WORLD COUNCIL OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
1. All human rights of indigenous people must be respected. No form of
discrimination against indigenous people shall be allowed.
2. All indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of
this right they can freely determine their political, economic, social,
religious and cultural development, in agreement with the principles stated in
3. Every nation-state within which indigenous peoples live shall recognize the
population, territory and institutions belonging to said peoples.
4. The culture of indigenous peoples are part of mankind's cultural patrimony.
5. The customs and usages of the indigenous peoples must be respected by the
nation-states and recognized as a legitimate source of rights.
6. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine which person(s) or group(s) is
(are) included in its population.
7. All indigenous peoples have the right to determine the form, structure and
jurisdiction of their own institutions.
8. The institutions of indigenous peoples, like those of a nation-state, must
conform to internationally recognized human rights, both individual and
9. Indigenous peoples, and their individual members, have the right to
participate in the political life of the nation-state in which they are located.
10. Indigenous peoples have inalienable rights over their traditional lands and
resources. All lands and resources which have been usurped, or taken away
without the free and knowledgeable consent of Indian peoples, shall be restored
11. The rights of the indigenous peoples to their lands includes the soil, the
subsoil, coastal economic zones all within the limits specified by international
12. All indigenous peoples have the right to freely use their natural wealth and
resources in order to satisfy their needs, and, in agreement with principles 10
and 11 above.
13. No action or process shall be implemented which directly and/or indirectly
would result in the destruction of land, air, water, glaciers, animal life,
environment or natural resources, without the free and well informed consent of
the affected indigenous peoples.
14. indigenous peoples will re-assume original rights over their material
culture, including archeological zones, artifacts, designs and other artistic
15. All indigenous peoples have the right to be educated in their own language
and to establish their own education institutions. Indian people's languages
shall be respected by nation-states in all dealings between them on the basis of
equality and non-discrimination.
16. All treaties reached through agreement between indigenous peoples and
representatives of the nation-states will have total validity before national
and international law.
17. Indigenous peoples have the right, by virtue of their traditions, to freely
travel across international boundaries, to conduct traditional activities and
maintain family links.
18. Indigenous peoples and their designated authorities have the right to be
consulted and to authorize the implementation of technological and scientific
research conducted within their territories and the right to be informed about
the results of such activities.
19. The aforementioned principles constitute the minimal rights to which
indigenous peoples are entitled and must be complemented by all nation-states.