Philippines: Cultural youth festival celebrates indigenous identity
In accordance with IWGIAs strategy to focus more on particularly vulnerable indigenous peoples in Asia, like hunter-gatherers in transition, IWGIA last year started supporting a project implemented by Kabalikatsa Kaunlaran ng mga Ayta Incorporated (KAKAI) which seeks to strengthen Aeta communities in Tarlac Province, the Philippines.
The Aeta are hunter-gatherers in transition living around Mt. Pinatubo, the volcano which erupted in 1991 and devastated much of the ancestral domain of the Aeta. The project involves developing active and critical communities that can speak with a collective voice and are able to protect their ancestral domain, strengthening the capacities of the leaders and youth to facilitate a process of collective power building at the village level and facilitate the process of formulating the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan. As part of the project, in May this year, KAKAI organized a cultural festival in a community situated in the mountains of Capas town in the Tarlac province of the Philippines. The festival was a celebration af the Aeta traditions and at the same time a way to get the Aeta youth involved in the issue of indigenous rights and their cultural identity.