On December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly, proclaimed August 9th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.  Globally, indigenous people’s number between 370 and500 million people and speak the majority of the world’s almost 7000 languages.  Unfortunately, many indigenous peoples continue to be confronted with marginalization, extreme poverty and other human rights violations.

Did you know?

  • More than 86% of Indigenous peoples globally work in the informal economy, odd jobs or providing services for which you are paid in cash, compared to 66% of their non-indigenous counterparts
  • Indigenous peoples are nearly three times as likely to be living in extreme poverty compared to their non-indigenous counterparts.
  • Globally, 47% of all Indigenous Peoples in employment have no education, compared to 17% of their non-indigenous counterparts. The gap is even wider for women.

Indigenous communities already face a host of challenges, and the reality is that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are worsening these challenges.  Despite their traditional lifestyles being a source of their resiliency, it can also pose a threat at this time in spreading the virus.  Traditional gatherings to mark special events such as harvests, coming of age ceremonies, multi-generational housing, can put Indigenous peoples and their families at risk.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Through dialogue and partnerships, our union looks for opportunities to help our members address the multiple challenges they face, while acknowledging their significant role in sustaining the diversity of our cultural and biological landscape to define a series of different ecosystem types occurring as patches.