Land Rights Now revisits the brave initiatives of Indigenous Peoples in defending their land rights

We asked for stories and you shared them. We received dozens of stories from 18 countries across the world about the courage, strength, and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples.

Among the many stories that inspired us:

  • Teyrungʉmʉ Apolinar — the first indigenous Ikʉ (Arhuaco) in the world to graduate as a physicist — is passionate about studying symmetries and the quantum universe, which resonates with principles he first heard from the mamʉs, spiritual leaders of his community in Colombia. (in Spanish only)
  • In the Linnunsuo wetland near the village of Selkie, Indigenous Peoples are protecting and healing boreal ecosystems. The largest restoration initiative in eastern Finland is co-managed, community-led, and centered around traditional local knowledge.
  • Francis, an Indigenous Maasai paralegal in Kenya, decided to take action against the threat pastoralist communities face as elites sub-divide and privatise community land.
  • In Japan, the website AinuToday provides a free space to document the living culture of the Indigenous Ainu, who have rich knowledge in nature, art, and people.
  • Sabah Abu Medigem documents daily life in her unrecognised Bedouin village, al-Arāgīb in the Negev-Naqab (southern Israel) that was completely destroyed by the State of Israel in 2010. “This photography project gives me strength and self confidence to prove our existence here,” she writes.

And stories that encouraged us to act:

  • Wild rice is a centerpiece of Anishinaabe culture. Stand with Indigenous Peoples in USA and Canada in telling President Biden to #StopLine3 — a pipeline threatening to destroy the wild rice grown in their watersheds. Sign the petition here:
  • Listen to songs of struggles, chants, poem reading and other cultural performances of indigenous communities and organizations from all over Asia. Organized by Cordillera Peoples Alliance and the Asia Young Indigenous Peoples Network, the online concert,  #ChantOurStruggles, will play live on 9 August, 17.30 (Manila time) at
  • Join Indigenous Peoples in Thailand celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples with the theme “New Social Contract, protect the rights and livelihoods  of Indigenous Peoples.” Catch them live on 9 August at 10.00 AM (Bangkok time) here:

These stories are reminders of the resilience of Indigenous women and men who, despite being in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, have seen no decline in attacks against their collective rights to lands, territories, and natural resources. Indigenous Peoples have suffered disproportionately from the pandemic, but they have never stopped defending their land rights, which are crucial not only for their identity and survival, but also to address global challenges like climate change and environmental degradation.

On this International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples, Land Rights Now will continue to amplify their voices as they continue to defend their rights. Please help us share their stories!

#WeAreIndigenous #LeaveNoOneBehind #LandRightsNow #StandWithDefenders

Stories of Courage, Strength and Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples