Video / Audio - COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples
Pamulaan - Centre for Indigenous Peoples Education - Pamulaan is an indigenous university created for the indigenous youth of the Philippines. Its main task to create culturally appropriate and relevant degree level courses, producing indigenous graduates with knowledge and skills but still rooted in their own cultures. (LifeMosaic 2019)
The Misak indigenous people, from the south of Colombia, experienced almost complete cultural, territorial and linguistic loss, before taking back their ancestral lands in the 1970s, going on to rejuvenate their culture, reclaim their traditions and strengthen their autonomy. Today 95% of Misak speak their mother tongue. Nine out of ten youth who leave the territory, return. How have the Misak done this? And what role has their own indigenous education system played? (LifeMosaic 2019)
The TUGDAAN Mangyan Center for Learning and Development is an educational institution dedicated to serve the 8 Mangyan tribes of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, The Philippines. Tugdaan High School, for children aged 11-18, was set up in the community of Paitan in 1989 after many discussions with the elders who had reflected that they are being discriminated against and tricked by lowlanders and felt this was due to their education levels being very low. They developed their dream to educate their youth without compromising their deeply rooted cultural beliefs, knowledge and practices. (LifeMosaic 2019)
The seeds of indigenous education in Indonesia - Samabue Indigenous School was set up in 2016 in West Kalimantan. It runs as an after-school club to serve indigenous children who attend the mainstream government run school and focuses on giving children a rooting in their own traditional knowledge and culture. Teachers are indigenous volunteers and local elders who foster communication between the generations. (LifeMosaic 2019)
This film documents the gathering of indigenous educators from across Indonesia and the Philippines in Kaseputan Ciptegalar, West Java. They discussed the problems: “The existing education system teaches ‘ilmu pergi’ - the science of leaving.” (Sarno Maulana, Pasawahan school, West Java). And they developed a vision of the future: "It is important for us to start our own education - our indigenous education. So we are the ones who determine its methods, we are the ones who determine its contents, and all of this within our territory.” (Jhontoni Tarihoran, BPAN) (LifeMosaic)
In April and May 2018, there was a unique opportunity for community organisers in Scotland to meet with community leaders from the indigenous Misak people of Colombia, as they tour Scotland to share their experiences of the ‘Plan de Vida’ or Life Plan, and learn about Scotland’s own journey towards land reform and community empowerment. The Misak were displaced from their lands and almost disappeared as a people. Over the last 40 years they have reclaimed their territory, their culture and their futures against all odds. They did this by developing the Plan de Vida, an exceptional approach for communities to re-envision and take control of their futures. Pioneered by the Misak in the 1980s, this approach has been adopted by hundreds of indigenous peoples and communities across South America and beyond. Misak leaders Jeremias Tunubala and Liliana Pechene will be holding events with communities in Mull, Eigg, Skye, a residential training on Bute, and a final event at the Scottish Parliament. The events will offer valuable insights on rebuilding community, reclaiming cultural identity, and collective visioning, and an opportunity to reflect on the synergies between the Misak’s indigenous approach and Scotland’s growing community empowerment and land rights movements. The tour is being organised by LifeMosaic, a Scottish-based charity that works with indigenous peoples around the world to help build the capacity of communities and movements to protect their rights, cultures and territories. LifeMosaic is co-organising the tour with the Cabildo Misak (Misak leadership) and Scottish community organisations, educational institutions, and the Scottish Parliament. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/plandevida
Community members from Sarayaku in Ecuador discuss what leadership means to them, and how it is practised in their territory.
Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha was founded in 1998 to help poor, marginalised communities living in the remote Chalanbeel region of Bangladesh to develop sustainable livelihoods. Shidhulai has achieved this by building up a fleet of flat-bottomed boats, all made with locally available materials, that make their way through the shallow rivers and canals of the Chalanbeel to bring a range of educational services and renewable energy supplies to water-side families. The boats use solar PV modules to generate all the electricity they need to provide daily classes in primary education for children, libraries, training in sustainable agriculture, health advice, mobile phone and internet access and battery-charging facilities. Shidhulai has also provided villagers with 13,500 solar-home-systems, 2,500 lanterns and 15,000 bicycle pumps that deliver between 60 and 100 litres of water per minute - enough to irrigate half a hectare of land during the dry season. By putting into practice the agricultural techniques they have learnt on the boats and using the renewable energy devices, farmers have been able to significantly increase their income and reduce the use of synthetic pesticides, with about one third of farmers eliminating their use altogether.
The Misak are an indigenous people whose territories are located in Cauca, Colombia. As with many indigenous peoples in Latin America, the Misak lost large parts of their territory during colonial rule. In the 1970s, they started a process of land reclamation and were eventually successful in gaining formal land rights recognition. Since then the Misak developed Plan de Vida as a tool for self-determined development to ensure their gains would be preserved for future generations.
Based on Dadang Pohon Tua’s song, “Siapa Lagi Kalau Bukan Kita” (“If not us then who”), each singer sings the chorus in their mother tongue language. Their message is clear: Speak your mother tongue with pride!