The date commemorates the first meeting, in 1982, of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.

There are more than 476 million indigenous peoples living in 90 countries around the world, representing 6.2% of the world’s population. Indigenous peoples are the holders of a great diversity of unique cultures, traditions, languages ​​and knowledge systems. They have a special relationship with their lands and have diverse concepts of development based on their own worldviews and priorities. Although many indigenous peoples around the world are autonomous, many of them are still under the ultimate authority of central governments that exercise control over their lands, territories and resources.

According to the UN, “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated many existing inequalities, disproportionately affecting populations around the world who already suffered from poverty, disease, discrimination, institutional instability or financial insecurity. From the perspective of indigenous peoples, the contrast is even more stark. And it makes it clear that in many of our societies, the social contract needs a revision, at least ”.