Origin of the word
The word indigenous comes from the Latin ‘indigena’ meaning ‘a native’ and was developed in mid 17th century English to carry the meaning it now holds.
Indigenous generally refers to people who have lived in a place or country for a very long time, or to plants and animals that developed in a place rather than arriving from somewhere else. Indigenous populations are descended from the original inhabitants of a place and often preserve traditional ways of life. Examples of indigenous peoples include the Inuit of Canada, the Navajo people of the Southwestern United States and the Nenets of northern Arctic Russia.
9th August has been designated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in recognition of the diverse and multifarious nature of the world’s native populations. With an estimated 370 million individuals across 90 countries, indigenous peoples comprise a significant portion of the world’s population and contribute an overwhelming majority of the 7,000 languages spoken across the globe. This day strives to celebrate and preserve the social, cultural, economic and political characteristics of indigenous peoples as distinct from the dominant societies in which they exist.
Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.
Indigenous people lived in a place for a very long time before other people came to live there.
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.
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