"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
"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."