State of the World's Indigenous Peoples


image of State of the World's Indigenous Peoples

At its first session, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) requested the United Nations System to produce a report on the state of the world’s indigenous peoples (SOWIP). The first edition covered all six thematic areas of the Forum’s mandate (Economic and social development, Culture, Environment, Education, Health and Human rights. The second edition focused on Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Health Services. This third edition of SOWIP provides a comprehensive overview of the current achievements and challenges facing indigenous peoples centred on the theme of education. The report is evidence-based, through seven chapters that will depict the situation in the seven socio-cultural regions determined to give broad representation of the world’s indigenous peoples (Africa; Arctic; Asia; Central and South America and the Caribbean; Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia; North America; and the Pacific).



Indigenous peoples and education in the Pacific region

Meeting the development needs and specific educational aspirations of indigenous peoples in the Pacific region remains a significant challenge. The disparities in the educational outcomes for indigenous peoples living in broadly heterogeneous contexts can be considered a legacy of decades of inadequate educational provisions. The present chapter focuses on cross-cutting educational issues common to most, if not all, Pacific indigenous peoples, while providing evidence of the stark contrasts existing among diverse indigenous backgrounds. While some progress continues to be made about access to and quality of education for indigenous peoples in the Pacific, resulting in an improvement of their overall well-being, a more extensive effort has yet to be launched. This chapter is divided into two distinct parts: the first part offers an overview of some of the key educational concerns for indigenous peoples in the Pacific region; the second presents specific case studies focused on areas of indigenous knowledge within the contexts of higher education, science and research. The importance of higher education lies in its potential to train indigenous professionals, educators and researchers, among others, and in so doing prepare them for their roles as builders of leadership within their communities, while serving as models for indigenous youth. Higher education is a valid platform for triggering the production and reproduction of indigenous knowledge and worldviews in and beyond the educational field, which is especially important in economies that rely heavily on technological innovation and rapid communication flows.


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