Updated date:

Safeguarding The Indigenous People

Author:

I am amazed at how many Indigenous people are around the world. They are so vivid and colorful.

Ethiopia Indigenous Tribe

Ethiopia Indigenous Tribe

Papua, New Guinea Indigenous TribeLogo

Papua, New Guinea Indigenous TribeLogo

Logo for Indigenous Tribes

Logo for Indigenous Tribes

The Indigenous People of the World

The United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) has declared August 9th of each year as International Day of the World's Indigenous People.

Indigenous people include many people. Among them are the Inuit, First People, First Nations, Native People, and others. They are groups descended from those who were present in the area before modern states were created. For example, the Apache, Massai of east Africa, the Bontoc of the Phillips, and others.

It is estimated there are about 370 million of them covering over 70 countries. They have unique languages, knowledge, beliefs, and natural resources. They strive for recognition of their unique identities and cling to their way of life. They deserve the right to their ancestral lands and territories that they have occupied for thousands of years with no outside interference. India, with 8.6% of the country's population, has the largest population of Indigenous people in the world.

The value they give to the planet can be counted in several ways. They help protect the environment, fight climate change, build resilience to disease, and, most important, safeguard 80% of our biodiversity.

One might ask what biodiversity is. There are three types of biodiversity; genetic, species, and our ecosystem. The number one threat is the loss of habit by deforestation, overpopulation, and the second-largest threat to our existence on this planet is climate change, pollution, and global warming. Much of our earth today is in jeopardy.


Latuml of New Guinea

Latuml of New Guinea

Papua,

Papua,

Peru

Peru

Wodaabe, North Africa

Wodaabe, North Africa

Polynesia

Polynesia

Treatment of Indigenous People

Largely excluded from politics, economic and cultural life, they are treated as second-class citizens and experience discrimination, yet they make up 5% of the world population. Over 15% of their group is among the world's extreme poorest. They have ownership of their land rights but are often evicted off the land they have lived on for thousands of years. Their land is taken, sold, or plundered by government or private corporations because of the riches of oil, gas, timber, and minerals found on their land. Here again, the greed overrides the Indigenous people and is taken without compensation or any thought of consequences, and it has been going on for years.

Hopefully, the organizations monitoring the Indigenous people can keep them at bay. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has invaded their land with loggers and miners, causing extensive deforestation. He compares the people to zoo animals. And so far, seven Ingenious leaders have been killed opposing him, and 107 protestors have also been killed.

Two Notable Photographers Documenting indigenous People

Jimmy Nelson, the photographer, and author has traveled for years with his fifty- year old camera photographing over thirty-five Indigenous tribes around the world. He has also written three books:

  • Liberty Portraits of China, 1995
  • Before They Pass Away, 2009
  • Homage to Humanity, 2018

Although Nelson has had some criticism regarding his photos, he has always declared he photographs for prosperity and the artistic costumes of the indigenous people.

Aman Chotani has won so many awards it is possible to name them all. He has won the Siena International Photo Award, IPA Award, and has been published in the National Geographic, Life Force Magazine, India Today, Outlook Traveler, and received countless honorable mentions.


Indigenous Rights Groups

Here are a few of the groups fighting on behalf of Indigenous people:

  • Cultural Survival,
  • Native American Rights Fund
  • American i
  • Indian College Fund
  • International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
  • Survival International
  • indigenous Environmental Network
  • Global Human Rights Organization (IWGIA)
China, Indigenous

China, Indigenous

Logo for Ingidenous People

Logo for Ingidenous People

Indigenous, New Guinea Tribe

Indigenous, New Guinea Tribe

Comments

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on October 02, 2020:

So sorry, I thought I answered. I truly appreciate your visit and am always grateful for your comments. Thanks again.

Rosina S Khan on October 02, 2020:

Fran, didn't you receive my comment that I posted 19 hours ago? Here it is again:

An interesting account of the Indigenous People of the world. At least now there are support groups fighting for their rights on their behalf. Amazing illustrations too. Another marvelous article, Fran.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on October 02, 2020:

Thanks for reading Ankita. They certainly are colorful.

Ankita B on October 01, 2020:

Excellent article, Fran. It was interesting to read about the indigenous people around the world.

Rosina S Khan on October 01, 2020:

An interesting account of the Indigenous People of the world. At least now there are support groups fighting for their rights on their behalf. Amazing illustrations too. Another marvelous article, Fran.

Related Articles