Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August 9, International Day of the
World's Indigenous People
Education


Symbol for the Indigenous People of the World was created by Rebang Dewan, a Chakma boy from Bangladesh. It features two ears of green leaves facing each other and cradling a globe resembling planet earth. Within the globe is a picture of a handshake (two different hands) in the middle and above the handshake is a landscape background. The handshake and the landscape background are encapsulated by blue at the top and bottom within the globe. In the graphic above, I attempted to recreate the symbol using foods.

"On this International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, I call on Governments everywhere to draw on the guidance of this international framework to improve access to education for indigenous peoples and to reflect their experiences and culture in places of learning.  Let us commit to ensuring indigenous peoples are not left behind as we pursue the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The 2016 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is devoted to the right to education. The right of indigenous peoples to education is protected by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which in Article 14 states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.”

The right of indigenous peoples to education is also protected by a number of other international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for ensuring equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations.

In spite of these instruments, the right to education has not been fully realized for most indigenous peoples, and a critical education gap exists between indigenous peoples and the general population.

Where data exist, they show consistent and persistent disparities between the indigenous and the non-indigenous population in terms of educational access, retention and achievement, in all regions of the world.


The education sector not only mirrors the historical abuses, discrimination and marginalization suffered by indigenous peoples, but also reflects their continued struggle for equality and respect for their rights as peoples and as individuals.


Indigenous Peoples and the Sustainable Development Goals



It is also a reminder of the responsibility of individuals as consumers, to understand that there is a story and a personal experience behind every food, piece of cloth, textile or artwork from an indigenous individual or community.


Eat Traditional Foods, Fight Diabetes



The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (Rome 2009) prepared a documentary, called the Food Systems of Indigenous Peoples.

This book seeks to define and describe the diversity in food systems, nutrition and health in 12 rural case studies of Indigenous Peoples in different parts of the world as a window to global Indigenous Peoples’ circumstances.

A procedure for documenting Indigenous Peoples’ food systems was developed by researchers working with the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE) at McGill University, Canada, and the FAO. The procedure was adapted and applied in case studies located in Canada, Japan, Peru, India, Nigeria, Colombia, Thailand, Kenya, and the Federated States of Micronesia. The collective intent of this documentation is to show the inherent strengths of the local traditional food systems, how people think about and use these foods, the influx of industrial and purchased food, and the circumstances of the nutrition transition in indigenous communities. This research was completed with both qualitative and quantitative methods by Indigenous Peoples and their academic partners in the context of the second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted in 2007 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Resources:
Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education 
Indigenous Food for Better Health

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