International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples
International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated on the 9th of August. This year’s theme invites reflection and insight on “Leaving no one behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract”. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, disproportionately affecting vulnerable and marginalized communities all over the world that were already suffering from poverty, discrimination, political instability and more. For many indigenous communities, the impact is even starker.
In many of our societies, the social contract, at the very least, needs revision. Therefore, the United Nations will host a Virtual Commemoration to discuss measures for a new social contract for indigenous peoples, where their own forms of governance and ways of life are respected and based on their free, prior and informed consent.
Sr Mary Tee in her Mercy Global Presence article “Bringing Together the Wisdoms of Indigenous Peoples and Faith Traditions” states that:
Listening to the wisdom of Indigenous Peoples and touching into the wisdom of diverse faith traditions, we will be co-creators with a merciful God in an evolving universe. We will find the conversion of heart needed to create paths of peace not violence, paths of hope not division, paths of mercy not destruction. Then together, we – the people and Earth – will truly know the fullness of life flowing from our belief that, “Mercy is the very heartbeat of God resonant in creation; the warmth that pulses through all things as the divine Mystery flows out into created form” (Cynthia Bourgeault).
Mercy Global Action renews its commitment to learning from indigenous wisdom. We must continue to work together to ensure indigenous peoples, especially women and girls, have equal opportunities, a voice in decision-making and a chance to use their collective experiences to drive systemic change. In preparation for August 9th, we invite the Mercy World to utilize the various resources shared below and join the call for a new social contract that will let us rebuild our world in a way that is merciful, equitable and targeted to the most marginalized.
For more information:
- Indigenous peoples in a changing world of work: Exploring indigenous peoples’ economic and social rights through the Indigenous Navigator
- UNESCO Indigenous Peoples
- Environmental Justice with Indigenous Peoples
- United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
- Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples