What Is Indigenous Culture


Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples are distinct social and cultural groups that have shared collective ancestral ties to the lands and natural resources on which they live, occupy, or have been displaced. They are also distinct social and cultural groups that have shared collective ancestral ties to the lands and natural resources on which they live, occupy, or have been displaced. It goes without saying that the land and natural resources on which they rely are integral to their identities, cultures, and means of subsistence, as well as to their bodily and spiritual well-being.

Many Indigenous Peoples continue to speak a language that is unique from the official language or languages of the nation or territory in which they live or have lived.

Despite the fact that they represent for only 5% of the world’s population, they account for around 15% of the world’s very poverty.

Indigenous Peoples frequently lack formal recognition over their lands, territories, and natural resources, and are frequently the last to receive public investments in basic services and infrastructure.

Indigenous communities have become increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, including disease outbreaks such as COVID-19, as a result of this legacy of injustice and marginalization.

Despite the fact that Indigenous Peoples own, inhabit, or use a quarter of the world’s surface area, they are responsible for protecting 80 percent of the planet’s surviving biological variety.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an opportunity to collaborate with Indigenous Peoples’ traditional authorities and healers to provide accurate information on disease prevention, distribute protective gear and hygiene supplies, and support traditional medicine, livelihoods, and recovery in ways that are respectful of Indigenous Peoples’ priorities and cultures.

Even when indigenous territories and lands are acknowledged, the preservation of boundaries and the usage of natural resources by third parties are frequently insufficient.

This poses a threat to cultural survival as well as crucial knowledge systems, all of which contribute to ecological integrity, biodiversity, and environmental health, all of which are essential for our existence.

Native Americans and other indigenous peoples collaborate with the World Bank to ensure that larger development projects reflect the perspectives and aspirations of indigenous peoples and peoples of color.

The most recent update was made on March 19, 2021.

Indigenous Peoples

Worldwide, Indigenous people are numbering 370 million, and they are distributed throughout more than 90 different nations. They are members of more than 5,000 different Indigenous peoples, and they speak more than 4,000 different languages amongst them. Indigenous people make up around 5% of the world’s population. They are a diverse group of people. Asian countries account for the great bulk of them (70 percent). While their customs and cultures differ, they are subjected to the same harsh realities: displacement from their ancestral lands, denial of the right to display their culture, physical attacks, and status as second-class citizens, to name a few.

  1. Indigenous human rights activists who speak out are subjected to intimidation and violence, which is frequently backed by the government.
  2. Indigenous Peoples’ peaceful efforts to protect their cultural identity or to exercise authority over their ancestral territories, which are typically rich in resources and biodiversity, have resulted in allegations of treason or terrorism against them.
  3. They also suffer from greater rates of landlessness, starvation, and internal displacement than other communities throughout the world, according to the World Bank.
  4. In March 2019, an Indigenous man patrols the forest in Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory (in the Brazilian state of Rondônia) to preserve it from unlawful land grabs and logging.

Who are Indigenous Peoples?

Indigenous Peoples can be distinguished by a number of features, which are as follows:

  • Most significantly, they identify as Indigenous peoples in their own right. Individuals who lived in a nation or territory during the time when people of other cultures or ethnic origins came have a historical connection with that country or place
  • They have a strong connection to territories and natural resources in the surrounding area
  • They have distinct social, economic, and political systems
  • They have a distinct language, culture, and beliefs
  • They are marginalized and discriminated against by the state
  • They maintain and develop their ancestral environments and systems as distinct peoples
  • And they are marginalized and discriminated against by the state.

In certain situations, each of these attributes may be more or less significant than the others. Indigenous peoples are also referred to as First Peoples, Aboriginal Peoples, or Native Peoples in different parts of the world. In certain nations, there are distinct words, such as Adivasis (India) or Janajatis (Bhutan), which are used to describe indigenous people (Nepal). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a particular bond with the ground on which they have lived for decades, and in some cases for tens of thousands of years.

They are in possession of critical information about how to manage natural resources in a sustainable manner, and they serve as guardians or custodians of the land for the benefit of future generations. Losing their land equates to losing their sense of self.

International law and Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was approved in 2007, outlines the rights of indigenous peoples. The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is the central body within the United Nations system that deals with Indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health, and human rights. The UNPFII is comprised of representatives from a wide range of indigenous communities. The Forum was founded in the year 2000.

Indigenous land rights

International law recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands as a matter of right. Native Americans cannot be relocated without their free, prior, and informed permission. They also cannot be relocated without providing them with sufficient compensation. More than 80% of our planet’s biodiversity is found on Indigenous Peoples’ lands, which also contains a plethora of natural resources such as oil, gas, wood, and minerals. Indigenous Peoples’ lands are also rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, timber, and minerals.

A large number of Indigenous Peoples have been forced from their lands as a result of discriminatory policies or military conflicts.

Human rights violations relating to their land rights and cultural practices have forced an increasing number of Indigenous Peoples to abandon their native territories and relocate to towns and cities in recent years.

Máxima Acua, indigenous land rights activist from Peru Raul Garca Pereira/Amnistia Internacional Máxima Acua, indigenous land rights activist from Peru

Case study: Peru

Amnesty International campaigned on behalf of Máxima Acua Atalaya, a peasant farmer from Peru who stood up to one of the world’s largest gold mining firms in her fight for justice. It was the company’s intention to frighten and force her to abandon her land so that they could exploit it. On May 17, 2017, after nearly five years of procedures into false criminal accusations of land invasion, the Supreme Court of Justice determined that there was no basis to proceed with the groundless trial and that there was no need to prosecute the allegations against Máxima.

What is the situation for Indigenous women and children?

Indigenous women, from India to Peru, have greater rates of maternal mortality, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted illnesses, and they are more likely to be victims of violence than non-indigenous women. Because of prejudice and abuse, indigenous women are less likely than non-indigenous women to seek health-care services while pregnant, increasing their risk of dying during childbirth. As an example, in Panama and Russia, indigenous women are almost six times more likely than non-Indigenous women to die in delivery.

The prevalence of unplanned pregnancy among Maasai women in Kenya is double that of other ethnic groups, and the prevalence of unplanned pregnancy among San women in Namibia is 10 times higher.

On the 22nd of January, 2014, the Public Prosecutor’s office in Lima concluded their case and ruled that they had been denied justice.

Indigenous children are more exposed to exploitation and abuse.

Children of the San and other indigenous peoples in southern Africa have a difficult time gaining access to educational opportunities. South-east Asia’s indigenous groups account for the vast majority of women and girls trafficked over state borders.

Case study: The Sengwer Indigenous Peoples

You can assist the Sengwer, an indigenous community in Kenya, by making a donation. The Sengwer indigenous community in Kenya’s Embobut forest in July 2018, according to Amnesty International. The SengwerIndigenous Peoples have been inhabiting the Embobut forest in Kenya since at least the nineteenth century, according to historical records. According to the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), which is under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Sengwer are being forcibly evicted from the forest.

They are destroying the Sengwer’s homes and employing violence and intimidation against members of the community as a whole.

The Sengwer people were never properly consulted, and their free and informed agreement was never acquired prior to their removal, despite repeated attempts.

Irungu Houghton, Executive Director of Amnesty International Kenya, spoke about the organization’s work.

Replacing Columbus Day

The Sengwer, a Kenyan Indigenous group, can benefit from your sponsorship. The Sengwer indigenous village in Kenya’s Embobut forest in July 2018 was targeted by Amnesty International. Since at least the 19th century, the Sengwer Indigenous Peoples have been living in Kenya’s Embobut forest. A group of Sengwer people are being expelled from their ancestral home in the forest by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), which is part of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The authorities accuse the Sengwer of causing environmental damage to the forest, but the government has no evidence to support this claim.

Sign the petition here to show your support for the Sengwer.

In this case, Kenyan and international law have been flagrantly violated.

Right to self-determination

Indigenous Peoples have been denied self-determination across the world, which is a legally binding concept in international law that refers to a people’s ability to freely select their political status as well as to pursue their economic, social, and cultural development without interference. Indigenous Peoples, on the other hand, have been subjected to brutality and injustice by both colonizers and members of mainstream society. The removal of Indigenous children from their families and placement in federally financed boarding schools occurred during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with the goal of assimilation into larger Canadian society in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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There were around 150,000 First Nations children that were abused in these schools, according to estimates.

The “Stolen Generations” are a term used to describe these youngsters. In this photo taken by Amnesty International/Chloe Geraghty on 8 October 2011, rodeo rider Rosco Loy is seen at his home in Mosquito Bore, 280 kilometers outside of Alice Springs, Australia.

Protecting Indigenous cultures

Because they identify as members of Indigenous communities, indigenous peoples are subjected to marginalization and prejudice in society. Discrimination has an influence on their daily lives, as it hinders their access to school, health care, and housing opportunities. Indigenous peoples have a life expectancy that is up to 20 years less than that of non-Indigenous peoples all across the world, according to the World Health Organization. Indigenous peoples frequently have the greatest rates of incarceration, illiteracy, and unemployment.

Indigenous knowledge is crucial for the environment

Indigenous Peoples are responsible for protecting 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity, despite the fact that they account for only 5 percent of the world’s population. More than 20% of the carbon stored above ground in the world’s forests is located on land maintained by indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin, Mesoamerica, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Indonesia, according to the World Resources Institute. Because of their in-depth understanding of the natural world, Indigenous Peoples are able to ensure that forests and biodiversity flourish in areas where they have control of the land.

We must help Indigenous peoples and ensure that their knowledge is preserved since it is a critical instrument in the fight against climate change and the preservation of the ecosystem.

How does Amnesty International support Indigenous Peoples?

Amnesty International works with Indigenous peoples to draft legislation that will preserve their lands, traditions, and livelihoods, which are desperately required. Indigenous peoples have successfully lobbied governments on a global scale, and their views have been heard at the United Nations. Amnesty International has worked with them on a variety of projects, including the preparation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We also endeavor to assist Indigenous peoples in reclaiming their ancestral lands and territories.

The only time we Indigenous People cry is after we have gained our independence.

Many of us are sobbing because it is such an emotional day.” Carlos Marecos, a community leader from the Sawhoyamaxa indigenous village, speaks about his life.

International human rights organization Amnesty International

Amnesty is calling for

To bring the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to life, governments must enact laws and policies that address issues such as those outlined below. Consultation with Indigenous Peoples to gain their free, prior, and informed consent for actions that impact them in an effective and efficient manner They are committed to maintaining their individual cultural identities. Being free of prejudice and the fear of genocide is a fundamental human right.

Having access to lands and resources that are crucial to their well-being and way of life is a top priority. Since Europeans first arrived in Australia, more than 500 languages have been lost. Many languages all across the world are now facing a same destiny.

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Original occupants are known by various names in their 4,000 or more distinct languages, and they account for around 6.2 percent of the global population. Tribal peoples, First Peoples, Native Peoples, and Indigenous Peoples are all terms used to describe them. International Labor Organization estimates that there are roughly 476.6 million Indigenous people in the globe, who belong to 5,000 ethnic tribes and live in 90 countries throughout the world, according to the organization. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people dwell in every part of the world, however they are concentrated in Asia and the Pacific (approximately 70%), followed by Africa (16.3 percent), Latin America and the Caribbean (11.5%), northern (1.6%), and central (0.1%) Europe and Central Asia (0.1%).

  • When compared to the mainstream post-colonial culture of their nation, indigenous people are a separate and different community. They are frequently minorities inside the present post-colonial countries governments in which they live. For example, indigenous people make up more than half of the population in Bolivia and Guatemala
  • Indigenous people often speak their own language and have (or have had) their own customs and traditions that are impacted by their live links with their ancestral homelands. To this day, Indigenous people speak approximately 4,000 different languages
  • Indigenous people have distinct cultural traditions that are still practiced today, and Indigenous people own (or have owned) their own land and territory, to which they are intricately tied in a variety of ways
  • Indigenous people self-identify as being of indigenous descent
  • And indigenous people self-identify as being of indigenous descent.

Indigenous Peoples include the Inuit of the Arctic, the White Mountain Apache of Arizona, the Yanomami and the Tupi People of the Amazon, traditional pastoralists such as the Maasai of East Africa, and tribal peoples such as the Bontoc of the Philippines, who live in the mountains of the Philippines.

Political action

Indigenous Peoples’ rights are protected in part by international human rights mechanisms such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues (UNPFII), the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and several Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures. Whenever state and local governments fail to recognize and protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights, these entities, policies, and procedures provide critical opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to speak out and advocate for themselves, their cultures, their lands, and their ways of life when those governments fail to honor and protect their rights.

Communication strategies

The universal and free character of radio, as well as its capacity to reach many isolated areas, make it an important medium for reaching Indigenous people. In addition to increasing Indigenous peoples’ ability to assert and demand their rights, Indigenous-produced programming also provides them with access to information on climate change, environmental issues, women’s rights, education, languages and cultures, self-determination, and the right to give their Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.

It is important to broadcast in Indigenous languages because it provides broader knowledge and cultural continuity among the population.

Indigenous Peoples and the Environment

Indigenous areas are said to house 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity, according to some estimates. Indigenous lands also contain unquantified megatons of carbon stored due to the fact that they own 11 percent of the world’s forests, which is a significant amount of carbon. These regions are experiencing an unprecedented and rapid loss of biodiversity, as well as the consequences of climate change, as a result of the fossil fuel-based industrialized global economy and exploitation of natural resources.

Indigenous Peoples have long advocated for the protection of biodiversity.

Mining, oil exploration, logging, and agro-industrial projects, among other extractive sectors, are progressively endangering indigenous peoples and the habitats that they protect.

Indigenous Peoples are fighting back against this invasion with incredible bravery and skill, but their cries are far too frequently ignored by governments and companies alike.

Extractive industries

It is no accident that Indigenous territories contain 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Indigenous people’s management of the environment and interaction with the environment are to thank for this. The governments of Native Americans’ home countries and multinational businesses, on the other hand, often violate the rights of Indigenous Americans by operating in their territory without first obtaining the people’s Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. Being often culturally, linguistically, and geographically distinct from mainstream cultures, Indigenous Peoples often lack the financial resources and access to decision-making platforms necessary to demand a seat at the table and ensure that their best interests are represented in decision-making processes.

This is where Cultural Survival comes in.

Indigenous Peoples are empowered and supported to advocate for their rights — human rights, the right to participate and have a voice, the right to practice their cultures and speak their languages, the right to access the same opportunities as others, and control and sustainably manage their assets and resources — with your help, so that they can determine for themselves what kind of future they want to live in.

Why It’s Important to Learn About Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous people account for around 5% of the world’s population, according to estimates. Despite the fact that they come from a variety of various origins, cultures, and customs, they typically share a history of being uprooted and pushed from their own nations. Others are subjected to marginalization and discrimination in a variety of ways, including being denied the right to practice their traditions, express their cultures, or even speak their native language. It is critical to have a deeper knowledge and awareness of Indigenous peoples, their history, and their traditions in order to better appreciate many of the particular difficulties that Indigenous communities confront.

What Are Indigenous Populations?

Traditional indigenous peoples identify as members of a unique group or are derived from people who originated in territories that were their traditional lands prior to the creation of modern-day boundaries, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Indigenous People

Traditional indigenous communities, often known as Indigenous peoples, are separate cultural and socioeconomic groupings that have ancestral ties to the lands on which they currently dwell or to peoples from a region from which they have been displaced. Originally inhabiting a geographical area or country before individuals from other countries or cultures came, indigenous people are known as the “first occupants.” Following their arrival, these newcomers gradually achieved control over the surrounding area, either by colonization, occupation, or conquest of the land.

The forceful relocation of Indigenous people onto reservations in the United States, as well as the employment of residential schools to assimilate Indigenous children in Canada, are two examples of this. Some indigenous populations that may be found in many parts of the world are as follows:

  • American Indians
  • First Nations and Métis of Canada
  • Sammi of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark
  • Maori of New Zealand
  • Kurds of Western Asia
  • Maasai of East Africa
  • Native Americans of the United States

It is common for indigenous groups to have different social identities and cultural traditions from the dominant culture of the region, as well as political structures and economic practices that are distinct from those of the dominant culture.

Demographical Statistics

There are around 370 million indigenous people residing in 70 nations throughout the world, according to estimates from the United Nations (UN). Estimates of the overall world population, on the other hand, range between around 250 and 600 million people. Exact figures are difficult to come up with since Indigenous peoples are recognised and acknowledged in different ways in different nations, making it impossible to produce precise estimations.

Identifying Indigenous Groups

When learning about Indigenous populations, it is important to remember that, while these groups are frequently lumped together under the umbrella term “Indigenous peoples,” each group has its own distinct history that has been shaped by forces that are specific to their history, culture, traditions, and experiences, and each group has its own unique history.


In accordance with the United Nations, Indigenous populations can be distinguished by a variety of distinct traits. The term “indigenous” relates to:

  • The idea that a person claims and is claimed by a community is represented by the term “self-identity.” A sense of belonging to a certain place, the land, and the resources of a given location
  • There is a relationship between different cultures, beliefs, spiritual practices, languages, beliefs, and political systems. preserving different social identities, ancestral locations, and cultural behaviors
  • And
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“Indigenous” is a word that is commonly used, however people in various nations and areas may have their own preferences for how they wish to be called to in certain situations. Other words that may be used or favored include the ones listed below: Other specialized terminology for groups of people who dwell in a certain country or region may also exist in such countries or regions. In the United States, for example, Indigenous peoples are frequently referred to as Native Americans, which is a collective term.

Indigenous peoples have their own histories, languages, knowledge, and modes of learning that are distinct from others.


While Indigenous populations are varied and have their own set of demands and goals, they also frequently have a number of issues and experiences in common with other groups of people. These may include worries about the following:

  • Political underrepresentation
  • Economic marginalization
  • Racism and prejudice Access to services, especially healthcare, is restricted. ensuring the preservation of rights and treaty obligations Recognizability of their way of life and sense of self Land and natural resource ownership
  • Education
  • sDisplacement
  • sViolence

Understanding Indigenous Populations

There are a variety of compelling reasons to learn more about indigenous peoples. Not only can it help you gain a better understanding of the many individuals who have made significant contributions to the history of a place, but it may also help prevent the extinction of these civilizations. One approach to nurture and inspire cultural pride is to learn about and celebrate Indigenous culture, which is one of the ways to do so.

Improving cultural pride may also assist members of a community in preserving their languages, faith, history, customs, and cultural practices by fostering a sense of belonging among them.

The Past Influences Indigenous People Today

When studying Indigenous communities, it is critical to be aware of both present occurrences as well as historical developments. Despite the fact that historical events may appear to be in the distant past and no longer relevant, these events continue to exert forces that have an impact on the lives of Indigenous people. It was suggested by the authors of a review looking at Indigenous mortality that “the European invasion, disruption, and displacement of Indigenous people by Europeans who ventured across the Atlantic and across the Pacific to Australia in 1770 (settling there in 1788) and New Zealand in the 1790s continues to negatively impact the physical, social, emotional, and mental health of Indigenous peoples.”

Why You Should Learn About Indigenous Groups

Learning about Indigenous peoples may help you get a more accurate, more thorough, and more honest knowledge of history and culture. You can only completely grasp the history of a place if you look at all of the individuals, groups, and events that led to the creation of the land and the development of its contemporary culture. Listed below are a few of the reasons why it is critical to learn more about Indigenous peoples and their cultures. You will have a better understanding of history as a result of this.

  • Indigenous people have long been relegated to the periphery of mainstream civilization.
  • You will get an understanding of indigenous peoples’ struggles.
  • Indigenous peoples frequently encounter difficulties that are unique to them and need particular care.
  • You will gain an understanding of another culture.
  • Despite the fact that each culture is unique, Indigenous worldviews frequently emphasize the transfer of knowledge and wisdom through oral tradition, the interconnection of all beings, and the links that humans have with the places in which they reside.
  • You can empathize with someone else’s difficulties.
  • Many people around the world were unaware of the history and significance of Indigenous peoples, and they were unable to comprehend their significance.

Non-Indigenous people will not be able to comprehend the methods by which governments have attempted to assimilate Indigenous peoples, the contributions that Indigenous people have made to society, or the treaties that have been signed between governments and Indigenous populations unless they have this understanding.

These types of agreements are in place to preserve the rights of Indigenous peoples and to secure their continuous sovereignty over and relationship with their ancestral lands.

Indigenous Rights and Issues

Indigenous peoples are frequently confronted with challenges or worries that are tied to their past and connection with other groups, which can be difficult to deal with. Access to resources and land rights, preservation of their culture, environmental injustices, ownership of natural resources, and discrimination against other groups are some of the topics that they are concerned about.

Treaty and Land Rights

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have different rights based on where they reside and in what nation. In the past, treaties were frequently made in order to protect the rights of Indigenous tribes; however, whether or not these treaties are respected differs from one location to the next. Additionally, Indigenous people in some areas are involved in disputes over the ownership and use of natural resources that are located on their ancestral grounds. For example, hundreds of treaties have been signed between the governments of the United States and Canada, as well as between particular organizations, during the previous 400 years.

The legal fights between Indigenous tribes in North America and the United States continue today, as these groups strive to have the rights granted by these treaties honored.

International Rights

Indigenous peoples have rights that are recognized by international organizations as well. These rights are outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was initially approved in 2007 and has since gained widespread acceptance worldwide. When the proclamation was first proposed, four members of the United Nations, namely the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, voted against it. Despite the fact that it is not considered legislation, the statement expresses acknowledgment for the rights of Indigenous peoples, including land ownership, and emphasizes that states cannot transfer people unless they have given their fully informed agreement.


Aside from that, indigenous peoples frequently have a distinct attitude to health than other Western nations. Mainstream medicine defines health in terms of bodily symptoms and the treatment of disease, which is a limited perspective. While traditional indigenous approaches to health tend to be more holistic in nature, they do take into consideration how physical, mental, and spiritual elements all contribute to one’s overall health and well-being. Indigenous peoples are also plagued by health problems that are frequently connected to the extinction of their traditional ways of life and inadequate support for health-care services.

  • The risk of diabetes and obesity is increasing due to dietary changes, which is leading to an increase in infant mortality. Prenatal treatment that was inadequate

Discrimination and Racism

Indigenous peoples have frequently been subjected to different types of prejudice and racism throughout history. Extreme forms of racism, including genocide and forced relocations, have been perpetrated in the past, as have more recent discriminatory acts, such as the government’s removal of children from their families and placement in state-run schools or with non-Indigenous families, which have occurred in recent years.

How to Learn More

Individuals and governments alike are becoming increasingly conscious of the need of honoring and celebrating Indigenous traditions.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Over 130 communities and numerous schools across the United States, including 14 states (Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine. Michigan. Minnesota. New Mexico. North Carolina. Oklahoma. Oregon. South Dakota. Vermont. and Wisconsin), as well as the District of Columbia, currently observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is frequently observed in lieu of, or in addition to, Columbus Day in the United States. Its purpose is to pay tribute to Indigenous and Native peoples of the Americas while also assisting non-Indigenous people in learning about and celebrating Indigenous culture and heritage.

Investigate OnlinePodcasts such as Media Indigena, which can assist you in learning more about contemporary Indigenous concerns.

Participate in a Course Many free online courses are available, including Indigenous Canada (from the University of Alberta) and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (from the University of British Columbia) (from Columbia University).

One or more of the following works may be of interest: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United Statesby Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (which is also available in a version tailored for younger readers) and Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healingby Suzanne Methot

A Word From Verywell

Acquiring a greater understanding of Indigenous communities across the world will aid you in developing a deeper understanding of the history, experiences, and cultures of groups who have been historically marginalized. As well as helping you understand and support Indigenous people in their attempts to maintain their culture, campaign for their rights, and resist prejudice, such understanding may help you develop deeper empathy for others who are different from you.

7 Indigenous Cultures Worth Exploring

The indigenous peoples of the world provide a window into ancient histories that are still alive and well in the modern world. We may have a better understanding of indigenous cultures and their way of life by knowing more about them and experiencing their way of life for ourselves. Exploring indigenous cultures, which range from the ancient civilizations of Central America’s Mayan people to the nomadic households of East Africa’s Masaai, adds a new dimension to travel and can enhance our understanding of distant areas.

Discover Corps offers a wide range of tours that incorporate cultural immersion opportunities. However, there are a plethora of others to discover. Let’s find out more about some of the indigenous cultures that exist around the world!

Quechua (Peru)

This people have a long and rich history that extends throughout several nations in South America, including Peru and Bolivia. Quechua is a term used to refer to a variety of ethnic groups that speak the Quechua language, which has its roots in the Incan Empire of Peru. Prior to the advent of Christopher Columbus in the Americas, the Incan Empire was the most powerful empire in the world. By touring the ruins of the Incan Empire, you can step back in time thousands of years and journey across time.

Peruvian history is alive and well, but so is the present.

The Quechua language is spoken by around one-third of Peru’s inhabitants, with the majority of them residing in the Andes area, where they make their living mostly through farming.

Participants on Discover Corps’ “Spirit of the Andes” journey are immersed in Quechua culture in order to contribute to its preservation and dissemination.

Maya (Guatemala)

From 2000 BC to 1500 AD, the Maya flourished in what is now Mexico and Central America, constructing an expanding culture and edificing awe-inspiring temples and towns in the process. The heirs of this remarkable civilisation, who are now known as the indigenous people of Guatemala, are carrying on the traditions of Mayan culture today. Due to the fact that the Mayan people constitute more than half of the contemporary Guatemalan population, the culture remains lively and apparent. The women continue to wear in traditional, brightly colored attire.

In Chichicastenango, visitors visiting Guatemala may browse the traditional handicrafts market, where they can learn about Mayan culture and buy some souvenirs.

This Guatemalan town combines breathtaking beauty with interesting history– it is a location where the Mayan culture is still alive and well, beckoning interested travelers to come and study and explore.

Garifuna (Belize)

During a storm off the coast of the island of St. Vincent in 1635, two Spanish ships transporting Nigerians bound for slavery collided with the coasts of the island. Over several centuries, the survivors established themselves in the area, mingling with the natives and developing a distinct culture. A succession of battles finally drove the Carib population out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They arrived in Belize sometime in the early 1800s. Garifuna is the language that developed as a consequence of the interaction between Caribs and Nigerians.

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Visit Belize on November 19th, when the anniversary of their arrival is commemorated as a national holiday with music and dance, for a true flavor of Garifuna culture.

“Dugu” is a rite that brings together family members from all over the world to congregate in a temple that is presided over by a spiritual leader.

Garifuna settlements may be found along Belize’s southern coast, where you can visit them. Treat yourself to some okra and coconut broth-soaked fish to get a taste of the Garifuna way of life. Bret Love captured this image. Mary Gabbett contacted us through Green Global Travel.

Kalinago (Caribbean)

They are the indigenous civilization of the Caribbean, once known as the Carib Indians, and they are also known as Kalinago. The Kalinago were the first people to live on Dominica (and neighboring islands), and their culture has survived in this region for thousands of years as a result. At the present time, approximately 3,000 Kalinago people live in a combined 3,700-acre territory in the Caribbean, dispersed across a number of small settlements. A stop to Kalinago Barana Autê, which contains an interpretive center that will teach you to the Kalinago culture, should be included in every visit to the Kalinago area.

Traditional cultural activities, including as dance, boat construction, and basket making, are available at the huts.

Mary Gabbett contacted us through Green Global Travel.

Maasai (Kenya/Tanzania)

Any vacation to Kenya or Tanzania should involve some investigation of Maasai culture, which is unique to this region and is practiced by an indigenous population. As they go, the Maasai build loaf-shaped huts out of mud, sticks, and cow dung, which they transport with them from place to place. Extended families live in close proximity to one another and move as the weather dictates in order to find new grazing space for their cattle. Livestock is extremely significant to this indigenous community, which uses goats, sheep, and cattle as cash and as a means of trade to supplement their income.

These microcosms of Maasai culture provide insight and information about traditional medicine, grazing techniques, landscape ecology, foraging for wild herbs, and other aspects of Maasai culture and tradition.

You’ll go on a walking safari with Maasai warriors, and you’ll stay in a Maasai community for the night.

A true relationship with this magnificent region may be formed by seeing East Africa through the eyes of the Maasi people.

Hill Tribes (Thailand)

Visits to the indigenous people of the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand have become increasingly popular among travelers to Southeast Asia. There are seven main tribes in Northern Thailand, including the Karen, Lahu, Hmong, Lisu, Akha, Mien and Padaung. There are seven main tribes in Northern Thailand: Karen, Lahu, Hmong, Lisu, Akha, Mien, and Padaung. Each of them is further subdivided into sub-categories and clans, each of which has its own subtleties to the hill tribal culture and language.

This can be difficult on the thickly wooded slopes where they live, which can be difficult.

The Tribal Museum of Chiang Maiis an excellent source of information on the history and culture of the hill tribes of Northern Thailand.

Among the highlights of Discover Corps’ Cultural Kaleidescopetour of Thailand is a visit to the Hmong hillside villages.Photo courtesy of Bret LoveMary Gabbett for Green Global Travel.

Zulu (South Africa)

The Zulu people’s written history can be traced back to the 14th century, when they first appeared on the scene. Because of the power and extent of the Zulu Kingdom in the early nineteenth century, they are the most well-known indigenous people in Africa. They are the most well-known indigenous people in Africa. There are around nine million Zulu-speaking individuals living in South Africa now. Despite the fact that many of them continue to live in traditional, rural villages, others have become absorbed into metropolitan regions, where much of their culture has been blended with modern traditions.

  1. The fact that they are becoming older is viewed as a gift, and they think that life continues beyond death.
  2. In terms of music and dance, they have a vibrant cultural tradition that serves to build solidarity throughout the tribe.
  3. Their culture, which includes everything from extravagant attire to tight-knit family structures, is still very much a part of the fabric of South African society.
  4. Who were the first people to make their home in the area?
  5. We can have a better understanding of the locations we visit now if we look back in history.
  6. She has written for a variety of publications.
  7. Her blog, Travel Write Away, is a place where she gives tips and observations on the subject of travel writing.

What does ‘indigenous’ mean, for me?

According to this editorial, formal education, particularly schooling, serves an important function in the formation of national identity. The national school curriculum, both the officially recognized curriculum and what is known as the “hidden curriculum,” reflects these processes of national identity-building (Anyon,2006). When it comes to culture or ethnicity, one fascinating identification idea that is frequently brought up in school is the notion of the ‘indigenous.’ However, this phrase is contentious, and its meaning is challenged.

Nevertheless, the similarity to earlier terms such as ‘native’ does not convey the complete meaning represented by the term ‘indigenous.’ Indigenous is a primary adjective that does not derive from a noun: Despite the emergence of the terms ‘indigene’ to refer to an indigenous person or people and ‘indigeneity’ to refer to the quality of being indigenous, it is the adjective ‘indigenous’ that continues to be the most commonly used form.

The reason for the dominance of the adjectival form is clear once the full meaning of the ‘indigenous’ concept is taken into consideration.

Being indigenous, as opposed to being a member of a foreign culture, such as the Western or Euro-American culture, is defined as follows: Although they have a fundamentally different meaning, the terms “Western” and “indigenous” have some similarities in that they are both general terms for heterogeneous groups of people who nevertheless perceive themselves as aligned in some way.

Indigenous is a broad phrase that encompasses peoples from Aotearoa, Aboriginal Australia, Indigenous America, the island countries of the Pacific, the Sami people of Finland, and many more cultures and nations.

As a result, when used as a placeholder for a distinct cultural identity (such as Mori, for example), I believe the term ‘indigenous’ is better left uncapitalized.

Because it refers to the globally dominant Western culture, it does not qualify as a placeholder term and, as such, deserves a capital ‘W’.A recent academic fad is to decapitalize ‘western’ in a purportedly political move: A symbol (letter) of defiance, of seeking to decentre or de-emphasize the dominance of the West.A recent academic fad is to decapitalize ‘western’ in a purportedly political move According to the reasoning presented in the preceding paragraphs, however, this textual preference is not only ineffective, but it is also irrational as well.

  1. The decapitalization of the West normalizes it in the text, making it simpler to write and think about ‘western’ methods as if they were acultural.
  2. This argument suggests that the terms ‘indigenous’ and ‘Western’ operate According to Te Kawehau Hoskins, strategic essentialism is used by Mori to achieve certain political and social goals in relation to the indigenous-Western reified binary.
  3. Barrington (2005) observes that Mori have proclaimed themselves outside the nation because they have been effectively excluded from it.
  4. Eventually, they had to reify their oppression; they had to reify their “other” and declare them colonizers in order to continue their rule.
  5. and that took time.
  6. 85–686)It is intriguing and informative to consider how such a reified binary operates differently at different levels of abstraction across both empirical and philosophical domains.
  7. Regarding the reified binary of Aotearoa, both Pkeh and Mori scholars can become perplexed by the strategy, which can result in incoherent arguments.
  8. Whenever this occurs, Western scholars are quick to point out the advantages of collaborating across diverse knowledge systems.
  9. Taking Mori science education as an example, ideas of ‘Mori science’ and’science in Mori’ have guided attempts to improve access to science education in Mori communities.

In spite of the fact that reasonable explanations demonstrate that this is a ridiculous waste of time and work, there is now a mania for “translating science into Mori.” The motive of everyone participating in the translation of science into Mori is genuine: they want to see Mori students succeed in science.

Working in the intercultural knowledge space, it becomes obvious that indigenous knowledge interacts with Western knowledge in diverse ways in each of the fields covered by the science curriculum.

In light of the history of indigenous knowledge being obliterated, stolen, and denied by the West, contemporary expressions of interest and respect for indigenous knowledge by Western scholars are perceived by indigenous peoples as further bouts of colonisation, this time at an epistemic level: a form of’symbolic violence’ (Bourdieu,1991).

In Aotearoa New Zealand, local art and literature, as well as films and music, have taken use of the creative synergies that develop as a result of intercultural encounters to produce innovative works.

Indigenous philosophy and PESA: The rationale for the IPG

Education and philosophy are two areas of the academy that are particularly important and relevant to indigenous peoples’ sociopolitical aspirations, and so ought to be highlighted. Education is founded on knowledge, and the most significant distinction between Western and indigenous knowledges is found at the philosophical level. It is essential to educate indigenous people if we are to have any hope of recovering and reviving indigenous languages as well as indigenous narratives, histories, and wisdom traditions.

  • Traditional indigenous education is one of the most significant avenues through which some form of reparation might be attempted for peoples whose languages and cultures have been suppressed inside the educational system.
  • This line of argument emphasizes the significance of philosophy of education to indigenous people, and so the basis for founding the IPG was established.
  • We collaborated with other Mori colleagues to write an introductory guest editorial for the journal (Stewart, Mika, Cooper, Bidois,Hoskins,2014).
  • It was the largest IPG gathering to date, with indigenous delegates from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand all present at the 2016 PESA Conference in Fiji, held in December 2016.

Because of the participation of the IPG co-leaders in the editorial network that has formed and grown around PESA, which has been catalyzed by global networker Michael Peters’ role as editor-in-chief of EPAT and ex-officio member of the PESA Executive Committee, this overlap demonstrates the power of a “ecology of journals”—indigenous authors gain access to the peer-reviewed literature through participation in the ecology of journals.

Members of the Indigenous Philosophies Group are also collaborating with the Australian convenors on the upcoming conference, which will be held in Newcastle, New South Wales, in December 2017.

In a liminal space defined by intersectionality and crisscrossed by fissures and aporia, the indigenous philosopher of education recognizes alignment, alliance and sometimes camaraderie with scholars from other contested academic territories, particularly feminism, LGBTQI studies, and various other projects at the cutting edge of knowledge, such as posthumanism and new materialism.

When it comes to resisting the colonizing influences embedded into educational traditions, indigenous education philosophy draws on critical theory and indigenous traditions.

Because indigenous philosophy is such an important type of study, it is at the heart of broader battles by indigenous peoples for control over symbolic culture and the way they are portrayed in educational media, popular culture, and other social contexts.

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