Indigenous Peoples

A modern and inclusive understanding of “indigenous” includes peoples who: identify themselves and are recognized and accepted by their community as indigenous; demonstrate historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies; have strong links to territories and surrounding natural resources; have distinct social, economic or political systems; maintain distinct languages, cultures and beliefs; form non-dominant groups of society; and resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities. In some regions, there may be a preference to use other terms such as: tribes, first peoples/nations, aboriginals, ethnic groups, adivasi and janajati. All such terms fall within this modern understanding of “indigenous.”

(Source: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Fifth Session, Fact Sheet 1: Indigenous Peoples and Identity.)