International Indigenous Documentation Network

How was the network created and what has it accomplished?

The network was created in 2003 with the goal of facilitating exchange among indigenous documentation centers and information-sharing on indigenous issues. From the beginning, 3 projects were discussed:

(1) mapping documentation centers, cataloguing their respective resources, and developing a website for the network. This task was complicated by the near non-existence of truly indigenous documentation centers and by the lack of resources and training.

(2) producing CD-Roms on a regional scale containing the most important documents for each region. This was carried out by:

  • the Gáldu Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Sámi, which has put together an information kit called “We are the Sámi” containing a DVD with 15 short films on indigenous communities in Norway, on the Sámi parliament, etc. and 30 fact sheets with information on indigenous issues in Norway. The kit is in the Sámi, Norwegian, and English languages.
  • the American Indian Law Alliance, which created a CD in English and Spanish (with a French version done by doCip) containing regional and international instruments that are useful to indigenous peoples.
  • doCip, which produced four CD-ROMs and a DVD. The first one contains documentation on the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP), from 1982 to 2000. The second CD-ROM contains documentation on the Working Group on the UN draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, from 1995 to 2004. The 3rd follows the 1st (WGIP 2001-2006). The DVD contains the statements of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2002 -2008). It contains also the statements of the Open-ended working group on a Permanent Forum (1999-2000). The last CD is about the UNDRIP. It includes a Comparison Chart on 1994, 2006 and 2007 versions of the Declaration.

(3) organizing training sessions, with the help of Huridocs, that focused on techniques for documenting violations of human and collective rights.

These sessions were held thanks to a quadrilingual team: Ana Pinto and Roy Laifungbam from CORE (north-eastern India) for English, Saudata Aboubacrine from Tin Hinan (Burkina Faso) for French, Tarcila Rivera from Chirapáq (Perú) for Spanish, and Michaïl Todyshev from RAIPON (Russian Federation) for Russian. They developed the selection criteria, the program with Huridocs and doCip, and the application form, and also coordinated the selection process. DoCip then organized the courses with the help of various partners, including those indigenous peoples already mentioned.

The courses had approximately 10 participants each and were held in Geneva in 2004 for English and French and in 2006 for Spanish and Russian. In Thailand in November 2008, 17 participants took a new English-language course co-organized by the AIPP.

At the same time, an indigenous "thesaurus" or “glossary” of human rights terms was being developed by Justin Imam (INTACH, Jharkhand, India) under the direction of Ana Pinto, with the assistance of Estebancio Castro (IITC, Panama) for the section on international instruments. The thesaurus was translated into Spanish, French, and Russian and was a particularly difficult task given that it had been taken out of context. It is still in the process of being revised.

DoCip has also compiled a list of links allowing users quick access to indigenous peoples’ websites and other websites dedicated to indigenous issues at the international level. The websites are sorted by region and by issue. As we endeavour to update the site, please let us know about any new sites or broken links.

DoCip has also totally redesigned its website at, featuring an online documentation center, as well as a periodical database and a training database. For those who do not have an easy access to Internet, CDs and paper copies are also available.