“All these peoples’ cultures teach us of other ways of being, other ways of thinking, other ways of orienting yourself in the earth" - said National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis. Yet while indigenous peoples make up around 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of those living in extreme poverty.
August 9th marked the 2013 International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples- celebrating the 370 million indigenous men, women and children living around the world. From the unique marriage traditions of the Surma people in South Sudan and southwestern Ethiopia to the 841 languages spoken across Papua New Guinea there is much to be celebrated about the diversity of culture, language, life and thought that indigenous peoples bring to the world. But at the same time, many groups live in poverty, face discrimination, are constantly at threat of losing their land to extraction projects or logging, face significant cultural and language loss and struggle to make their voices heard in decision- making on a local, national and international level.
Although a few weeks late, I wanted to share some of my favourite photographers and writers focused on indigenous peoples and issues. This list is by no means comprehensive so please leave any suggestions in the comments!