Self Determination

Uplift v: to improve socially, culturally, morally, or the like. 

Welcome to the tribe!  The uplift pillar defines your Human, Collective, Cultural Identity and Integrity rights .

Human Rights and Collective Rights

Full effect and observance of human rights

Indigenous peoples and persons have the right to the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Charter of the Organization of American States and international human rights law.

Collective rights

Indigenous peoples have collective rights that are indispensable for their existence, wellbeing, and integral development as peoples. In this regard, the states recognize and respect, the right of the indigenous peoples to their collective action; to their juridical, social, political, and economic systems or institutions; to their own cultures; to profess and practice their spiritual beliefs; to use their own tongues and languages; and to their lands, territories and resources. States shall promote with the full and effective participation of the indigenous peoples the harmonious coexistence of rights and systems of the different population, groups, and cultures.

Gender equality

  1. Indigenous women have the right to the recognition, protection, and enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms provided for in international law, free of all forms of discrimination.
  2. States recognize that violence against indigenous peoples and persons, particularly women, hinders or nullifies the enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  3. States shall adopt the necessary measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence and discrimination, particularly against indigenous women and children.

Right to belong to the indigenous peoples

Indigenous persons and communities have the right to belong to one or more indigenous peoples, in accordance with the identity, traditions, customs, and systems of belonging of each people. No discrimination of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right.

Juridical personality

The states shall recognize fully the juridical personality of the indigenous peoples, respecting indigenous forms of organization and promoting the full exercise of the rights recognized in this Declaration.

Rejection of assimilation

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, express, and freely develop their cultural identity in all respects, free from any external attempt at assimilation.
  2. The States shall not carry out, adopt, support, or favor any policy to assimilate the indigenous peoples or to destroy their cultures.

Protection against genocide

Indigenous peoples have the right to not be subjected to any form of genocide or attempts to exterminate them.

Guarantees against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other related forms of intolerance

Indigenous peoples have the right not to be subject to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other related forms of intolerance. The states shall adopt the preventive and corrective measures necessary for the full and effective protection of this right.

Cultural identity

Right to cultural identity and integrity

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to their own cultural identity and integrity and to their cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, including historic and ancestral heritage; and to the protection, preservation, maintenance, and development of that cultural heritage for their collective continuity and that of their members and so as to transmit that heritage to future generations.
  2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.
  3. Indigenous people have the right to the recognition and respect for all their ways of life, world views, spirituality, uses and customs, norms and traditions, forms of social, economic and political organization, forms of transmission of knowledge, institutions, practices, beliefs, values, dress and languages, recognizing their inter-relationship as elaborated in this Declaration.

Systems of Knowledge, Language and Communication

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to preserve, use, develop, revitalize, and transmit to future generations their own histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, systems of knowledge, writing, and literature; and to designate and maintain their own names for their communities, individuals, and places.
  2. The states shall adopt adequate and effective measures to protect the exercise of this right with the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples.
  3. Indigenous peoples have the right to promote and develop all their systems and media of communication, including their own radio and television programs, and to have equal access to all other means of communication and information. The states shall take measures to promote the broadcast of radio and television programs in indigenous languages, particularly in areas with an indigenous presence. The states shall support and facilitate the creation of indigenous radio and television stations, as well as other means of information and communication.
  4. The states, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, shall make efforts to ensure that those peoples can understand and be understood in their languages in administrative, political, and judicial proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other effective means.


  1. Indigenous peoples and individuals, particularly indigenous children, have the right to all levels and forms of education, without discrimination.
  2. States and indigenous peoples, in keeping with the principle of equality of opportunity, shall promote the reduction of disparities in education between indigenous and nonindigenous peoples.
  3. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions, providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.
  4. In conjunction with indigenous peoples, the states shall take effective measures to ensure that indigenous persons living outside their communities, particularly children, may have access to education in their own languages and cultures.
  5. States shall promote harmonious intercultural relations, ensuring that the curricula of state educational systems reflect the pluricultural and multilingual nature of their societies and encourage respect for and knowledge of the different indigenous cultures. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, promote intercultural education that reflects the worldview, histories, languages, knowledge, values, cultures, practices, and ways of life of those peoples.
  6. States, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, shall adopt necessary and effective measures to ensure the exercise and observance of these rights.

Indigenous spirituality

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to freely exercise their own spirituality and beliefs and, by virtue of that right, to practice, develop, transmit, and teach their traditions, customs, and ceremonies, and to carry them out in public and in private, individually and collectively.
  2. No indigenous people or person shall be subject to pressures or impositions, or any other type of coercive measures that impair or limit their right to freely exercise their indigenous spirituality and beliefs.
  3. Indigenous Peoples have the right to preserve, protect, and access their sacred sites, including their burial grounds; to use and control their sacred objects relics, and to recover their human remains.
  4. States, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, shall adopt effective measures, to promote respect for indigenous spirituality and beliefs, and to protect the integrity of the symbols, practices, ceremonies, expressions, and spiritual protocols of indigenous peoples, in accordance with international law.

Indigenous family

  1. The family is a natural and fundamental group unit of society. Indigenous peoples have the right to preserve, maintain, and promote their own family systems. States shall recognize, respect, and protect the various indigenous forms of family, in particular the extended family, as well as the forms of matrimonial union, filiations, descent, and family name. In all cases, gender and generational equity shall be recognized and respected.
  2. In matters relating to custody, adoption, severance of family ties, and related matters, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. In determining the best interests of the child, courts and other relevant institutions shall take into account the right of every indigenous child, in community with member of his or her people, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practice his or her own religion or to use his or her own language and in that regard shall look to the indigenous law of the peoples concerned and shall consider their points of view, rights and interest, including the positions of individuals, the family, and the community.


  1. Indigenous peoples have the collective and individual right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical, mental, and spiritual health.
  2. Indigenous peoples have the right to their own health systems and practices, as well as to the use and protection of the plants, animals, minerals of vital interests, and other natural resources for medicinal use in their ancestral lands and territories.
  3. States shall take measures to prevent and prohibit indigenous peoples and individuals from being subject to research programs, biological or medical experimentation, as well as sterilization without their prior, free, and informed consent. Likewise, indigenous peoples and persons have the right, as appropriate, to access to their data, medical records, and documentation of research conducted by individuals and public and private institutions.
  4. Indigenous peoples have the right to use, without any discrimination whatsoever, all the health and medical care institutions and services accessible to the general population. States, in consultation and coordination with indigenous peoples, shall promote intercultural systems or practices in the medical and health services provided in indigenous communities, including training of indigenous technical and professional health care personnel.
  5. States shall guarantee the effective exercise of the rights contained in this article.

Right to protection of a healthy environment

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to live in harmony with nature and to a healthy, safe, and sustainable environment, essential conditions for the full enjoyment of the right to life, to their spirituality, worldview and to collective well-being.
  2. Indigenous peoples have the right to conserve, restore, and protect the environment and to manage their lands, territories and resources in a sustainable way.
  3. Indigenous peoples are entitled to be protected against the introduction of, abandonment, dispersion, transit, indiscriminate use or deposit of any harmful substance that could negatively affect indigenous communities, lands, territories and resources.
  4. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programs for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.