International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples August 9, 2022: A Message from the International Indian Treaty Council

Guest review. On this day, established by the United Nations in 1994 to recognize the rights, struggles and achievements of Indigenous peoples, the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) salutes and commends Indigenous peoples around the world for their courage, vision and their continued dedication. We especially acknowledge the unwavering positions taken by Indigenous human, treaty, cultural and environmental rights defenders who continue to protect their lands and ways of life in the face of brutal repression and criminalization. You are our heroes!

After decades of work on the international scene, indigenous peoples have succeeded in getting States to make a series of commitments through the adoption of international instruments such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, and the outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous peoples have played a leading role in the creation of new organizations and initiatives to advance and defend their rights, cultures and knowledge systems. These include the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Framework Convention Facilitation Working Group on Climate Change and the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

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Despite these achievements, we are currently witnessing regressive measures imposed by states around the world. In many cases, these exist in coordination with the economic interests of extractive industries and other megaprojects, and the creation of so-called “protected areas” on their traditional territories without agreement or consent. These activities continue to lead to serious violations of the rights of indigenous peoples through the looting and appropriation of their lands, territories, resources and cultural heritage as well as the persecution, criminalization and, in too many cases, the killing of leaders, authorities and community members who oppose these threats to the rights and survival of their people.

We are also concerned about the promotion of racism and discrimination that is often legitimized by national policies and legislative measures that further undermine indigenous peoples’ sustainable systems and institutions for resource and land management, food sovereignty, governance, health and the administration of justice. At the same time, effective mechanisms for genuine participatory dialogue with States to address and resolve violations of their rights are virtually non-existent.On this August 9, IITC and our affiliates in North, Central and South America, the Arctic, Caribbean and Pacific regions renew their founding commitment to strengthen solidarity with indigenous peoples around the world to defend our inherent rights against the forces of colonization and impunity and confront the atrocities we continue to face.

Let’s all continue to walk the path that our ancestors left us as a legacy that we will leave to future generations.

The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) is an organization of indigenous peoples of North, Central, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific working for the sovereignty and self-determination of indigenous peoples and the recognition and protection of the rights , treaties and traditional Aboriginal cultures. and Sacred Lands.

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