When is International Day of the World’s Indigenous People? Today! Proclaimed into existence by the United Nations, it’s a day on which, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, to “celebrate and recognise the stories, cultures and unique identities of indigenous peoples around the world.”
This year the international day focuses on indigenous designs – celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future. According to the UN, it “highlights the need for preservation and revitalisation of indigenous cultures, including their art and intellectual property…. It is also a reminder of the responsibility of individuals as consumers, to understand that there is a story and a personal experience behind every piece of cloth, textile or artwork from an indigenous individual or community.”
In Support of Indigenous Culture
On this special day and in keeping with this year’s particular focus, The Travel Word is very proud to join the world in saluting the cultural roots from which we have all sprung, roots that remain robust but require our admiration, care and protection.
To this end, and given the broad reach of the WHL Group community, of which The Travel Word is a part, we have concentrated for the last two weeks on sharing word from the indigenous people and native communities in our network. Our posts have examined indigenous culture and travel as it relates to:
- an Aboriginal tour guide in Cooktown, Australia
- the indigenous shea-butter-producing communities on the fringe of Mole National Park in northern Ghana
- an arts and ethnography museum in Laos that provides important information about the country’s ethnic groups
- the indigenous Rungus tribes of northern Borneo, Malaysia
- the Tzotzil indigenous people of Chamula, Mexico
- the Maori on the North Island of New Zealand
- the Embera indigenous community of Panama
- the Sámi indigenous people of northern Scandinavia
- the Bassari villages of rural Senegal
- the hill tribes of northern Thailand
- in Vanuatu, a Yakel village on the island of Tanna and the Namba population of Malekula Island
- the aboriginal Pemon people of Canaima National Park in Venezuela
We also have older articles about indigenous culture that explore Bhutan, Colombia, Georgia, Malawi, Mexico, Pakistan and Peru.
There’s More: Indigenous People’s Week
In extended appreciation of indigenous people, The Travel Word is also throwing its weight behind Indigenous People’s Week, which takes place from August 8 to 12, 2011.
According to Ron Mader of Planeta.com, one of the week’s co-instigators, Indigenous People’s Week is “an innovative and fun ‘unconference’ ” that calls for recommendations of educational and engaging videos, podcasts, websites and online resources as part of “a wonderful mixing of cultures – indigenous and non-indigenous – as well as cyber-savvy and friends who simply don’t want a smartphone. We don’t all have to do the same thing or have the same background to contribute to a win-win effort.”