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IWGIA's Mission Statement

Our Mission

IWGIA’s mission is to work, in partnership with indigenous peoples’ own organisations and institutions as well as with international and regional human rights mechanisms, to promote the recognition of and the respect for the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples, particularly their right to self- determination and self-determined development, as well as their right to control their own territories and resources.

Our Vision

IWGIA’s vision is rooted in the firm belief that the world indigenous peoples should be able to fully enjoy their individual and collective rights as distinct peoples as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We envisage that indigenous peoples participate and are consulted on decisions affecting them in accordance with the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. They practice and develop their cultures and exercise their distinct cultural identities based on their own priorities and visions in accordance with the fundamental right to self-determination.

Our Institutional Values

Our institutional values are shared ideals and understandings that bind us together. Along with our vision and mission they articulate who we are and what we believe in. They influence our goals, guide our actions, and help us to explain our aspirations to others.


  • We are firmly committed to apply a Human Rights Based Approach.
  • Our work is based upon professional expertise and in-depth knowledge of indigenous communities and cultures.
  • Honesty, engagement, and openness must guide our work to ensure credibility and to build trust.
  • We share information and ideas with our colleagues and partners and recognize all who have contributed to our work.


  • IWGIA’s work is unbiased and uncompromised by partisan politics, institutional or personal allegiances, or sources of financial support.


  • To achieve our objectives, we must be creative, forward thinking, and adaptive.
  • We reinvigorate our own ideas and approaches through continuous learning.
  • We are willing to risk failure to achieve substantial impact.
  • We nurture and reward new ideas and excellence in pursuing them.


  • We believe in responding swiftly, decisively, and strategically to opportunities and challenges.
  • We work on issues where we believe we, together with our partners, can make a unique difference and contribute to a significant human rights change.


  • We treat all people with respect and fairness.
  • We encourage diversity of experience, culture, ideas, and opinions among our staff and partners.
  • We seek to ensure and to recognize that each of us can take responsibility and create opportunities and help each other to reach our fullest potential.