Indigenous People’s Sunday is celebrated on the second Sunday of October in the Philippines.
October 12, 2008 is the 30th IP’s Sunday. Theme: “Renewing Commitment to IP’s Self-Determination”.
Indigenous Peoples have the right to self-determination, like any other cultural community everywhere. This means they decide their own destiny based on their customary laws, beliefs and traditions.
On September 20, 2008 “lumad” (IP) leaders met in General santos City to firm up their stand on “Ancestral Domain and Right to Self-Determination”. Participants came from various parishes in the Diocese of Marbel.
a) to the GRP-MILF Peace Panels:
1. Resume the peace talks;
2. Create a new peace panel to include IP’s representatives.
b) to the NCIP:
1. Hasten delineation of ancestral domain;
2. Intensify promotion of IP’s culture.
c) To Government:
1. Provide for a genuine dialogues between MILF and IPs;
2. Launch symposium on MOA-AD in the affected barangays;
3. Administer IPs territory and resources taking into account IPs customary laws and traditions;
4. It is not appropriate to call Bangsamoro the indigenous peoples in Mindanao and Palawan.
I urge our Catholic faithful to support the indigenous peoples’ struggle toward self-reliance and self-determination. A concrete expression of our support is the second collection on October 14, 2008 – the 30th IP’s Sunday. Please give generously.