Today: World Indigenous People’s Day

What does it mean to be an indigenous person today? I  could enumerate all rights of IPs but…what do these translate to in today’s world?

Lord of the Rings comes to mind. It seems IPs now occupy a kind of middle world, between the past and the present, that is, not altogether with their past nor fully integrated in the present, still journeying. Like Frodo and his little band, on a journey “through misty mountains” in search of the Rings that would reunite the worlds.

In traversing the two worlds IPs seem to have left behind one of their fundamental virtues: care of their natural environment. In the Philippines, in Baguio City and the rest of the Cordilleras, IPs hold the seats of power, but it’s both confounding and frustrating that in their time the region’s core urban centers, Baguio and La Trinidad have known environmental disorder.

Also, many young IPs are led to believe that by adopting mainstream culture they are the mainstream population. But IPs are not the mainstream as sure as the mainstream are not IPs.

Like it or not, IP blood runs in our veins. IP history is imprinted in our DNA. By this, it is preposterous that others should take upon themselves to define who the IP is and not. Then again, they do so perhaps because IPs lack a compelling definition of themselves as well as purpose- who are we in the 21st century?

Note: The film is part of a 5-part series, all accessible on YouTube.

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