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Indigenous People

GUIDE Foundation requested for the assistance of the CO Multiversity in training two community organizers for indigenous communities. Indigenous communities security and cultural identity are being seriously threatened by the rampant granting of Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMAs) with little apparent concern for how the local IP populace will be affected.
The training of two organizers for GUIDE, in the Mandaya indigenous community in Tigbawan, Baganga, Davao Oriental   was disrupted during  the summer of 1999. The  kidnapping of a high ranking military officer by the National People’s Army, which supposedly brought the official to the hinterlands close to the Mandaya community ,led to the increase of   military operations in the area.  The trainors and organizers met the community at   an assembly to make  arrangements to continue  preparations to  mobilize  for the ancestral domain claim, even if the COM team was not based full time in the community. In the first half of the year 2000, the training was resumed for the two organizers.
During this period, the members of the community were able to organize and participate in boundary delineation for the ancestral claim. These activities included a Mapping Workshop, in coordination with PAFID Mindanao, wherein  four community leaders were taught how to use the GPS instrument in mapping ancestral domain claim. Committees were likewise established to organize mapping activities  while logistical resources were mobilized from the local government.
This process culminated  in the submission of the ancestral domain claim application of the local organization in the regional office in Mati, Davao Oriental of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP). Five leaders hiked for several hours with the organizing team to the main town .
The NGO PAFID in Mindanao committed to conduct the actual mapping and the CO Multiversity is still tasked to organize this process with the community. However, due to security reasons the mapping is still suspended.
Meanwhile, the GUIDE Foundation met difficulties to sustain its operations and  the partnership had to be terminated. As earlier mentioned, despite this situation, the CO Multiversity, together with the PAFID are committed to continue the conduct of mapping when the security situation  is improved.
Two organizers completed the basic CO training course, of whom one is from the Higaun-on indigenous community, while the second was engaged in organizing with Manobos. The first organizer has shown potentials for trainor potentials while the second one resigned for health reasons.