STOP BUILDING, START PROTECTING THE LUMADS

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The Lumads are a group of Non-Muslim Indigenous people in the southern Philippines. They are also the largest indigenous group in the Philippines. They suffer from discrimination and are considered as one of the poorest minority groups in the world. They do not have access to adequate and appropriate forms of social services like education and health. According to the United Nations State of the World's Indigenous Peoples, the Philippines is one of the countries that facilitated large-scale mining by foreign corporations and other destructive projects, displacing many Lumad communities from their ancestral lands. Other violations on their human rights include the destruction and burning down of schools, areal bombings, and use of school facilities for military operations.

We believe that the Lumads deserve to be protected and to be treated with respect. The rights of these people should be given importance. One of the laws made to protect them is the "Indigenous People Rights Act" (IPRA) made in 1997, which was made to protect the Indigenous People and their ancestral lands. As Dominican students, we want to contribute to the preservation and enrichment of our cultural heritage, traditions and values amidst the emerging global society.