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I support the indigenous people anywhere in the planet -Edward James Olmos

Indigenous People are a significant and important portion of humanity. Their heritage, their ways of life, their stewardship of this planet, and their cosmological insights are an invaluable treasure for society. Indigenous live in every region of the world and in all varieties of climates ranging from Arctic cold to Amazon heat. They often claim a deep connection to their lands and natural environments. Thus, many indigenous people value the natural world as a source of food, health, spirituality and identity.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9th of August to promote, protect and endorse the rights enshrined in the United Nations Declaration particularly on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). This day also presents an opportunity to honour diverse indigenous cultures and recognize the achievements and valuable contributions of an estimated 370 million indigenous people all around the world.

This year’s theme which is on ‘Bridging the Gap: Implementing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ aims to highlight the importance of implementing the rights of indigenous people through policies and programmes at both the national and international level by working together with Governments, the United Nations and other stakeholders with the aim of bridging the gap between indigenous people and our society.

As a contribution from World Assembly of Youth (WAY) in observing the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, we work to support national governance systems to be more effective in addressing discrimination and structural inequalities that can disproportionately affect indigenous peoples. We, at WAY, believe that by guaranteeing access to opportunities and supporting as well as enabling environment where indigenous peoples are empowered, they shall be able to develop their full potential to lead dignified lives in harmony with their world vision and traditional values.WAY always insists on making indigenous youth a priority by having all necessary recommendations flowing from the permanent forum to promote better integration and coordination of their issues, including youth issues, across the globe.

Today, as the world is celebrating International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, WAY will continue to support robust engagement and collaboration and further build alliances between different partners to put the end to exclusion and discrimination as well as to enable indigenous people to exercise their full rights in free and diverse societies.

Happy International Day of the World’s Indigenous People!