guinaang1954bPhoto by Masfere (1954, Guinaang)

There are distinct forms of national oppression which the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera have historically been subjected to, and which have remained unrectified up to the present:

  •  The violation of indigenous peoples’ prior rights to ancestral lands, through landgrabbing, oppressive laws and extractive projects
  • Political misrepresentation and the non-recognition of indigenous socio-political institutions and processes
  • The commercialization and vulgarization of indigenous cultures
  • Historical government neglect
  • Institutionalized discrimination

Indigenous peoples have coined the term development aggression to refer to large-scale destructive projects such as mining, logging and corporate energy projects which destroy the environment and the ancestral domain of indigenous peoples.  Development aggression is often accompanied by the militarization of indigenous communities which result in the ethnocide of indigenous peoples. (eg. Bakwit of Lumad communities in Mindanao)

Indigenous peoples worldwide have invoked the right to self-determination as the solution to their age-old problems of national oppression.  International human rights covenants recognize that all peoples have the right to self-determination, by virtue of which they have the right to freely determine their political status and their socio-economic, political and cultural development, at their own pace.