On this August 9, 2023, Hope Services, alongside its Leadership and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, is proud to extend its heartfelt recognition of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This significant day holds immense importance as we commemorate the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Peoples in Geneva back in 1982. This day marks a global effort to acknowledge the vital contributions, resilience, and unique cultures of indigenous communities worldwide.

Global Perspective on Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples are an integral part of our world’s cultural tapestry, spanning across 90 countries and comprising an estimated 476 million individuals. While constituting less than 5% of the global population, they bear a disproportionate burden of poverty, accounting for 15% of the world’s poorest individuals. Throughout history, their rights have been violated, making them one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

Promoting Recognition and Protection

Through the acknowledgment of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the international community is taking steps to address these disparities and uphold the rights of indigenous communities. The United Nations provides insightful data illustrating the challenges they face in education, employment, and poverty:

  • Globally, nearly half of employed indigenous peoples lack formal education, with an even wider gap for women.
  • Over 86% of indigenous peoples work within the informal economy, compared to 66% of non-indigenous individuals.
  • Indigenous people are almost three times more likely to live in extreme poverty than their non-indigenous counterparts.

To delve deeper into these issues, resources like “Exploring Indigenous Peoples’ Economic and Social Rights” and “Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2023” provide valuable insights into the focus areas of the UN.

Taking Action to Honor Indigenous Communities

There are numerous ways in which we can all recognize this significant day:

  • Educate ourselves about indigenous peoples and their unique histories.
  • Learn and appreciate indigenous languages, preserving these vital parts of cultural heritage.
  • Stand in solidarity with indigenous groups, advocating for their rights and well-being.

Hope’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

At Hope Services, recognizing the contributions of all individuals is a cornerstone of our mission. We’re dedicated to fostering an environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Our commitment to breaking down challenges faced by various groups aligns perfectly with the essence of this day. We strive to create a welcoming space that embraces openness, acceptance, and an appreciation for diverse life experiences.

Learning more about the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples enables us to understand and address disparities, seeking opportunities to create a community that embraces diversity, advocates for critical issues, and stands united in support of all cultures.

Creating A More Just Society

As we mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, let’s remember that by acknowledging their struggles and celebrating their strength, we contribute to a world that values and respects the diversity of human existence. Hope Services stands steadfast in our commitment to inclusivity, equality, and unity, as we work together to create a more just and harmonious society.

With gratitude and dedication,

Hope Services Leadership and DEI Committee