By TFIP (PR)
BAGUIO CITY — “Fire up the fervour of Indigenous youth in the Philippines!” On this theme, a Luzon-wide gathering of Indigenous Youth will be held on October 25-26, 2014 at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, here.
With the objective to bring together indigenous youth from different communities of the Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog regions to learn, exchange ideas and unite to work together in a national youth movement for the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples. This gathering will serve to launch Siklab, a national indigenous youth network that aims not only to empower indigenous youth to assert their rights as indigenous peoples but also to develop their capabilities.
Siklab seeks to maximize the potential of indigenous youth around the country to respond to the urgent issues and concerns of Indigenous peoples and to project these to the wider public nationwide.
Siklab is being organized through the initiative of the Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (TFIP), a national network of 12 non-government organizations jointly working for the common objective of advancing indigenous peoples’ rights.
According to Jill Cariño, TFIP convenor, “Through Siklab, we hope to facilitate cultural exchanges, sharing of experiences and promote the continuity of indigenous knowledge, values and culture among the indigenous youth.” She further explained that there has been a vacuum in terms of bringing together the various initiatives of indigenous youth organizations in different regions of the Philippines. A second indigenous youth gathering will also be held for Visayas and Mindanao.
Activities during the two-day event include inputs and workshops to discuss indigenous peoples’ rights, issues and concerns. Skills training on advocacy campaigns will also be done to raise the participants’ capabilities to become activists and catalysts of change. The youth will end their stay in Baguio by participating in the Salidummay Reunion Concert on October 26, with the theme “Protect, Promote and Transmit our Cultural Heritage.”
This event is jointly organized by TFIP, the Cordillera Youth Center (CYC) and the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN).
Julius Daguitan, Secretary General of APIYN, said “As indigenous youth, we are bestowed the responsibility to defend what our ancestors have given us, thus, it is important that we unite and work collectively towards this aim. With the escalating violations of indigenous peoples’ rights, the national indigenous youth formation is a huge step for the indigenous youth to respond to the various issues in the local and national scale. This activity is a venue that will help develop our capacities and strengthen the voice of indigenous youth. ” # nordis.net