By KIMBERLIE OLMAYA NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CTIY — Baguio native Jill Cariño, CPA vice chairperson, welcomed local and foreign delegates to the International Conference on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Alternatives and Solutions to Climate Change this morning November 6 to the city.This after Cordillera elders had read omens of good tidings from the early morning opening ritual and offering for the event to about a hundred participants.
According to Samuel Anongos of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), the international indigenous peoples (IP) conference on climate change 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 or chickens are offered to the ancestors for their blessings. He added, in the said ritual, the elders read the omens in the liver and bile of the offered animal.Cariño, 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 inter connected to the climate crisis.
Cariño further said participants should consider the conference as a tongtong. She explained that tongtong is a traditional concensus 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 Ibaloy, the original peoples of Baguio, were marginalized after the American colonizers took away their lands. She 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 arrived to attend the conference. Countries represented include Autralia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United State of America, Vietnam, Nigeria, West Papua, Rumbia and Philippines. # nordis.net