The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

World Indigenous Peoples Day

Media Image Credits: 
Logo courtesy of the United Nations
Event date: 
09 Aug 2018

As Caritas commemorates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples today, we recognize the challenge we all have to revitalize indigenous language and culture and we extend our solidarity to displaced people on the move.

This year’s theme is Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement – reflects our need to listen to the voices of communities that are too often overlooked in mainstream public debate.

There’s been a long history of migration within Aotearoa whether it be due to war, land confiscation or a lack of economic opportunities meaning people move to urban areas. This has all had an impact on culture and language of Tangata Whenua, as well as Indigenous peoples across the world.

At the heart of Catholic social teaching is the belief that all people are equal in human dignity and worthy of respect. Yet ongoing inequities in New Zealand mean much more needs to be done to foster equal opportunity for all - especially child poverty, health issues, home ownership rates, material hardship, and the high Māori incarceration rate.

Over 370 million indigenous peoples live in more than 90 countries across the world, making up 5,000 distinct indigenous groups and speaking over 4,000 languages. Indigenous peoples are the holders of unique cultures, traditions and knowledge systems, they have a special relationship with their lands and hold diverse concepts of development based on their own worldviews and priorities. Indigenous peoples, up to this day, maintain a constant struggle for the recognition of their distinct identities and their rights to lands, territories and resources.

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust