|Bird Apache Dancers perform at the opening of the fourth session of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, 11 July 2011.
(UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (9 August) was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994, 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.”
The focus of this year’s International Day will be Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future.
This theme highlights the need for preservation and revitalization of indigenous cultures, including their art and intellectual property. It can also be used to showcase indigenous artists and cooperatives or businesses who are taking inspiration from indigenous peoples' customs and the indigenous communities who may have participated or benefited from this.
It is also a reminder of the responsibility of individuals as consumers, to understand that there is a story and a personal experience behind every piece of cloth, textile or artwork from an indigenous individual or community.
At UN Headquarters on 9 August, there will be a special event focusing on intellectual property in relation to indigenous designs, as well as best practices for protecting indigenous arts and crafts.