The Philippines joins two important celebrations recognizing Indigenous Peoples on August 9, 2022: the National Indigenous People’s Day and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year the theme for both event is “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge”.
National Indigenous People’s Day
The country celebrates the National Indigenous People’s Day by virtue of Republic Act (RA) No. 10689 which was passed in 2015, declaring every 9th day of August as the National Indigenous People’s Day. The celebration highlights the important role of the indigenous groups in our natural resources and culture, and our role in protecting them. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) leads the celebration thru various activities to promote public awareness on indigenous peoples and cultural communities. The celebration will also highlight and recognize their traditional knowledge as a key to understanding nature and to recognize that special measures are required to protect their rights and maintain their distinct cultures and ways of life.
On 23 December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly decided, in its resolution 49/214, that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August every year. The date marks the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations. This year’s theme is “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge.”
As part of the celebration, a virtual commemoration of the International Day will be held focusing on this year’s theme that will include an interactive dialogue segment with invited speakers, moderated by Ms Rosemary Lane, Acting Chief of the Indigenous Peoples Development Branch – Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Speakers will share their expertise and experience from their indigenous communities in preserving, reviving, retaining, and transmitting the traditional ancestral knowledge in various fields of communal activities, including but not limited to effective and sustainable climate solutions, use of natural resources, protection of biodiversity, ensuring food security, promoting native languages and culture, and managing indigenous science and medicine. Some of the questions to be discussed are:
- What is the unique position of indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge?
- What are some of the brightest examples of indigenous women-led processes in solving contemporary global issues through the effective application of traditional scientific knowledge?
- How are indigenous languages crucial to the development, preservation, and transmission of indigenous cultural and knowledge systems? How are women leading the way in maintaining indigenous languages?
- What was the effect of applying indigenous scientific knowledge and medicine in alleviating the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemiologic crisis?
The International Day observance will take place online on Tuesday, 9 August 2022 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST).