The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is celebrating the 23rd Year of IPRA this month of October with the theme, “Correcting Historical Injustices for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Welfare,” with the 133 Indigenous Peoples (IPs) groups in the country, other government agencies, the local government units, international organizations, development partners, and other stakeholders who have been tirelessly rooting and working for the recognition, promotion, protection and fulfillment of the rights and well-being of our indigenous peoples!
The NCIP is sending a strong statement this year of correcting injustices long suffered by the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) as the agency pushes further for the recognition of 36 rights of the indigenous peoples from the four (4) bundles of rights enshrined in Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as “The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997”, whose protection and fulfillment never gained as much urgency and traction as the past two years under President Rodrigo Duterte and the current NCIP Chairperson, Allen Capuyan.
The month-long celebration will proceed with a series of Webinars on topics related to the four bundles of rights on ancestral domain/lands, self-governance and empowerment, social justice and human rights, and cultural integrity spread throughout the month. Burning issues and concerns of ICCs/IPs will also be tackled through the IP Discussion Series. National-level undertakings will be reinforced with a photo exhibit to be set up in all SM malls nationwide. These will be complemented by various Regional level online and community-based activities that include IP Women Congress, IP Youth Summit and Intercultural Exchange, IEC on IP rights, policies and programs cum distribution of family food packs, cultural performances in terms of songs, dances, and games, social media and school lecture-discussions, radio guesting, medical missions, needs assessment consultations, fun run, and tree planting while observing the basic protocols of social distancing and wearing of masks and face shield.
It will end with the National Indigenous Peoples Thanksgiving Day and IP Month Culmination Program on October 29, 2020. Component activities will include proper press briefing, a slideshow of photos of different IP communities in the country, “Ulat Katutubo” by the NCIP Chairperson on behalf of the Commission and the Regional Directors for the operational reports, sharing of best practices on IP rights promotion and protection by IP Mandatory Representatives and IP leaders, solidarity greetings and messages of important dignitaries who had a stake in the passage of IPRA into law as well as heads of partner agencies, cultural presentations by ethnographic region, and awarding of winners of the celebration contests. An evening program dubbed as “IP Pride and Partners” will also be conducted as NCIP’s gesture in recognizing and appreciating accomplishments and contributions for the empowerment, development, and protection of ICCs/IPs, and integrated with the awarding will be the “Konsiyerto ng Katutubo” to showcase and feature IP Performing Artists.
Come and celebrate our victories and join us in the continuing struggle. Your voice and the unanimity of our actions for the fight to end injustices inflicted upon our indigenous peoples are needed now more than ever.