By KIMBERLIE OLIMAYA NGABIT-QUITASOL
Posted by Bulatlat.com
BAGUIO CTIY— Cordillera elders who performed the opening ritual of International Conference on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Alternatives and Solutions to Climate Change said the conference is favorable to their ancestors.
According to Samuel Anongos of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), the international indigenous peoples (IP) conference on climate change that formally opened with an opening ritual on November 6 at the Ridgewood Residence Hotel here will surely be blessed and fruitful as the reading of the chicken bile was “likeb” (covered). He explained that the bile is covered by the liver which is translated as the ancestors protecting the conference and the participants.
Anongos explained that in the traditional practices of most IPs in the Cordillera, all important events or gatherings start with a ritual where butchered animals usually pigs and chicken to be offered to the ancestors to ask for their blessings. He added, in the said ritual, the elders read or foretell omens using the bile of the offered animal.
Jill Carño of the CPA, in her welcome address stressed that the conference is a venue for IPs all over the globe to share their experiences, learn from each other and find alternatives and solutions to climate change and other issues related to it. She pointed out that issues on violation of IPs’ collective rights, government neglect and development aggression are all inter connected to the climate crisis.
Cariño further said participants should consider the conference as a tongtong. She explained that tongtong is a traditional consensus building process on pressing issues in the community of the Ibaloys.
“This is our tongtong, our conference let us make it fruitful,” she urged the participants.
According to Cariño the Ibaloys are the original peoples of Baguio who have now become the marginalized minority after the American colonizers subjugated them and took over their lands. Ahe also stressed that the Ibaloy experience is similar to the many indigenous communities in other countries.
Representative from different IP organizations and advocates from 16 countries attended the conference. Countries represented were Autralia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United State of America, Vietnam, Nigeria, West Papua, Rumbia and Philippines. Posted by (Bulatlat.com)