Activists hope to harness the democratic process by forming their own party as an alternative to mainstream political forces.
For Yograj Limbu, 38, August 9th is a special day, worthy of a day off from work.
To commemorate the date which the UN declared as World Indigenous People's Day 18 years ago, Limbu joined a rally organised in Kathmandu by the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities.
"It is a special day for us," he told Khabar South Asia. "It is the day to promote our culture and our people. We [indigenous people] haven't received the recognition and rights we deserve yet."
Bino Lama, 36, agrees. "Indigenous people have been historically denied of power and access to state mechanisms," he said.
This year, the annual commemoration took place against the backdrop of a potentially significant new milestone. Leaders of the indigenous communities, saying they can no longer depend on the existing political forces to address their issues of concern, decided to launch a political party of their own.
The idea was originally floated during a July conference, attended by more than 1,200 campaigners for indigenous rights.
"The conventional leader-centric, top-down approach of political parties has failed to deliver," activist Krishna Bhattachan told Khabar. "So far, the trend has been a few powerful people form a political party and then try to reach out to the grassroots. We want to reverse this trend and begin from the grassroots."
Bhattachan, a member of a task force set up by the Nepal Ethnic Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, said the new party will formally become active in September.
"An ethnic political party is now a must for the indigenous people," Lama said. "It is our only way of being heard."
Some worry these new developments will not foster stability in Nepal. "I think issues raised by indigenous people are important to some extent, but I fear the country is heading towards ethnic conflict," grocer Ramesh Adhikari, 44, told Khabar.
"We already have too many political parties and ethnic parties will not cater to the aspirations of Nepalese in general."
But Bhattachan says common people need not be alarmed, as the new party will enhance rather than harm democracy. Its goal, he says, is to include all oppressed and marginalised groups.
"Our primary concern is how to create an alternative political force in the country when conventional political parties have failed to deliver," Bhattachan said.
Indigenous people's rights have been a thorny issue for many years. Their main demand, put forward by a special caucus in the now expired Constitutional Assembly (CA), has been for identity-based federalism. The caucus demanded formation of provinces along ethnic lines that would give them a demographic advantage in the provinces.
But the State Restructuring Commission (SRC), given the responsibility to come up with a federalism model, failed to reach a consensus.
The report from the majority proposed 11 states based on single-identity. The minority report proposed six states not based on ethnicity.
Although an alliance of two-thirds of CA members formed in support of the single-identity based federalism, the body dissolved before the issue reached a full vote.