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Native peoples representing Indigenous nations worldwide adorned with a plethora of colors, textures, and designs to proudly indicate their various cultures set the scene for the twelfth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. From May 20–31, the halls of the UN headquarters in New York were abuzz with the steady flow of indiscernible-yet-familiar tones of the native tongues of the participants.


“Coming to the UN was a major achievement for the Mbororo Youths. It is a venue where we can raise our voices and be listened to without any prejudice.”-- Hassoumi Abdoulaye (Mbororo) from Cameroon


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According to the UNESCO Red Book for Endangered Languages, Kisegeju, the tongue of East Africa’s coastal Indigenous Segeju people, has been classified as endangered or highly threatened.  There is little concrete documentation about its status in terms of the number of speakers, their age ranges, and level of fluency, however.


Ta’Kaiya Blaney, age 12, from Sliammon First Nation, British Columbia, Canada, has been an environmental activist since she was 8 years old. Her singing, songwriting, and acting reflecther concern for the future of the planet, especially the preservation of marine and coastal wildlife. In addition to her environmental activism, she advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights


I am Marisol Hitorangi, spokeswoman of the Hitorangi Clan of Easter Island, Chile. As a Polynesian clan we are struggling to recover our ancestral land, which was illegally expropriated by the Chilean State. We have been tortured for decades, as individuals and as a culture.


On April 16, 2013, Isaya Lukumay (Maasai), president and founder of The Warriors Organization (TWO), was one of the thousands of runners participating in the Boston Marathon. A corporate sponsor pledged funds necessary to build a two-room schoolhouse in his home village of Eluai, Tanzania, but since then has failed to deliver on the promise. Several weeks after the marathon, Lukumay spoke with TWO board member Michele Christle about the tragic events.


Maria and the Ukok Princess: Climate Change and the Fate of the Altai

By Gleb RaygorodetskyOn a warm summer’s day, a noblewoman of the nomadic Pazyryk tribe was buried in a large ancient burial tomb, or kurgan, on the Ukok Plateau — now a region of the Russian Altai that borders China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Mummified with herbs, bark and marten fur, she was placed in an oversized sarcophagus hewn from a single larch log. Six sacrificial horses, richly saddled…