United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Respect for and protection of culture

Relevant Articles:

Language cultural and spiritual identity: discusses the parts of the Declaration around protecting and promoting Indigenous peoples cultural rights. (Article 11, 12, 13)

Rights to country, resources and knowledge. (Articles 25-32)

We, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, belong to the longest continuous cultures in the world

The Declaration asserts our rights to language, culture and spiritual identity. This includes right to revitalise, use, develop and pass on to future generations our:

  • ways of being and knowing
  • histories and our oral traditions
  • languages and ways of communicating
  • ways of thinking about the world
  • names for communities, people and places.

Governments should take steps to make sure this right is protected.

Governments should make sure there is a two-way understanding when dealing with our people including that:

  • we are able to understand what is being said by all parts of government
  • governments are to make every effort to understand us in that process.

When needed, interpreters are to be used to support this two-way understanding.

We have the right to culture. This means we have a right to practice our culture and make sure our culture survives and grows

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda.


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