Friday, August 12, 2011

Indigenous Peoples Day

from w
Last Tuesday was a special day, August 9th, but it seems to have been overlooked in the Fiji press except for an article in today's Fiji Times. Yet, how important it is to give respect for First Nations. Perhaps this isn't a priority for some people, but I think it is most important. Here is an article I found on google with a focus on indigenous women that I think is relevant for Fiji.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – 9 August 2011

Message from UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2011.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we salute the extensive contributions they make to their societies through traditional knowledge, cultural and linguistic diversity and vital role as the caretakers of the planet. The theme for this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, “Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future,” provides a real opportunity to bring the voices of indigenous peoples to the global stage.

Despite their wealth of knowledge and wisdom, many indigenous communities live in situations of poverty and discrimination. While indigenous peoples number approximately 370 million and make up 5 percent of the world’s population, they are 15 percent of the world’s poor, and about one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people.

Women in indigenous communities are the most marginalized. They often lack access to education, health care and land, and are subjected to violence, including in the contexts of trafficking and armed conflict.

Yet, women are also the agents of change in their communities. Indigenous women have worked relentlessly to mobilize and push international actors to recognize the challenges they face, and to guarantee their individual and collective rights and sustainable development for their communities.

Supporting the voices of indigenous women, and their economic empowerment, political leadership and ending violence is a cornerstone of our work at UN Women. We will continue to support the leadership and engagement of indigenous women in the years ahead, including in international forums such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Commission on the Status of Women and the Rio+20 Conference in 2012.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, UN Women urges renewed commitment to advance the status of indigenous peoples worldwide, including indigenous women, through meaningful engagement in decision-making, efforts to end gender-based violence and improving women’s economic standing. Only then can we move towards sustainable development and ensure real impact on the well-being of indigenous communities.

“We need to strengthen women’s self esteem and make them feel valued for their identity and culture”


Pandabonium said...

We had a wonderful experience in Hokkaido recently. We visited an Ainu museum - the aboriginal people of Japan - and spent an hour or so with the original curator who took us on a personal tour. As my daughters are 1/8 Cherokee blood and my granddaughters 1/8 Hawaiian, I have a long time interest in preserving indigenous cultures.

Focusing on women is crucial if we are to reach any kind of sustainable world.

Thanks for a great post.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

The irony in Fiji is that though the indigenous people have been fortunate to keep most of the land, there's a new wind blowing that diminishes their culture in many ways, things that go unreported in the Fiji media because of censorship. Even the word 'Fijian' no longer means the indigenous people.
Surviving, feeding the family, etc. are priorities. Still smiling but hiding anxiety.

escort valencia said...

It can't truly work, I think this way.