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International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2021

Poster: Indigenous Day

The United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed each year on August 9 to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous population. This event recognizes the achievements and contributions made by Indigenous Peoples. The commemoration takes place on in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations held in Geneva in 1982.

Hashtags: #IndigenousPeoplesDay, #IndigenousDay

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Embedded Tweets

Format of the virtual event

The 2021 commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples will feature an interactive discussion with two speakers on the distinct elements to be considered when building and redesigning a new social contract that is inclusive of Indigenous peoples – where Indigenous peoples’ own forms of governance and ways of life must be respected and based on their free, prior and informed consent and genuine and inclusive participation and partnership. 

Guest Speakers

James Anaya has taught and written extensively on international human rights and issues concerning Indigenous peoples. He served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2008 to 2014. Currently, he serves as Professor at the University of Colorado Law School at Boulder.

Professor Anaya has advised numerous Indigenous and other organizations from several countries on matters of human rights and Indigenous peoples, representing Indigenous peoples’ groups from many parts of North and Central America in landmark cases before domestic and international tribunals, including the United States Supreme Court and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Among his noteworthy activities, he participated in the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and was the lead counsel for the Indigenous parties in the case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua, in which the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the first time upheld Indigenous land rights as a matter of international law.

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, an Ecuadorian scholar, diplomat, has held many leadership positions within the Government of Ecuador, serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense and Minister of Cultural and Natural Heritage. Furthermore, she was the first female ambassador and permanent representative of Ecuador to the United Nations offices in New York and in Geneva. Most recently, Ms. Espinosa served as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, becoming the fourth woman in history and the first from Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over this body. Ms. Espinosa is currently member of the Strategic Committee of the Science Panel for the Amazon of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network; member of the international Lancet COVID-19 Commission; councilor of the World Future Council; member of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee of the Generation Equality Forum; member of the Political Advisory Panel of the Universal Health Coverage 2030 Movement (UHC2030); fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS); member of the Group of Women Leaders for Change and Inclusion (GWL); and Goodwill Ambassador for the Latin American and Caribbean Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples (FILAC).


Ghazali Ohorella is an idealist and anteambulo for indigenous peoples. He is indigenous to the Alifuru People of Maluku, with an unshakeable belief in a bright future for all indigenous peoples of the world. Mr. Ohorella works to give wings to indigenous peoples and their ideas, that is why everything he says and does is geared towards inspiring and empowering 476 million indigenous peoples so that they can do what inspires them. He uses his many years of experience in indigenous rights advocacy and high-level negotiations to open spaces and create an enabling environment for indigenous peoples at the international level that is built on the right to self-determination.

  • Concept note  |EN|
  • Programme |EN|


Secretary Haaland on International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples

Centring Indigenous Peoples in Decision-making


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