October 17, 2014
SIKLAB National Indigenous Youth Network to be Launched
BAGUIO CITY -- “Fire up the fervour of Indigenous youth in the Philippines!” With this theme, a Luzon-wide gathering of Indigenous Youth will be held on October 25-26, 2014 at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, Baguio City. The activity is being held to bring together indigenous youth from different communities of the Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog regions to learn, exchange ideas and unite on the need to work together in a national youth movement for the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples. The gathering will serve to launch SIKLAB, a national indigenous youth network that aims not only to empower indigenous youth to assert their rights as indigenous peoples but also to develop their capabilities. SIKLAB seeks to maximize the potential of indigenous youth around the country to respond to the urgent issues and concerns of Indigenous peoples and to project these to the wider public nationwide.
SIKLAB is being organized through the initiative of the Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (TFIP), a national network of 12 non-government organizations jointly working for the common objective of advancing indigenous peoples’ rights. According to Jill Cariño, TFIP Convenor, “Through SIKLAB, we hope to facilitate cultural exchange, sharing of experiences and promote the continuity of indigenous knowledge, values and culture among the indigenous youth.“ She further explained that there has been a vacuum in terms of bringing together the various initiatives of indigenous youth organizations in different regions of the Philippines. A second indigenous youth gathering will also be held for Visayas and Mindanao.