Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Fully and equal inclusion of Indigenous Peoples strengthens democracy

Indigenous Peoples have been historically marginalized from elections and political participation. The failure of states to uphold political rights of Indigenous Peoples has weakened the protection and implementation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in all other spheres. The full and equal inclusion of Indigenous voices is necessary to strengthen democracies with the unique and important experience and innovation Indigenous Peoples can contribute to addressing national and global issues. IFES works with Indigenous Peoples Organizations, election management bodies and other stakeholders to foster enabling environments for inclusive decision making by:

  • Promoting engagement in political life through voting and advocacy.
  • Raising awareness of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which protects the rights of Indigenous Peoples to participate in decision making and political life, if they so choose.
  • Conducting stakeholder-led research on barriers to and opportunities for inclusive electoral and political participation.
  • Facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue on emerging best policies and practices for the voluntary political inclusion of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Converting insights from research and dialogue into partner-led programs that advance policy reform and state action.

Explore our resources linked here to learn more and get involved.

Pull Quote Text
"We begin teaching young people so when they come of age, they have a broader view of what it is they have to do and what their responsibilities are. We have to bet on Indigenous youth, so we have equality of knowledge within the political system. …Since they are young, they should learn how to use their civil rights, voters, and other responsibilities."
a young Mayan Kaqchikel woman


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