Indigenous People

VIVAT International representatives at the United Nations (UN) in New York work closely around the theme of Indigenous People because so many of our members dedicate much time and effort to this ministry around the world.

Indigenous People often face issues related to our principal areas of concern. Issues such as poverty, health, discrimination, internal and external migration, land, rights, extractive industry and how it affects the environment, and many others are reflected in our constant work with both the NGO Committee on the United Nation’s International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People and in the Annual UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The Permanent Forum has allowed us the opportunity of exchanging experiences with some of our members from North and South America and from parts of Asia as some have attended each year. This has permitted our members to speak to issues of concern for their people in the assembly and to present Side-Events. These are events presented by VIVAT with its members to better inform both other Indigenous Peoples attending the Forum and representatives of member states.


How can I help?

  • Share with us – How? It would be a very big help to us in representing you and the people you work with to know more about you. We would be very glad to receive any information you could give us about your people, your place, your activities, the challenges and difficulties you face, and the results you have achieved with your people. These can be written about by you, by anyone in your community and even as a special project for a group of children, of students. Any such information should be sent to marked for special attention to Indigenous People
  • Have a celebration – Each year on August 9th, the whole World can celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. Use your imagination and celebrate. Celebrations can include all sorts of activities, from prayer to music and dance, remembering the history of your people, and so much more. Take pictures and send them to us. We love seeing pictures and hearing about your celebrations.
  • Ask Elders to tell stories – It is not unusual in Indigenous communities for the elders to teach children and youth through story-telling. But, sometimes this tradition is lost. Bring it back. People without a shared history soon lose their identity, their culture, and even their language. A suggestion: If there is anyone in the community who can record these stories, it would be a great way to leave an impressive legacy to future generations – and we would love to hear the stories too!
  • Indigenous People have Rights – Do you what these rights are? Of course, the Declaration of Human Rights is for all peoples, but the United Nations, after more than 23 years of effort was able to agree on rights that pertain especially to Indigenous Peoples. Find out more and share this with as many people as you can! You can find and download a copy in English at

Special Projects

  • The Ninth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York from the 19th to the 30th of April, 2010. Indigenous People come from all over the world to participate. The central theme in 2010 will be, “Indigenous peoples: development with culture and identity; articles 3 and 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”. You can find information about this upcoming event at:
    • If you yourself or some Indigenous People you know feel they would have something to contribute to this theme then contact us soon. We might be able to find ways for you to participate. Of course there are some things you have to do yourself such as getting a passport and a visa to the United States.

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