::Indigenous peoples


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Indigenous Australian boys and men in front of a bush shelter, Groote Eylandt, circa 1933
A Navajo man on horseback in Monument valley, Arizona
B Inuit people on a traditional qamutik (dog sled), Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada

Indigenous peoples are those groups especially protected in international or national legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness from other populations.<ref name="Coates">Coates 2004:12</ref> The legislation is based on the conclusion that certain indigenous people are vulnerable to exploitation, marginalization and oppression by nation states formed from colonising populations or by politically dominant, different ethnic groups.

A special set of political rights in accordance with international law have been set forth by international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank.<ref name="Sanders, Douglas 1999. pp. 4 - 13">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> The United Nations has issued a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to guide member-state national policies to collective rights of indigenous people—such as culture, identity, language, and access to employment, health, education, and natural resources. Estimates put the total population of indigenous peoples from 220 million to 350 million.<ref>Bodley 2008:2</ref>

A defining characteristic for an indigenous group is that it has preserved traditional ways of living, such as present or historical reliance upon subsistence-based production (based on pastoral, horticultural and/or hunting and gathering techniques), and a predominantly non-urbanized society. Not all indigenous groups share these characteristics. Indigenous societies may be either settled in a given locale/region or exhibit a nomadic lifestyle across a large territory, but are generally historically associated with a specific territory on which they depend. Indigenous societies are found in every inhabited climate zone and continent of the world.<ref name="Sanders, Douglas 1999. pp. 4 - 13"/><ref>Acharya, Deepak and Shrivastava Anshu (2008): Indigenous Herbal Medicines: Tribal Formulations and Traditional Herbal Practices, Aavishkar Publishers Distributor, Jaipur- India. ISBN 978-81-7910-252-7. p. 440</ref>

Indigenous peoples are increasingly faced with threats to their sovereignty, environment, and access to natural resources. Examples of this can be the deforestation of tropical rainforests where several of the native tribe's subsistence and their normal lifestyle are threatened. Assimilative colonial policies resulted in ongoing issues related to aboriginal child protection.

Indigenous peoples sections
Intro   Etymology   History   Population and distribution    Indigenous peoples by region   Rights, issues and concerns   See also   References  Further reading   External links   

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