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Image by James Wiseman

We urge the recognition and respect of Indigenous Peoples' rights

This week was Indigenous Peoples' Day in the US. Many states and more than 130 cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on October 12. "Indigenous Peoples' Day" resulted from an effort of the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas among other groups. In 1977 during the United Nations conference in Geneva, it was resolved

"to observe October 12, the day of so-called "discovery" of America, as an International Day of Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas."

It has taken many years since then for this holiday to be officially adopted as such, but today it is celebrated by many as a time for reflection on the history of the US and how it has treated Native people.

In commemoration of this day, we would like to share once more our investigative report "Trapped Outside the Conservation Fortress: The intersection of Global Conservation Efforts and Systematic Human Rights Violations." (Now available in English, Spanish, and French!) Our team documented the experiences of Indigenous Peoples across ten protected areas in several different countries and found almost identical Human Rights abuses across all. We learned that the currently accepted conservation model excludes Indigenous Peoples when creating and implementing Protected Areas, thereby threatening their security and very existence.

As Governments approach the 30x30 policy to preserve more of Earth’s resources to mitigate Climate Change, our new report shows the dangers of not putting Indigenous Peoples’ rights at the forefront of this conversation. Land conservation and the genuine preservation of Indigenous Peoples' rights can and must go hand in hand!


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