Monday, August 9, 2010

International Day of Indigenous People

Today, August 9th, is the 16th annual International Day of the World's Indigenous People. This day was first declared by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 49/214. (prior IntLawGrrls post) The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
Here is what Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had to say about this year's celebration:
Indigenous peoples still experience racism, poor health and disproportionate poverty. In many societies, their languages, religions and cultural traditions are stigmatised and shunned. The first-ever UN report on the State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in January 2010 set out some alarming statistics. In some countries, indigenous peoples are 600 times more likely to contract tuberculosis than the general population. In others, an
indigenous child can expect to die twenty years before his or her non-indigenous compatriots.
The theme of this year’s Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is indigenous filmmakers, who give us windows into their communities, cultures and history. Their work connects us to belief systems and philosophies; it captures both the daily life and the spirit of indigenous communities. As we celebrate these contributions, I call on Governments and civil society to fulfill their commitment to advancing the status of indigenous peoples everywhere.

The photos in this blog post are all of Carrie Dann. She is one of the most inspiring women I have ever met, and an indigenous leader who has been fighting for the rights of the Western Shoshone for decades.

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