Indigenous Peoples and Local Government: Experiences from Malaysia and the Philippines
Engagement in mainstream political processes and seeking participation in local government is an option increasingly taken up by indigenous peoples in order to regain more control over their lives and their destiny. This volume presents the result of research on indigenous peoples' participation in local government in two Southeast Asian countries: the Philippines and Malaysia. The book compiles existing legislation affecting indigenous participation in local government in the two countries, and looks at concrete experiences with local governments. It identifies the problems and constrains for indigenous participation and also looks into indigenous women's present and potential role in local government institutions. While there is an underlying common experience of ongoing dispossession, marginalization and weakening of traditional institutions due to state negligence, misguided policies and powerful vested interests, the case studies reveal enormous differences with respect to state policies and the possibilities for indigenous communities to constructively engage in local government.