Indigenous peoples

The Global Indigenous Youth Forum gathered Indigenous youth’s policy input to the UN Food Systems Summit.

Read the Indigenous Youth Global Declaration on Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems

08/07/2021 - 

The Global Forum on Indigenous Youth, co-organized by FAO, Global Indigenous Youth Caucus (GIYC) and the Indigenous Champions of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 was held on 16th-18th of June in a virtual format with more than 150 participants each day, and thousands of viewers following the livestream. 

Indigenous youth from all socio-cultural regions gathered over the three days in 3 global sessions, as well as five regional consultations. Their input resulted in the “Indigenous Youth Global Declaration on Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems” which will be delivered to the UN Food Systems Summit Secretariat and other relevant policy makers and stakeholders. The declaration highlights the importance for meaningful engagement with Indigenous youth in food systems policy processes, the need for intercultural education for Indigenous Peoples as well as the need to recognize Indigenous youth’s innovative approaches in new policy development.

The Forum was opened on the 16th of June, with a land acknowledgement and a spiritual opening ceremony, followed by High-Level Opening Remarks. 9-year-old Aiwan Minz from India also provided his remarks, highlighting the lacking interculturality in education.

“I am very thankful to my parents for keeping me connected to the village way of life. I have learned many things which are not in schoolbooks. I wonder, why is that so? I love interacting with the village elders and observe their knowledge. I feel so proud of it.”, Minz said.

Day 1 also contained reports from all socio-cultural regions where we heard of issues such as Indigenous youth having to migrate to urban areas, criminalization of Indigenous Peoples’ food customs, increasing malnutrition and land grabbing, among other issues affecting Indigenous Youth. 

On Day 2, Indigenous youth from each regional dialogue reported back from regional discussions highlighting regionally specific issues, yet also cross-cutting themes such as the need to strengthen initiatives supporting the transfer of intergenerational knowledge. The session was followed by a panel on Indigenous youth’s innovation for resilience and sustainability, showcasing young chef’s efforts to promote Indigenous foods, youths strive to protect their communities during COVID-19 as well as initiatives for community and ecosystem restoration.

The final day focused on exchanges between Indigenous elders and youth and the issues faced by Indigenous youth with regards to passing on their traditional knowledge. The Global Indigenous Youth Forum was closed with the announcement of the final declaration, as well as greetings from chef’s and artists as well as closing remarks from members states, Indigenous youth activists and FAO representatives. 

The outcomes and Declaration from the Forum will be important tools for Indigenous youth to advocate for the integration of their perspectives in the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 and beyond. 


Read the Indigenous Youth Global Declaration on Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems  

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