Friday, May 19, 2006

United Nations 5th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues


New York is the indigenous capital of the world (New York, 8 May) –

For two weeks, New York will be the indigenous capital of the world as more than 1,500 indigenous leaders from all over the world meet at the United Nations for the Fifth Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The Forum, to be held from 15 to 26 May, will feature 52 parallel events, mostly organized by indigenous groups. Among them are screenings of short films by indigenous filmmakers from around the world, sponsored by National Geographicmagazine (15 May, 1:15 pm-2:45 pm); a panel discussion on Native American writers, featuring authors Allison Hedge Coke and James Thomas Stevens (16 May, 1:15 pm-2:45 pm); the opening of the exhibition of contemporary indigenous art, with performances by indigenous performers (16 May, 6:15 pm); and the opening of the indigenous bazaar, with art crafts from around the world (17 May, 3:15 pm).

Poetry readings, book launches and workshops ranging from traditional medicine to environmental protection to traditional knowledge will bring to the fore the dynamic contributions of indigenous cultures. The two-week Forum will bring together Miskitu feminists, Mayan poets, Aymara filmmakers, Sami musicians and Navajo ICT experts.

Meanwhile, in the meeting room indigenous leaders will debate and sometimes clash with government representatives over development programmes and full participation and consent of indigenous peoples in the decisions that affect their lives as well as the health, education and human rights needs of some 370 million indigenous people around the globe.

Several events are organized by New York State’s very own Native leaders and artists. These include New York City's American Indian Community House, American Indian Law Alliance, Flying Eagle Women Fund and North-East Two-Spirit Society.

For full schedule, visit:

Journalists without UN credentials who wish to attend should visit:

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Oisika Chakrabarti,
Department of Public Information,
tel: 212.963.8264,
For Secretariat of the Permanent Forum, please contact:

Mirian Masaquiza,
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,
tel: 917.367.6006,

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