Today, on the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, TAFISA proudly joins the global community in recognising and honouring the rich cultural heritage, traditions, and contributions of indigenous peoples around the world. 9 August, marks the date of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights held in Geneva in 1982.
With an estimated population of 370-500 million, Indigenous Peoples represent the majority of the world's cultural diversity, encompassing an astounding array of languages and cultures – approximately 5,000 in number. Despite their cultural differences, Indigenous Peoples face common challenges concerning the protection of their distinct rights as communities. Many of these groups endure marginalisation, extreme poverty, and various human rights violations, emphasising the need for increased awareness and support.
As an organisation committed to promoting and fostering inclusive and sustainable Sport for All and physical activity opportunities, TAFISA acknowledges the vital role of indigenous communities in preserving their unique traditional sports & games, and physical activities, which constitute an integral part of their identity and heritage.
During our recent Mission 2030 Workshops, we had the privilege of learning from two inspiring interventions that exemplify the power of sports in empowering indigenous peoples and preserving their unique heritage:
Mataya Jim, Sport for Life, Canada | Indigenous Communities: Active for Life
Mataya Jim, from Sport for Life Canada, shared her cultural understanding and experience belonging to an indigenous group. Engaging the audience, she highlighted best practices in integrating culture into sports events, emphasising the importance of designing participant-centred programmes that are fair, inclusive, and rooted in the resources and key elements that constitute quality sports.
Katie Thompson and Naomie Hayes, Bluearth Foundation, Australia | Walking Together on Country
Katie Thompson and Naomie Hayes are living the reality of reconciliation through their tailor-made Girls on Country Programme for First Nation Girls in Mparntwe. Their presentation showcased the transformative impact of the Bluearth programme, focusing on the development of fundamental skills and the need for reconciliation. They firmly believe that "Physical Activity is so much more than movement; it's a medium to open minds and change the world."
These interventions demonstrate the connection between Sport for All and indigenous communities, fostering social inclusion, community development, and cultural preservation.
On this International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, let us stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities, working together to protect their rights, preserve their rich cultures, and foster a more inclusive world.
Happy International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples!
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