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The International Day of the World's Indigenous People, celebrated each year on 9 August, marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
The theme for 2013 is 'building alliances', celebrating the importance of constructive alliances, agreements and arrangements to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples. The theme aims to highlight the importance of honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, between states, their citizens and Indigenous peoples. Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples have a pivotal role in making treaties 'living documents' in their own communities, by establishing new ways to live together, respecting one another and cooperating in the pursuit of common goals. This contributes to building societies that guarantee the security of their communities, while preserving the environment in recognition of the unique spiritual, cultural and historic relationship between Indigenous peoples and their lands and natural resources.
The theme is inspired by the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, an educational advocacy campaign organized by the Haudenosaunee people (a confederacy of six nations living in New York State), to honour their first treaty concluded with Dutch immigrants in 1613.
Source United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, United Nations permanent forum on Indigenous issues