By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
MONTREAL, QUEBEC, Canada — Cordillerans in Montreal Quebec, Canada successfully staged their 7th Cordillera Day celebration last April 15.
According to Agnes Calgo of the Filipino Indigenous Peoples Organization in Quebec this year’s celebration, one of their members who actually witnessed the Chico dam struggles shared her experience. She talked about how her people, young and old stopped raging bulldozers from entering their community. She said that she witnessed how her people courageously stood firm in their opposition amid the intensified militarization of their communities.
Calgo said the Center of Philippine Concerns (CPC) also shared their insights on the struggles of indigenous peoples in the Philippines. She said that CPC has been visiting the Cordilleras and other IP territories in the Philippines.
“Solidarity messages were read, our traditional dances were performed, and everyone participated in the community dancing,” Calgo said.
“We served our Cordilleran food, camote and bakag with tapey, everyone enjoyed at the end of the day,” she added.
FIPOQ also sponsored a Migrants Mass on a Sunday following the Cordillera event, with the Cordillera theme incorporated in the homily.
The first Cordillera Day celebrations in Montreal Quebec took place in April 2011 pioneered by Centre for Philippine Concerns Canada (CAP/CPP) together with their allied organizations such as Bayan Canada, Migrante Canada, Pinay, Aklanon, Association of Parents of Filipino Origin in Quebec, Filipino Workers Support Group.
“We were then invited to perform our Cordillera dances, after that event we were then encouraged to organize ourselves,” Calgo said.
Calgo said the organization of Cordillerans that was inspired by the first Cordillera Day celebrations started with five members. She said that as the organization grew through the years, they decided to change their name into FIPOQ to be more inclusive.
“Now, we have members from the South who are very supportive in our Cordillera Day Celebration,” she said. # nordis.net