tg CIESIN Thematic Guides *DRAFT*

Indigenous Populations

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)'s Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities Working Group on Indigenous Populations defined indigenous populations in the following way, which combines both objective and subjective elements.

"Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing in those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identiy, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions, and legal systems." E/CN.4/Sub.2/1983/21/Add.8, para. 369/