IITC was founded in 1974 at a gathering by the American Indian Movement in Standing Rock, South Dakota, attended by more than 5000 representatives of 98 Indigenous Nations. IITC is an organization of Indigenous Peoples from North, Central, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific working for the Sovereignty and Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands.
The IITC supports grassroots Indigenous struggles for human rights, self-determination and environmental justice through information dissemination, networking, coalition building, advocacy and technical assistance. IITC builds, organizes and facilitates the direct, effective participation of traditional Indigenous Peoples in local, regional, national and international events and gatherings addressing their concerns and survival.
IITC continues to support Indigenous Peoples’ in strengthening and restoring their Food Sovereignty through community-based strategies, traditional knowledge and practices in response to climate change, toxic pesticide use and genetically modified seeds. From September 28 – 30 in Oaxaca, Mexico, IITC coordinated a first-of-its-kind International Conference on Indigenous Peoples and Corn focusing on the protection, restoration and exchange of traditional seeds, practices and knowledge. Indigenous Corn Peoples from 48 Indigenous Nations, Peoples and communities from North, Central, South America, the Pacific and Caribbean gathered to “affirm our unity as Corn Peoples and Nations.” The conference declaration states “Our struggles to protect corn as a source of our lives can not be separated from our struggles to defend our rights to land, water, traditional knowledge and self-determination.”