There are approximately 370 million indigenous people worldwide (United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, n.d.). In my understanding, indigenous people are those who inhabited a land before others claimed it. They are the original occupants of a region or territory. For example, Native Americans in the United States are considered indigenous because they lived in the US prior to the arrival of colonists. Similarly, the indigenous people of Australia are known as aborigines.
Defining who qualifies as indigenous can present certain challenges. Determining who should be granted this designation and how far back in history to trace their presence can be complex. The existence of laws specific to indigenous people further complicates the matter. Bias can also influence the recognition of indigenous status, as some individuals may disregard or overlook the claims of those asserting their native heritage.
If I were to study another culture, I would adopt a humanist perspective. I resonate more with this approach as it emphasizes embracing and understanding different cultures. I have a genuine interest in learning about diverse traditions, trying new foods, and participating in various cultural celebrations. By having an open mind, one can discover unexpected aspects of other cultures that might even enrich their own cultural practices. For instance, my family and I celebrate Cinco de Mayo, despite it not being a traditional celebration within our own African American culture.
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. (n.d.). Who are indigenous peoples? Retrieved April 21, 2015, from http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/5session_factsheet1.pdf