The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is officially commemorated on August 9th annually in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva.
The free public program was especially notable as it was the final year of the UN International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The recommendation for a second Decade is now being reviewed and will be voted on in the coming weeks.
The 2004 event included an “Earth Chant” by Amira Roca and Malaika Queano (Tiboli, Philippines) and an Indigenous Welcome and Blessing by Barbara James Snyder (Washoe/Paiute).
Messages from the Secretary General, Kofi Annan and the Chairman of the Permanent Forum, Ole Henrik Magga were also read by a representative of the Permanent Forum Secretariat. The Kahurangi Maori Dance Theater (Aotearoa/New Zealand) also presented a spirited cultural presentation.
The event’s Master of Ceremonies was Roberto Múcaro Borrero (Taíno, Puerto Rico). Borrero is a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People and Chairman of the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples.
The August 9th Commemoration of the International Day was organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues DSPD/DESA, the United Nations Department of Public Information, and the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.