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IWGIA starts name-changing process

To strengthen our support for indigenous peoples’ rights and our strategic goals of making new alliances and engage more broadly, the Board of IWGIA has decided that it is time for a new name for the organisation. As a result, we have started a process of changing the name by selecting two potential names, and we would like to hear which one you prefer.

Our name has been International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - or in short IWGIA - since the establishment of the organisation in 1968. Over the many years the name has served our organisation well and we like to think that IWGIA is a recognised and respected organisation amongst stakeholders working for indigenous peoples’ rights. However, even though our name ‘IWGIA’ is highly valued among our current partners and network, we also experience that those who don’t know us - whether from the general public, the press, other organisations or decision-makers - often ask us to repeat, explain and spell the name.

The difficulties with pronouncing, understandíng and remembering our name is not a new issue and over the years a name-change has several times been considered. To reach our long-term ambition of a world where systematic discrimination is no longer tolerated and where indigenous peoples’ rights are respected and their knowledge valued, we need new alliances and be able to engage more broadly. When reaching out to new actors having an easily understandable and catchy name is a big advantage.

“It has not been an easy decision for the Board to change the name, as the name IWGIA is strongly attached to who we are known to be, but with our strategic focus in mind we decided that the time is right for a new name to help us achieve our goal of increasing the support for indigenous peoples’ rights” explains the Chair of IWGIA, Knud Vilby.

Indigenous Rights International or Indigenous World?

The new name is either going to be “Indigenous Rights International” (Derechos Indígenas International) or “Indigenous World” (Mundo Indígena). Before the Board of IWGIA decides on the name, the Board would like to hear which one you prefer. Please let us know your favorite name through SurveyMonkey in English here >> or in Spanish here >>

Please give your answer before the 18th of October.

The process for the name-changing

  • Until the 18th of October, we will consult people on which name they prefer through our newsletter, social media, e-mail and street surveys and focus group discussion
  • In November the Board of IWGIA will choose the new name at a Board meeting
  • In January 2019 the members will be asked to vote for new statutes that will include the new name
  • In the second half of 2019, IWGIA’s new name will be launched and come into effect.

We may change our name but the very core of who we are and what we do does not change. You can read our 3-year Institutional Strategy here >> And our logo stays!

If you have more questions in relation to our name change, please write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Read more.

For media inquiries click here

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for Indigenous Peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

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Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
CVR: 81294410

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