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International Day of the World's Indigenous People

International Day of the World's Indigenous People raises awareness about the needs of indigenous peoples. It is held on August 9, on the anniversary of the opening day of the 1982 UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, held in Geneva. International Day of the World's Indigenous People was declared with resolution 49/214 on December 23, 1994. Participants in the day "are encouraged to spread the UN's message on the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples." Events are held around the world. At the UN Headquarters in New York City, messages are given by indigenous peoples, UN and government officials, and other leaders. Indigenous artists give performances, and panel discussions are held.

Indigenous peoples represent a wide diversity of cultures, languages, traditions, and knowledge systems. There are about 5,000 indigenous cultures, and indigenous peoples speak most of the world's 7,000 languages. At the start of the third decade of the twenty-first century, indigenous peoples numbered about 476 million and resided in 90 countries. They retain their distinct cultural, social, economic, and political characteristics apart from the dominant culture. Despite differences among indigenous peoples, they face similar challenges in protecting their rights. Some indigenous peoples have self-government and other autonomy, but many are controlled by an outside central government that exerts control over their land and resources. They are vulnerable and disadvantaged and make up a disproportionate percentage of the world's poor people. But they fight for their rights and autonomy, and they are supported in this endeavor with International Day of the World's Indigenous People.

How to Observe International Day of the World's Indigenous People

Some ways to take part include:

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