We Are Indigenous

Indigenous Wayuu children in the village of Pessuapa, Colombia. UN Photo/Gill Fickling

Indigenous Wayuu children in the village of Pessuapa, Colombia. UN Photo/Gill Fickling

On August 9th is the International Day of the World Indigenous People. This year, the UN has decided to focus on the right of the education of this communities. For this reason, they want to remember a series of realities.

The right of indigenous peoples to education is protected by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which in Article 14 states that “Indigenous people have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.”

Based on this, it is important to set indigenous education is also a human right and it is expected that on the Agenda for Sustainable Development these communities can have access to the right education and vocational training by 2030.

Actually, it is estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world are living across 90 countries. They make less than 5 per cent of the world’s population but they account to be the poorest.

On their diversity, they speak more than 7,000 languages and they represent 5,000 different cultures. As distinct peoples, indigenous people have developed their own knowledge systems, values, institutions, practices and economies, often based on sustainable management of natural resources. Likewise, indigenous people have their own cultural methods of transmitting knowledge.

It is for this reason we must to keep alive their traditions and culture respecting them and helping them as much as we can. Everything is so simple like to give access to what these old cultures need. Including education.