The indigenous population of Ecuador is close to 1.1 million, out of a total population of 17,200,000 inhabitants. The country is inhabited by 14 indigenous nationalities, joined together in a series of local, regional and national organizations. 24.1% of the indigenous population lives in the Amazon and belongs to ten nationalities.

60.3% of the Andean Kichwa live in six provinces of the Central Northern Sierra; 78.5% of them still inhabit the rural sector and 21.5% inhabit the urban sector. 7.3% of the Andean Kichwa inhabit the Southern Sierra, and 8.3% inhabit the Coastal region and the Galapagos Islands while the remainder are spread across Ecuador.

The Shuar, who comprise a nationality of more than 100,000 persons, have a strong presence in three provinces of the Central Southern Amazon, where they represent between 8% and 79% of the total provincial populations; the rest are dispersed in small groups throughout the country.

There are several nationalities with a very low population who live in a highly vulnerable situation. In the Amazon, they are the A’i Cofán (1,485 inhabitants), the Shiwiar (1,198 inhabitants), the Siekopai (689 inhabitants), the Siona (611 inhabitants), and the Sapara (559 inhabitants). On the Coast, they are the Épera (546 inhabitants) and the Manta (311 inhabitants). More than a decade since the new Constitution went into effect and twenty years since the ratification of ILO Convention 169, Ecuador still has no specific public policies that prevent or neutralize the risk of disappearance of these peoples, and no effective instruments that ensure the prevailing of collective rights already extensively set forth in the current Constitution.

International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, The Indigenous World 2019

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