The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People’s is observed annually on 9 August. The purpose of International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population and to recognize the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, via Resolution 49/214 to be celebrated annually on 9 August. This date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
The event was to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995–2004). In 2004, the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade, from 2005–2015, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity”.People from different nations are encouraged to participate in observing the day to spread the UN’s message on indigenous peoples. Activities may include educational forums and classroom activities to gain an appreciation and a better understanding of indigenous peoples.
Artwork by Rebang Dewan, a Chakma boy from Bangladesh, was chosen as the visual identifier of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. It has also been seen on material to promote the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. It features two ears of green leaves facing each other and cradling a globe resembling planet earth. Within the globe is a picture of a handshake (two different hands) in the middle and above the handshake is a landscape background. The handshake and the landscape background are encapsulated by blue at the top and bottom within the globe.
In Canada the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated as an all nations community celebration with artists, speakers, poets, performers, and a wide range of vendors and community service booths in Kingston, Ontario, by Yessica Rivera Belsham, Creative Director of Ollin.