Day of the World's Indigenous People is celebrated on Friday, August 9th. For the first time this day was marked in 1995, when the UN General Assembly proclaimed the International Decade for the World's Indigenous People.
The UN experts decided to pay serious attention to indigenous people because of the disastrous state of many ethnic groups in different countries and their considerable contribution into the common history of the Earth.
According to UN data, there are at least 5,000 groups of indigenous peoples, living in 70 countries on the five continents. Their total number is some 300-500 million people. Some of them follow traditions of many generations of their ancestors, others live in big cities and use all achievements of the modern civilisation.
According to the official classification, indigenous people are those living in their native territories, having a historic homeland only in one place on the Earth and having no state formation at the level of a subject of the international law.
In Russia there are some 100 indigenous peoples. They make 15 per cent of Russia's population. Only a few ethnic groups boast a population exceeding 1 million people, - the Tatars, Chuvashes, Bashkirs and Mordovians.
The population of most ethnic groups doesn't exceed 500,000 people, and 60 groups have a population of 50,000 people. There are also small ethnic groups with a one thousand people population. They live mainly in distant districts of the North, Siberia, Urals and Far East, which are difficult of access.