Indigenous peoples are those people inhabiting a land prior to colonization by another nation, like the Arawak and Carib Indians of West Indies. Indigenous Peoples are distinct populations in that the land on which they live, and the natural resources on which they depend, are inextricably linked to their identities and cultures. There are about 400 million indigenous people spread across 70 countries worldwide. Practicing unique traditions, indigenous people retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Indigenous people are the descendants of those who inhabited a country or a geographical region at the time when people of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived and later became dominant.
Among the indigenous peoples are the Lakota in the USA, the Mayas in Guatemala, the Aymaras in Bolivia, the Inuit and Aleutians of the circumpolar region, the Saami of northern Europe, the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia and the Maori of New Zealand.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Solemnly Proclaims that: Indigenous peoples have the right to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Indigenous individuals and peoples are free and equal to all other individuals and peoples in dignity and rights, and have the right to be free from any kind of adverse discrimination.
Indigenous peoples have the right of self-determination. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, economic, social and cultural characteristics, as well as their legal systems. Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality.