Indigenous Peoples

A celebration of indigenous peoples every day of the year

The winning images of a photography competition are featured in Survival’s 2016 calendar. To support the NGO that fights for indigenous people’s rights.

We, the people is the NGO Survival‘s 2016 calendar, which has been fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples around the world since 1969. The photos that accompany each of the 12 months of the year are the winners of the second edition of Survival’s annual photography competition, open to professional as well as amateur photographers. First prize went to Soh Yew Kiat for his portrait of Bajau Laut children in Malaysia, a group also known as the nomads of the sea, featured on the calendar’s cover.

Indigenous people are the native inhabitants of a region, nation or place. It is estimated that the global indigenous population is of 370 million, equivalent to 6% of the world’s total inhabitants: five thousand groups who live in 70 countries on five continents. There are tribes with as few as three members, such as the Piripkura of Brazil, all the way up to the Quechuas who count a population of ten million living in a number of South American countries.


Journalist Norman Lewis’s article “Genocide” published in the British Sunday Times in 1969 brought the annihilation of Brazil’s native peoples to the world’s attention. The article, accompanied by Don McCullin’s photographs, inspired a group of people to found Survival International. Since then the organisation has been working with indigenous groups from around the world to protect their livelihoods, cultures and lands.


Posted by LifeGate on Tuesday, 1 December 2015


Survival is currently involved in a number of campaigns. Amongst these, it has come out against the Gibe III dam in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley, which threatens the survival of seventeen tribes by altering the cycle and course of the waters that sustain them. It is also fighting for the protection of the uncontacted Kawahiva tribe in the Brazilian Amazon who risk the encroachment of loggers. Whilst many populations face such pressures, research conducted by the NGO shows how there are also indigenous groups who are growing and prospering.


Survival’s 2016 calendar can be bought online and the profits go to supporting the organisation, which doesn’t receive government funding in order to maintain its independence. In fact, it is sadly often governments themselves who are responsible for crushing the freedoms of indigenous peoples under the weight of social and economic projects justified in the name of rampant, predatory (so-called) modernisation.

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