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Are Indigenous Youth agents of change for self determination?

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Let's talk about it!

The International Day of the World's Indigenous People which is celebrated on August 9th each year serves as a reminder of the importance of promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous communities and celebrating their contributions to the world's cultural and social diversity. Leaders such as Yurshell Rodríguez, Archana Soreng, Gift Parseen and many others are among the leaders that have fought for their people’s rights.

Well, can we say that the world is becoming a better place? Okay, it’s crystal clear that the world is gradually changing, embracing diversity and inclusivity as time goes by, and the indigenous youth are ready for it! The Indigenous people are known to value their distinct culture, which differs from that of the dominant societies in which they do well. Being different has led to their rights being frequently violated. Unfortunate right?

The Change

The Indigenous Youth have become conscious of the issue, and with the world experiencing so many changes, they have decided to grasp the chance to fight for their people's rights. They made significant efforts to prioritize incorporating their perspectives into conversations and policy agendas. Furthermore, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the youth used virtual platforms to emphasize the disparities created by virtual education due to a lack of internet connection and even the resources required for the learning sessions, such as laptops and smartphones.

Indigenous youth have faced various obstacles such as language barriers, access to full and effective participation in decision-making spaces, and, very often, dismissal of their participation; however, this has all encouraged them to look for strategies to break down barriers of inequality. So proud of our indigenous youth!

Indigenous youth have frequently faced the issue of combining their traditional identity with the constraints of modern culture. Young Indigenous leaders have embraced their history and used it as a source of strength and resilience. By reconnecting with their ancestral knowledge and customs, they develop a sense of pride and solidarity within their communities. The journey to self-determination starts with one step.

Did you know that, during the pandemic, the Indigenous people in Brazil and other countries' territories were invaded by loggers and miners and many indigenous leaders died fighting for their land? Indigenous youth played a vital part in defending their lands, and they used social media to secure protection for their territory by capturing their actions.

Lastly, looking into how the indigenous youth play a significant role in bringing change. For Indigenous tribes, land is more than just a physical location; it also has spiritual and cultural value. The Indigenous youth are pushing for land rights, asserting their independence, and advocating for political representation. They are reshaping policies that affect their communities by actively participating in decision-making processes.

Did you know?

The Covid 19 pandemic wreaked havoc on Brazil.Hunger, unemployment, and the collapse of its health-care system were among the difficulties.With all of this going on, social entrepreneurs stepped in and ensured that essentials such as food, masks, medical supplies, and others were delivered across an 8 million square kilometer area.

  • They created cash transfer systems in Brazil that enabled individuals in favelas to buy food, gas, medicine, and emergency supplies without dealing with bureaucracy or long lines.

  • Digital health social enterprises and NGOs have become important allies of Central and State Governments offering telemedicine as an alternative amidst the public healthcare system collapse.

  • They also created Transparent management and logistic tools that were necessary to receive large donations during the emergency response.

More Facts

  1. The common term for brazilian slum is a favela.Probably you saw it somewhere in the blog and wondered what it meant.

  2. The average favela has limited infrastructure, which causes problems with electricity and plumbing.However, life in favela is beginning to improve.NGOs such as Community In Action are focused on sustainable community development within these Brazilian slums.

Let's Talk Stats

As of 2022, Samoa,Greenland and French Polynesia were the places with the most indigenous people as a share of the total population.96 percent of Samoans are Polynesians, while almost 89 percent of the population in Greenland are Greenlandic Inuit who call themselves Kalaallit and their homeland Kalaallit Nunaát.

In addition, did you know that India has 104 million indigenous people (8.6 percent of the population), while around 15 million live in the Philippines (15 percent), 14 million in Vietnam (15 percent), 13 million in Kenya (25 percent) and almost 12 million in Mexico (10 percent).

In South and Central America, Quechua, Aymara and countless other American Indian tribes make up large swaths of the population, while in Africa, Berbers inhabit countries in the North and Twa (also known as Pygmies) and Maasai, among many others, live in Central and East Africa.

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