Major victories for Indigenous people

According to the United Nations, indigenous peoples live on all continents, including the Arctic, the Pacific, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Yet, considering the diversity of indigenous peoples, an official definition of “indigenous” has not been adopted by any UN-system body. In this regard, a ”modern” understanding of this term based on the following has been developed: 

  • Self- identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member 
  • Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies 
  • Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources 
  • Distinct social, economic, or political systems 
  • Distinct language, culture, and beliefs 
  • Form non-dominant groups of society 
  • Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities

Artwork by Anita Bagdi

Over the last five years, there have been significant wins for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, including Indigenous land and women’s rights. Let’s take a look at some of the wins from 2021 together! 

Artwork by Diana Green

Closing thoughts

Indigenous peoples play a vital role in preserving the land, seas and resources by living in harmony with nature in many of the world’s most biodiverse regions. Developing strong economic, cultural and spiritual relationships with their environment, these ancient peoples developed and often maintained traditional management practices and knowledge that contributed to biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. Every day we face environmental disasters, we once again understand the importance of the indigenous peoples. We have a lot to learn about conserving nature in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way from these people. In this regard, considering the rights of the indigenous peoples, human rights violations against these people must be prevented. The political platform must also be provided for the Indigenous peoples to continue their culture, language and wisdom.


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Organizations To Support

  1. IWGIA
  2. Forest Peoples
  3. Amazon Watch
  4. Survival International
  5. Cultural Survival

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Deniz Saygi
Deniz Saygi

Deniz has been working related to the fields
of Climate Diplomacy, environmental policies, the rights of the indigenous
peoples, sustainable development, and circular economy. She has a specific
interest in the relationship between climate change and indigenous culture,
palaeontological roots of climate change, intersectional environmentalism,
and climate migration. Deniz currently is selected as the Max Thabiso
Edkins Climate Ambassador for the Global Climate Youth Network launched
by the World Bank Group.

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