It is estimated that 370 million indigenous people live in more than 70 countries around the world. Despite the diversity of geography, culture and languages, most indigenous people face a similar history: oppression, marginalisation, poverty and racisms. In addition, regardless of whether living in the global north or global south, indigenous population experience worse social and economic indicators than the non-indigenous populations living in the same territories.
In many parts of the world, there are a indigenous social movements demanding respect for their ancestral land, a clean and sustainable environment in their territories, the right to maintain their culture and ways of living, among other demands. However, social movements demanding better public services in their territories-including health- is rather limited. One possible explanation for this situation is the fact that many indigenous groups maintain their own understanding of health and illness and practice their own traditional medicine. However, there is a growing number of groups that recognise that in addition to maintain their own traditional medicine, there is a need for preventive, curative and emergency health care that is provided by western medicine (i.e. vaccination, antibiotics, surgery and early screening). They have also recognised that the public services available to them are of poorer quality of services available in non-indigenous areas.
 WHO (2007) Health of Indigenous Peoples. Fact sheet No 326. October. World Health Organization. Geneva