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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Regional Capacity Building Programme


The right to determine one’s own development is a social necessity for the continuity of any society in their own ingenuity and has rights to exercise their culture and livelihood in their traditional institution and governance systems.  What makes indigenous peoples distinctive are their unique values, tradition and governance system, including their education system. Unfortunately, the alarming trend among indigenous peoples in Asia is the fast erosion of their culture and values, and traditional institutions as a result of co-option and or super-imposition of state administrative system.

Further, alienation of indigenous peoples from their homeland (largely) by creation of national parks, development aggression and militarization have driven most indigenous communities into grave poverty conditions. The situation has caused mass-exodus, displacement and denial of access to land and forest. This has denied or weakened the continuity of their cultural practices and development of their traditional knowledge and institutions in severe mutilation of their institutions and disruption of knowledge transmission within their communities.

In addition, mainstream education is imparted with the intention of assimilating indigenous children and youth into the mainstream society, which invariably leads to misinformation and stereotyping of indigenous communities as backward and resulting uncivilized. The general mainstream perception regarding indigenous communities as being backward and uncivilized has led to indigenous children and youth to be ashamed of their identity and loss of self-esteem.

The increasing trend of outmigration of indigenous children and youth to urban areas, in search of work and for better education, is exponentially resulting in their assimilation into the mainstream culture. These combined factors of outmigration, mainstream education and denial of their identity is conditioning them to feel inferior and forcing them to adopt mainstream culture, values, and lifestyles. Therefore, restoring pride of identity among indigenous youth, values of cooperation, community solidarity, and decision-making by consensus, etc. through leadership capacity building, inter-generational knowledge transmission and community organizing is a crucial need. In addition, providing appropriate forms of knowledge and education to indigenous youth to support adapting to their contemporary situation has been strongly felt.

In the context of the above, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), as a regional organization, has been focusing on strengthening the role of the youth within indigenous movements through its Regional Capacity Building (RCB) programme. The RCB was conceived and designed as a separate programme in 2005 to respond to the above unique situation and needs of indigenous youth (boys and girls), including the expanding scope of the Secretariat’s work and AIPP as a regional organization.

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    Objectives of RCB

    Focusing areas

    1. Community mobilization and foundational leadership building through Community organizing and Leadership training
    2. Indigenous self-government system and mechanism through research and project implementation
    3. Capacity building training on UN mechanism, processes and instrument such as UNDRIP for Indigenous leaders including women and youths
    4. Leadership integration and Cross-learning Fellowship and Internship
    5. General Training on different need base thematic areas such as advocacy
    6. Organizational strengthening specially focusing AIPP’s youth member-organizations, national youth organizations and regional youth network
    7. Developing Training Manuals, updating directory of resource persons and data dis-aggregation

    Profiles of Interns, Fellows, Community Organizers and AIYP's Members

    Mr. Nitol Chakma

    Fellow from Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum

    Mr. Manjuni Chakma

    Intern from Kapaeeng Foundation, Bangladesh

    Mrs. Retina Rongpipi

    Intern from Karbi Human Rights Watch in North-east India

    Mr. Rajiandai Bariam

    AIPP recommended volunteer at Food International Action Network (FIAN)