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International Day of Indigenous Peoples

August 9th of each year, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed.  


The United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Human Rights Sub-Commission held its first meeting in 1982 to raise awareness and to recognize the achievements and contributions of indigenous peoples.   By a resolution in 1994, the United Nations General Assembly then decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples shall be observed on 9 August every year.  

In Mexico, what is meant by indigenous?

In Mexico, indigenous peoples and communities are those who descend from the populations that inhabited the current Mexican territory before the arrival of the Europeans. Indigenous peoples and communities are characterized by preservation of social, economic, cultural, and political institutions. The Constitution of Mexico recognizes that Mexico is a multicultural nation, made up of diverse cultures and identities that are originally based on indigenous peoples.  

In Mexico, what are the rights of indigenous peoples and communities? Indigenous peoples and communities have all the human rights recognized by the Constitution of Mexico and by international mechanisms, both individually and collectively. Indigenous people have rights as peoples and as individuals. The Constitution of Mexico recognizes that indigenous peoples and communities have the right to self-determination.

Indigenous peoples in Mexico have the right to autonomous forms of coexistence and social, economic, political, and cultural organization.   Indigenous peoples have collective rights that are indicated in article 2 of the Constitution of Mexico and in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries.    

Below is a document prepared by the National Institute of Indigenous Languages (INALI).

Catalogue of National Indigenous Languages (Mexico)

The Catalogue constitutes the second and final stage of a project which fulfills a mandate to prepare the document, provided for in article 20 of the General Law on the Linguistic Rights of Indigenous Peoples (LGDLPI).

According to the research carried out so far, the linguistic reality of Mexico is more complex than has generally been believed.

The concept of language around Mexican linguistics is diverse, there exist different kinds of linguistic variants, explicable either for geographical, genealogical or social reasons.

INALI has catalogued the linguistic diversity of indigenous peoples in Mexico based on three categories, related from highest to lowest degree of inclusion:

  1. Language Family
  2. Language grouping
  3. Linguistic variant

Click to access CLIN_completo.pdf

Role of Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change

Virtual Commemoration via the United Nations

August 9, 2023
9-10:30 am EST/New York time

Speakers will share their knowledge and experience on the role of young people within their Indigenous communities and their role in the fields of climate action and green transition, mobilizing for justice and intergenerational connections.
Register here Webinar Registration – Zoom

Source: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2023 | Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD) (

Spanish translation will be available!