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Indigenous Societies


There are various kind of indigenous societies seen in the World. Due to economic, production, population, cultural variety these societies differ from each other. They are known as native people, aboriginal people, autochthonous people or as first nation. We could hear and see, simple societies which still perform hunting and gathering, hunters those who live in rich environments, societies which have representatives in local government or parliament etc. Among those various kind of societies small number of tribal societies have achieved complex and modern social status regarding the production and population.

Some of the indigenous societies have become rural stage and they have been acquiring rural sub culture. These societies can be divided according to Geographical, Historical, Cultural or Social facts.

World Council on Indigenous Community has defined them as follows :

“The group who have unique social and cultural identity, different than the mainstream of the society, and abstain or harmful for the development process.”

According to the World bank report in 2020 it states that there are between 370 and 500 million Indigenous people worldwide, in over 90 countries. That means they represent 5% of global population. They hold vital ancestral knowledge and experience in how to adapt, mitigate and reduce climate and disaster risks. Bolivia is the country with the highest percentage of Indigenous population at present. Hadzabe, Mbuti, Maasai, Bantu, Ogani, Tuareg, Ainu, Kazakhs, Miao, Chakma, Maori, Aborigines, Torres Strait Islanders, Mayans, Saami, Aymaras etc are some of the Indigenous societies in the world. The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinal Island. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders.

Indigenous societies are threatened with extinction in many parts of the world today. They have been killed, tortured and enslaved. Also they have been victims of genocide. Development projects are considered as national development which provides new employment, skills, avenues of income, increasing consumerism and uplifting infrastructure. Unfortunately it has created a great threat to the lives of the indigenous people and their heritage. Socio traditional norms and values have been drastically changed by the modernity. These people have been displaced from their habitats and traditional livelihoods. As the first legal step to protect the Indigenous people International Labor Organization initiated labor contract by 1930 no 29 treaty. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) was established in 2007. It was the most comprehensive International instrument on the rights of Indigenous societies.


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