International Day Of The World’s Indigenous People

Observed annually on August 9th, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated. This holiday was created by the United Nations to honor indigenous peoples living across the globe, who collectively constitute approximately 6.2% of the world’s total population.

It is a day for people to advocate for the inclusion, recognition, and participation of indigenous peoples so that they can live autonomously and freely pursue their common goals. Each year, this holiday is observed with a theme that helps focus the efforts of the day. In 2021, the theme for this holiday was “Leaving no one behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract.”

The History of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

In December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly established this holiday through UN Resolution 49/214. They chose to place the holiday on August 9th to coincide with the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, marking the date of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1982.

Interesting Facts About Indigenous Peoples

Below are some facts about indigenous peoples.

  • There are over 400 million indigenous people spread across 90 different countries.
  • Indigenous peoples represent 6.2% of the world’s population but account for over 16% of the world’s population living in poverty.
  • According to the UN, indigenous peoples today face greater rights violations than was the case a decade ago.

Observing International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

As mentioned earlier, there is a theme that helps focus the UN’s efforts for indigenous peoples on this day. People also use this holiday to learn more about indigenous peoples and to work towards solving some of the challenges faced by indigenous peoples around the world.

When is it?
This year (2024)
August 9 Friday
Next year (2025)
August 9 Saturday
Last year (2023)
August 9 Wednesday
Culture & History, United Nations