Speak up on the International Day of Indigenous People

Photo in public domainTHURSDAY, AUGUST 9: It’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2012. Proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1994, this international day was first projected for celebration each year for a decade; this decade was extended in 2004. The Second International Decade will be marked until 2015, with the theme, “A Decade for Action and Dignity.” Within this decade, International Day 2012 focuses on “Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices.” (Watch speakers and videos in a live webcast.)

You may be thinking: But I thought Indigenous People’s Day was in October! In fact, it is—it began as a counter celebration to the 500th anniversary of Columbus Day—but more member nations are choosing the alternative Indigenous People’s date of Aug. 9. (Wikipedia has details.) The United Nations accepted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.

Young people in Chile are keeping their indigenous culture alive by practicing hip-hop, reggaeton and pop music coinciding with native melodies. (Check out a video series of these Chileans on the BBC, the first of which released just ahead of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples.)

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