Youth Observes World Indigenous People’s Day

Northern Dispatch
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BAGUIO CITY ? Various student groups and individuals led by the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN) held a cultural parade and a rally here in this city 246 kms. north of Manila on Monday as part of the observance of the 15th Word Indigenous Peoples Day.

The groups staged a program at the People’s Park airing the plight of the indigenous peoples (IP) of the Philippines. They said the IPs despite the presence of the United Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) still suffer from abuse and violations to their Ancestral Land Rights. They said the continuing entry of big mining corporations and explorations displace the IP communities. They added that with the development aggression over the land of the IPs comes the heightened militarization in the guise of the counterinsurgency campaign.

Faye Cosme, an Aeta youth from Zambales said the IP youth should be actively forwarding the identity and dignity their forefathers fought for. “We should continue what our forefathers have struggled for – the protection of our heritage for the next generations,” said Cosme.

The cultural parade also culminated the two-day Luzon-wide Indigenous Youth Consultation on the UNDRIP and Climate Change attended by youth members of IP organizations, student councils, student publications from different colleges and universities of the Cordillera Region. The consultation was held at Teacher’s Camp on August 8 and 9. The gathering was also participated in by representatives from different government agencies, people’s organizations, non-government organizations and local government units as well as individuals.

Ivan Torafing of the Paggawisan Tako Am-in (PAGTA) of the University of the Philippines College of Baguio said the participants held workshop groups on the UNDRIP and the Mitigation and Adaptation on Climate Change.

The APIYN also initiated the upholding and enrichment of the resolutions that was passed during the National Indigenous Youth Conference (NIYC) held in Davao on May. This was aimed at getting the suggestions and support from the IP youth here in Luzon. The consultation was also a response to the resolution of the NIYC to conduct island-wide consultations with the IP youth in the country.

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