January 18 will mark the first-ever Indigenous Peoples March. The protest, which will kick off at 8 a.m. EST outside the U.S. Department of Interior’s main building, bring activists from around the world to fight against injustices and the global climate crisis.
The Indigenous Peoples March was launched by the Indigenous Peoples Movement, which is a coalition formed to foster positive change regarding “issues that directly affect our lands, peoples, and respective cultures.”
“Indigenous people from North, Central and South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean are a target of genocide,” the protest organizers said. “Currently, many Indigenous people are victims of voter suppression, divided families by walls and borders, an environmental holocaust, sex and human trafficking, and police/military brutality with little or no resources and awareness of this injustice.”
On January 18th, 2019, we are uniting the Indigenous peoples across the World to stand together to bring awareness to the injustices affecting Indigenous men, women and children from North, Central and South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. #ipmdc19 pic.twitter.com/51Xz7cFV16
— Indigenous Peoples Movement (@IndigenousPpls) December 7, 2018
With more than 10,000 activists from Australia, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Canada, the Caribbean and across the U.S. said to participate in the march in Washington, D.C., the event is an important step to “preserve and respect the rights of Indigenous people,” Phyllis Young, organizer from the Lakota People’s Law Project, said.
Organizers of the march are also advocating for a Green New Deal “as a way to combat climate change and create green jobs, especially in Indian Country.”
“It’s going to be a beautiful day,” Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project, said in a statement. “Our people are under constant threat, from pipelines, from police, from a system that wants to forget the valuable perspectives we bring to the table. But those challenges make us stronger. We look forward to gathering together and raising awareness. We must remind the world, again, that Indigenous people matter. We are all made better when we respect one another and lift each other up.”