Monday 9 of August, the United Nations commemorated the 27th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This yearly occasion was established in 1994 and functions as a moment for governments, organisations and individuals to center Indigenous people around the world and their ongoing struggles.
In the present day, Indigenous people and communities are still subject to social and economic issues more often than their non-Indigenous counterparts. This is one way in which the effects of colonialism and imperialism can still be sensed today. Did you know, for example, that the life expectancy of Aboriginal Australians is seventeen years lower than that of other Australian citizens? Seventeen years – let that sink in.
Worldwide, Indigenous people are subject to living in poverty almost more than three times as often as non-Indigenous people. Indigenous people are also more likely to be employed in professions that require unskilled labour. This is even more often the case for Indigenous women. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as illness and loss of employment, are also felt stronger among Indigenous communities. And let’s not forget climate change. The majority of the world’s biodiversity is located within indigenous territories, while the harmful effects of climate change are largely caused by Western companies and consumers.
What can you do to support Indigenous people?
Support Indigenous people and communities by donating directly to Indigenous individuals or grassroots, organisations. This way, you know that each euro, pound or dollar directly contributes to the survival and work of the people you are donating to.
We have listed a few examples of organisations around the world for you to donate to.
- Stand with Standing Rock.
- Native Women’s Association of Canada.
- Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
- Healing Foundation.
- APIB – Coalition of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil.
Signing petitions is fast, free and can help to create real change. At DMGS, we have signed all of the below – will you do the same?
- Clean water for Indigenous communities drinking from the Great Lakes Basin.
- Have Canadian Residential School grounds and surrounding areas searched for children.
- Prevent Disastrous Intentional Flooding of South Indian Lake Indigenous Lands.
- Include First Nations languages on Google Translate.
- Call for a National Day of Mourning for the Lost Children of Residential School.
Learn and educate
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples forms a good occasion to educate yourself about Indigenous cultures and traditions. The Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam currently hosts the exhibition Healing Power, which provides a broad outlook on Indigenous rituals and traditions in the area of spirituality. You will be acquainted with Indigenous traditions from Mongolia and Russia to Brazil and Suriname. A definite must-see!