Statement of the 2nd Indigenous Knowledge National Conference (English)

Theme: Asserting Customary Resource Use: Reclaiming Free Prior and Informed Consent and Transmitting Indigenous Knowledge

We,  participants to the 2nd Indigenous Knowledge National Conference, held in Southern Christian College, Midsayap, North Cotabato on Feb. 21-23, 2012,  honor the wisdom of our ancestors by giving respect and gratitude to the Supreme Being  (Bathala); and recognize the presence of spirit being -helpers that inhabit and protect nature, our lands, territories  and resources.   We salute and rejoice  in the  good  experiences of indigenous peoples in the continued practice and assertion of customary resource use and self-determined development, the value of indigenous knowledge and transmission of indigenous knowledge, and our non-negotiable stance on our right to free prior and informed consent (FPIC).

However, our indigenous wisdom and good practices are being undermined by serious issues and challenges:

ngunit/subalit, ang aming katutubong kaalaman at mga ginagawa ay nawawalan ng halaga dahil sa mga isyu at mga hadlang:

•       Non-recognition of ancestral lands and native titles

•       Lack of government respect,  protection and enforcement of customary law and governance

•       Manipulation of FPIC

•       Mining, dams, plantations

•       Peace and development issues and other forms of development aggression

•       Lack of participation and consultation on policies and programs affecting us

•       Non-recognition of ancestral lands and native titles

We now call on government and big corporate interests, who continue to intrude and plunder our ancestral lands and resources to heed our recommendations and resolutions:

We welcome the review of the FPIC guidelines but are vigilant that these do not conflict with our customary laws and protocols on giving consent.

We call for a stop to development aggression: destructive, large scale mining, logging, plantations, eco-tourism and dams in indigenous peoples territories

We call for the recognition and respect of our native titles

We demand recognition of customary practices and protocols in giving consent to projects, programs that are not tied to government NCIP FPIC process guidelines

We call for the full and effective participation and genuine consultation of our communities on programs, policies and legislations affecting us

We call for the recognition of  traditional peacepacts between and among indigenous peoples and Moro groups in Mindanao

We assert that indigenous peoples rights be recognized in the on-going peace negotiations

We encourage government and private sector support for initiatives in the transmission of indigenous knowledge

We call for a review of the education curriculum to correct the misrepresentation of indigenous culture

We also encourage our people, our organizations, advocates and friends to:

•       Assert and strengthen customary use, management, governance of  indigenous peoples’ territories, lands and resources

•       Strengthen our organizations and networks working for the assertion of indigenous peoples’ rights

•       Continue initiatives to assert  customary resource use, reclaim FPIC, and transmit indigenous knowledge

•       Continue initiatives in developing  traditional and alternative learning systems

•       Continue mapping as a methodology to assert customary governance

•       Continue doing research and documentation of indigenous knowledge and practices and ensure that the outputs will be brought back to the communities

Guided by the Supreme Being (Bathala), the spirits of nature,  our spirit guides and the wisdom of our ancestors, we  and our children’s children shall continue to live our customs and traditions made relevant in this contemporary times.

In continuing our ancestors’ efforts of asserting native titles and in commemoration of the US Supreme Court’s decision of upholding the native title of Ibaloy Mateo Carino on February 23, 1909, we resolve to celebrate this victorious landmark event every year on February 23 as the Indigenous Peoples’ “Native Title Day.”