Indigenous people's forum looks at impact of past conquests, right to food

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Dr. Mirna Cunningham of the Miskito people of Nicaragua

The impact of the Age of Discovery on indigenous people is the focus of the latest session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which opened in New York on Monday.

The "forward-thinking dialogue" will not only look at historical wrongs done to indigenous people during the European annexation of their lands more than five centuries ago, said forum member Dr. Mirna Cunningham of the Miskito people of Nicaragua:

"We believe that the main focus should be on what are the good practices that we are promoting in countries to change this historical relation of oppression against indigenous peoples. So we will be focusing on constitutional reforms and what are the challenges that we are facing to make these reforms be respected, be implemented, be enforced, but also in countries there are also still no reforms how we can promote."

The session will also look at the right to food and food sovereignty, as well as the situation of indigenous peoples in Central and Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Central Asia, and Transcaucasia, a region which includes Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

More than 2,000 indigenous people from around the world are attending the meeting, which runs through 18 May.

Duration: 34″

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