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Indigenous people

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples are often considered synonymous with aboriginal, tribal, or native peoples, and some would characterize the phrase even more broadly. There have been countless attempts to define the term “indigenous peoples,” yet in today’s complex world of interwoven ethnic identities, no one definition has ever been agreed upon. According to the Office of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, “there are an estimated 300 million indigenous people in more than 70 countries worldwide.” The UN clearly distinguishes “indigenous peoples” from “indigenous people” because the plural form carries a distinct legal meaning according to Article One, which recognizes the “principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” The phrase indigenous peoples refer to groups of people who share the same ethnic or tribal identity and who either currently inhabit or are descended from a known geographic area of their home country, often referred to as their ancestral lands. The UN International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs states that: “Today many indigenous peoples are still excluded from society and often even deprived of their rights as equal citizens of a state.


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