Int'l Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples - Press Conference (9 August 2018)

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Press Conference by Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine from Mali (Tuareg), Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Mr. Prasert Trakansuphakon of Thailand (Karen) and Ms. Amy Juan from the United States of America (Tohono O’odham), on the occasion of the International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples.
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The co-founder of the Tohono O'odham Hemajkam Rights Network, Amy Juan, said “we were there historically, we’ve been there culturally before the United States was the United States, before Mexico was Mexico we were there. And we’ve always had the tradition of migrating across our land with other people, trading seeds, trading food, trading songs, trading stories and having that overall connection on the land.”
The Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, from Mali, said, “indigenous peoples in this situation find themselves in townships in the area where they migrate. For example, the Tuareg from Niger when they go to the big cities in West Africa they find themselves as beggars.”
There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. Although they make up less than 5 per cent of the world’s population, they account for 15 per cent of the world’s poorest.
Indigenous peoples are increasingly being impacted by development and conflict, and often have to move away from their ancestral lands and territories.
Despite the widespread assumption that indigenous peoples live overwhelmingly in rural territories, the current reality is that sprawling urban areas are now home to a significant proportion of indigenous populations.
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