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March 8, 2010
Play Tackles Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

By ALMA SINUMLAG
Northern Dispatch

TADIAN, Mountain Province — A play aiming to disseminate the declaration of the United Nations (UN) recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples over their land, life and resources was staged by the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK) in two communities of Tadian, Mountain Province on February 20 to 21.

Titled “Live and Let Live – the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” (UNDRIP),” the play also aims to instill in the minds of the audience that although IP rights are recognized, IPs should remain very vigilant to protect their rights and be critical of programs that promote “development aggression”.

The first play was hosted by barangay officials of Lubon, Tadian on February 20 in their camarin where the dap-ay is also located. Given the short notice, the camarin was overflowing with people. The second presentation was in the Central Elementary School in Poblacion, Tadian in partnership with the elementary school teachers and the municipal officials.

Because the play aims to educate rather than entertain, the group holds an open forum after every performance. The forum becomes a venue for the audience to ask the performers and the organizers what they did not understand considering that many parts of the play were stylized. The forums have also helped the DKK in improving the script and presentation to make it more easily understood by the community audiences.

Majority of the actors of the play came from Salidummay Performing Arts Group – BSU chapter, a member organization of the DKK. They were glad that the play was mounted outside of Baguio and Benguet because through this, they had the chance to mingle with other indigenous peoples who are beneficiaries of the said declaration. According to them, their integration in the two communities of Tadian will surely help them in internalizing and preparing for their roles in the said play.

The UNDRIP presentation was held through the initiative of the DKK and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance-Mountain Province chapter.

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