This Friday, August 9th, is the United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. The day has been celebrated every year since 1994, and this year’s theme is “Indigenous People Building Alliances: Honoring Treaties, Agreements, and Other Constructive Arrangements.” As the United Nations says, “the theme aims to highlight the importance of honoring arrangements between States, their citizens and Indigenous peoples that were designed to recognize Indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands and establish a framework for living in proximity and entering into economic relationships. Agreements also outline a political vision of different sovereign peoples living together on the same land according to the principles of friendship, cooperation, and peace.”
To celebrate the day, the UN will be holding a special event at their New York City headquarters on Friday, August 9th starting at 3pm, which will be broadcast live. On the same day, hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous rowers are scheduled to arrive at the New York piers in Manhattan. Participants have traveled thousands of miles via canoe and horseback to honor the 400 year anniversary of the signing of the Two Row Wampum Treaty, the first treaty between Dutch immigrants and the Haudensosaunee, the Indigenous inhabitants of New York.
For our part, First Peoples is dedicating the week to FPIC – free, prior and informed consent, which stipulates that corporations, governments, and NGOS must include Indigenous peoples in the planning and implementation of all development projects on traditional land, and obtain their consent before beginning a project, including respecting their right to say no to such projects. Every day we’ll post stories about current FPIC issues, struggles, and successes – and we want you to participate! How are you and your community learning about, teaching about, and implementing FPIC? Are our rights being threatened by companies who are disregarding free, prior, and informed consent? Send your stories and your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet them to our Twitter account, or post them on our Facebook page.
Finally, on Friday, August 9th we will be hosting a webinar, along with members of the Proud to Be Indigenous Coalition Cultural Survival and the International Indian Treaty Council, entitled “Engaging FPIC: Understanding, Interpretation, and Self-Determination.” Please join us for this online panel discussion followed by a question and answer segment. You can follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtags #FPIC and #P2BI. For more information, please see our Facebook event page or register online here.
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