Indigenous People, Apple Gazette: November 2019 Issue

by Mia

Native people are very important to this world. Without them, no religion would be so intriguing, and no nature would be as beautiful. Now, information on these unique and wonderful people:

According to estimations, there are more than 370 million native peoples living in 70 countries around the world. Keeping their beliefs, culture, and unique traditions, despite pressure from other religions, they still show the characteristics noticeable among others in their society. Living anywhere from the Arctic to the South Pacific, they are the kin of those who inhabited a place at the time when people of different religions came. The new arrivals took over through occupation, settlement, conquest, or other means, according to the circumstances. Some indigenous peoples live in the Americas, for example, the Aymaras in Bolivia, the Saami of northern Europe, the Mayas in Guatemala, the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia and the Maori of New Zealand, the Lakota in the USA, and the Inuit and Aleutians of the circumpolar region. These and most other indigenous peoples are still acting according to their religions, which are distinctly contradicting those of other segments of the national populations.

Considering the diversity of indigenous peoples, an official definition of “indigenous” has not been adopted by any UN-system body. Instead, the system has developed a modern understanding of this term based on the following:

  1. Self-identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member.
  2. Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies
  3. Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources
  4. Distinct social, economic or political systems
  5. Distinct language, culture, and beliefs
  6. Form non-dominant groups of society
  7. Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities.
    1. The information in this article is an abbreviation of information found at: https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/5session_factsheet1.pdf