The levels of sanitation and water services coverage, and health attainment, are low among indigenous peoples. This exclusion from basic service has not been sufficiently studied. This review has analyzed 185 articles dealing with indigenous peoples and the water, sanitation and hygiene complex.
The literature is dramatically skewed towards water resources, and overwhelmingly focused on conflicts, at the expense of basic sanitation and hygiene. More initiatives towards the acknowledgement of indigenous peoples’ world-views and institutions in all aspects of the water management cycle are needed. To this end, the development of effective intercultural dialogue mechanisms is crucial.