INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE: AUGUST 9, 2015

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

Indigenous cultures across the planet are recognized on International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.
Illustration based on artwork from ©iStockphoto.com/Darek Niedzieski/Nicolette Neish/Victor Maffe

What do people do?

People from different nations are encouraged to participate in observing the day to spread the UN’s message on indigenous peoples. Activities may include educational forums and classroom activities to gain an appreciation and a better understanding of indigenous peoples. Events may include messages from the UN secretary general and other key leaders, performances by indigenous artists, and panel discussions on reconciliation.

Public life

The UN’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is a United Nations day of observance but it is not a public holiday.

Background

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is celebrated on August 9 each year to recognize the first UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations meeting in Geneva in 1982. On December 23, 1994, the UN General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People should be observed on August 9 annually during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

In 2004 the assembly proclaimed the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014). The assembly also decided to continue observing the International Day of Indigenous People annually during the second decade. The decade’s goal was to further strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas such as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development.

In April 2000, the Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution to establish the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that was endorsed by the Economic and Social Council. The forum’s mandate is to discuss indigenous issues related to culture, economic and social development, education, the environment, health and human rights.

Symbols

Artwork by Rebang Dewan, a Chackma boy from Bangladesh, was chosen as the visual identifier of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. It has also been seen on material to promote the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. It features two ears of green leaves facing each other and cradling a globe resembling planet earth. Within the globe is a picture of a handshake (two different hands) in the middle and above the handshake is a landscape background. The handshake and the landscape background are encapsulated by blue at the top and bottom within the globe.

For this occasion, Rebang Dewan’s artwork is often seen together with a pale blue version of the UN logo with the words “We the peoples” written in the middle. The logo is set on a darker blue background. The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material UN events. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents people in the world.

2015 Theme: “Post 2015 Agenda: Ensuring indigenous peoples’ health and well-being”

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Wed Aug 9 1995 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Fri Aug 9 1996 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Sat Aug 9 1997 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Sun Aug 9 1998 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Mon Aug 9 1999 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Wed Aug 9 2000 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Thu Aug 9 2001 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Fri Aug 9 2002 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Sat Aug 9 2003 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Mon Aug 9 2004 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Tue Aug 9 2005 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Wed Aug 9 2006 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Thu Aug 9 2007 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Sat Aug 9 2008 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Sun Aug 9 2009 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Mon Aug 9 2010 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Tue Aug 9 2011 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Thu Aug 9 2012 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Fri Aug 9 2013 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Sat Aug 9 2014 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Sun Aug 9 2015 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Tue Aug 9 2016 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Wed Aug 9 2017 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Thu Aug 9 2018 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Fri Aug 9 2019 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance
Sun Aug 9 2020 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People United Nations observance

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