Native Village 
Youth and Education News

October 2012

The definition of Indigenous Peoples used in international law
 

"Indigenous peoples primarily refers to ethnic groups that have historical ties to groups that existed in a territory prior to colonization or formation of a nation state, and which normally preserve a degree of cultural and political separation from the mainstream culture and political system of the nation state within the border of which the indigenous group is located.

"The political sense of the term defines these groups as particularly vulnerable to exploitation and oppression by nation states.

"As a result, a special set of political rights in accordance with international law have been set forth by international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank.

"The United Nations have issued a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to protect the collective rights of indigenous peoples to their culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and natural resources.

" Depending on which precise definition of "indigenous people" used, and on the census, estimates of a world total population of Indigenous people range from 220 million Indigenous peoples in 1997 to 350 million in 2004."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples

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