Honouring treaties with indigenous peoples highlighted on World Indigenous DayListen /
United Nations officials are urging governments around the world to honour the treaties and agreements they have established with indigenous peoples.
The call comes on the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples observed on 9 August.
Grand Chief Edward John, the North American Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, identifies some of the major concerns for indigenous peoples.
"When we start seeing the gaps closing, when we start seeing that there is equity in access to education and health, and we see that our people are doing relatively well, then we are making some progress. And if we can see that the waters are not being contaminated and that our people are involved in the decisions regarding development in their territories and they have their free prior informed consent being considered than we are making progress. If we don't have that, we don't have progress." (26")
According to the United Nations, there are about 370 million indigenous people made up of more than 5,000 distinct groups in some 90 countries.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.