International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020 - Important date, History, About Indigenous People, Theme, Significance & Facts

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020 is observed on 9 August 2020 by the United Nations and its member states to mark the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in 1982. Read all about History of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, theme, and Facts from this article.

Sheena | Updated Jul 08, 2020 13:15 PM

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020 - Important date, History, About Indigenous People, Theme, Significance & Facts

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated on August 9 annually around the world to create awareness and to conserve the rights of indigenous people. The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples also explains the accomplishments and benefactions that the autochthonous people forge to enhance world issues such as environmental protection. 

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is focused on enriching the culture and efforts that indigenous people experience around the world. Read this article to know detailed information about the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Who are indigenous people?

Indigenous people are the natives to live in a particular place, that is, the tribal people who are the earliest known inhabitants of that area. They maintain traditions and other cultural aspects which are associated in the region. Except for Antarctica, indigenous people are inhabited along every continent of the world. Since indigenous people are often threatened and violated, the international community has taken some measures to protect their rights and culture. 

According to UN data, indigenous peoples compose to be more than 5% of the world's population but account for 15% of the poorest. These people speak the majority of the world's predicted 7,000 languages and exhibit 5,000 different cultures. Due to various factors, these languages and cultures are on the verge of extinction. 

What is the History of International Day for the World's Indigenous people?

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 of every year to distinguish the first UN operative association on Indigenous Populations assembly in Geneva in 1982. The day was first articulated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 1994, to be glorified every year during the first International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples from 1995-2004. In the year 2004, the council announced a Second International Decade, from 2005–2015, with the motive of "A Decade for Action and Dignity". 

The assembly also clinched to celebrate the International Day of Indigenous People every year during the second decade. The decade’s main objective was to rejuvenate international cooperation for solving issues faced by indigenous peoples in areas such as education, culture, and other economic development. In April 2000, the human rights department provided a remedy to establish the UN Permanent council on Indigenous Issues that was affected by the Economic and Social Council. To prevent extinction, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) made a decision (A/RES/71/178) on 'Rights of Indigenous Peoples and announced 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

What are the Measures provided by UNGA?

The following are the measures taken by UNGA to protect the rights of indigenous people:

  • To understand the importance of culture and to promote international cooperation

  • To share global knowledge and follow the important cultural ethics

  • To combine the indigenous languages into a recognized system

  • To amplify new concepts and cherish growth and development

  • To support the struggles and satisfies the requirements of the indigenous people

What do people do on this day?

People from across various nations are instigated to spread the UN’s information on indigenous peoples. Activities may include educational conferences and other activities for appreciation and an improved understanding of indigenous people. Activities are celebrated at the UN headquarters and it is telecast live. The occasion happens from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Natives from the different regions came together and started doing activities which explain their culture and tradition.

What is the official logo for political participation?

Rebang Dewan from Bangladesh developed an artwork. This art was chosen as the identification symbol for the indigenous people and to promote the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The design comprises two green leaves facing each other nestled with the earth. Blue coloured Landscape background with a handshake is pictured inside the globe. This symbol is quoted with “we the people in the centre. The entire logo is embedded within a dark blue background.

How to celebrate indigenous people day?

The occasion usually starts off with traditional dances from natives around the world. Then followed by singing, storytelling, and many more. A small conference will be held in order to know more about the indigenous people. Enjoy the traditional food and have a chance to see the old artifacts which are displayed in the celebration for a few hours. The day can also be celebrated as follows:

  • Spend some time in admiring the artworks and handicrafts done by the tribal people. People staying at home can celebrate this day by watching the live telecast, learning some words in indigenous languages, and supporting the indigenous people through social media. 

  • Attend a local Indigenous Peoples Day event across the country 

  • Share the resources to educate non-Natives and support #IndigenousPeoplesDay

  • Take Action by Getting Involved in Movements that support Indigenous Peoples

  • Make a gift today to support Indigenous rights.

  • Spread the awareness about Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

What is the previous International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Theme?

Every year for the development of the indigenous people, different themes will be chosen and the day will be celebrated. The following table provides the various themes followed in the previous years.

Year Theme
2005 The Cause of Indigenous Peoples is Ours
2006 Indigenous people: Human Rights, dignity, And development with identity 
2007 Urgent need to preserve indigenous languages
2008 Reconciliation between States and indigenous peoples
2009 Indigenous Peoples and HIV/AIDS
2010 Celebrating Indigenous Film Making
2011 Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting their own future
2012 Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices
2013 Indigenous peoples building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements
2014 Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples
2015 Post-2015 Agenda: Ensuring indigenous peoples’ health and well-being
2016 Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education
2017 Tenth Anniversary of the Adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
2018 Indigenous Peoples’ Migration and Movement
2019 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Famous Articles about Indigenous Peoples

  1. Indigenous Youth in the Brazilian Amazonia - Changing Lived Worlds by Pirjo Virtanen

  2. Indigenous Peoples' food systems: the many dimensions of culture, diversity and environment for nutrition and health by Harriet Kuhnlein, Bill Erasmus and Dina Spigelski

  3. International handbook of research on indigenous entrepreneurship by Léo-Paul Dana and Robert B. Anderson

  4. Indigenous cultures in an interconnected world by Clair Smith and Graeme K. Ward

  5. Land rights of Indigenous Peoples in Africa by Albert Kwokwo Barume

  6. The traditional knowledge advantage: Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies - IFAD

Indigenous people - Facts

  • There are more than 370 million indigenous people spread across 90 countries.

  • Indigenous peoples form 5% of the world's population but account for 15% of the world's extreme poor.

  • There are more than 5,000 indigenous communities and they speak around 4,000 different languages

  • The Indigenous peoples encompass approximately 22% of the world’s land surface and are estimated to hold 80% of the planet’s biodiversity

  • The United Nations stated that the indigenous peoples are facing greater violations of their rights than was the case 10 years ago.

  • Indigenous people covers approximately 22% of the world’s total surface of the land and they hold nearly  80% of the planet’s biodiversity

  • Indigenous people believed that the man belongs to the world while civilized people believed that the world belongs to the man

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples - FAQ

1. When is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples celebrated?

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated on August 19 every year across the world.

2. Why do people celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples?

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is being celebrated to support the tribal people and to improve their political participation and economic development.

3. Who are indigenous people?

Indigenous people are the tribal people who are the earliest known inhabitants of the given area. Except for Antarctica, indigenous people are inhabited along every continent of the world.

4. How to support indigenous people?

We can support indigenous people by encouraging them to come up well in some fields like education, sports, social participation, etc.