Celebrating International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Every year on August 9th, we celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. The theme for this year is “The role of indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge.”

According to the Geneva Environment Network, less than five percent of the global population are indigenous peoples. They represent approximately 5,000 cultures and speak most of the world’s 7,000 languages. Indigenous peoples preserve ancient cultures, traditions, and languages of the world by passing their knowledge from one generation to the next. Women play a significant role in ensuring this happens.

Despite the vast knowledge held by indigenous peoples, they are vastly underrepresented in the workplace. Having little education contributes to the situation, so 86% of indigenous peoples choose the informal economy to generate income. Discrimination and violence add to the problem, but indigenous people, especially women, are standing up for issues they believe in.

Diversity and inclusivity in the workplace assists with overcoming these challenges and focuses on embracing indigenous peoples. Here are some ways to value the knowledge of indigenous peoples in the workplace:

  • Create hiring processes that are equitable and inclusive.
  • Listen to the reasoning and advice of indigenous peoples, and determine how their knowledge can contribute to the workplace.
  • Make an effort to understand the priorities of indigenous people and how the business world can assist in addressing these concerns.
  • Establish workplace policies and processes to prevent racial discrimination.
  • Honour the customs of indigenous peoples by providing them with the necessary time off or spaces to practice their traditions.

The knowledge held by indigenous peoples is valuable to the workplace. By honouring traditions, creating inclusive hiring processes, and welcoming diverse perspectives, a business can add value to its organisational culture.