CV NEWS FEED // Pope Francis’ delegate to the United Nations called on the UN General Assembly on Monday to protect the rights, traditions, culture, and even spirituality of indigenous peoples.
According to Vatican News, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the UN, said that indigenous peoples are essential to efforts for environmental conservation because their relationship with the environment enhances “the resilience of ecosystems.”
While emphasizing the role that indigenous peoples can play in protecting the environment, Caccia stressed the idea that the cultural and spiritual traditions of indigenous peoples should be respected and left alone.
According to Vatican News, Caccia’s reference to the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples includes “culturally meaningful knowledge, experiences, practices, objects, and places.”
In addition to coexisting with these cultural practices and ideas, Caccia advocated for a “culture of encounter” instead of “a completely enclosed, a-historic, static ‘indigenism’ that would reject any kind of blending.”
Finally, Caccia called for a general greater concern for indigenous peoples’ welfare, including “sustainable tourism” that respects ecosystems and indigenous peoples’ lifestyles, as well as increased awareness of their rights and cultural heritage.
“Intolerance and lack of respect for indigenous popular cultures is a form of violence, based on a cold and judgmental way of viewing them, which cannot be accepted,” Caccia concluded.