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The Baguio Ibaloi Struggle Compared to Its International Counterparts

As the Ibaloys struggle, governments around the world took bold steps in addressing historical injustices committed against their IP communities.

Baguio-Benguet Ibalois celebrate Ibaloi Day every year as a sign of tribal unity and as a reminder of their continuing struggle for justice.
Baguio-Benguet Ibalois celebrate Ibaloi Day every year as a sign of tribal unity and as a reminder of their continuing struggle for justice.

As the Ibaloi people and other indigenous tribes in the Philippines struggle for the recognition of their ancestral rights, other governments around the world took bold steps in addressing their IP concerns and adopted radical legislation to correct historical injustices committed against the IP communities including reparations for unlawful taking of lands belonging to original settlers. Here are some examples:

  1. Canada - In 2016, the Canadian government signed a historic agreement with the M├ętis Nation, Inuit, and First Nations peoples. The agreement recognized the rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination, land, and resources. It also provided funding for Indigenous communities to address the impacts of residential schools and to support language and cultural revitalization.

  2. Australia - In 1992, the Australian government recognized the native title rights of Indigenous peoples. This recognition allowed Indigenous peoples to claim ownership of land that had been taken from them without their consent. The government also established a Native Title Tribunal to resolve disputes over land ownership.

  3. New Zealand - In 1975, the New Zealand government signed the Treaty of Waitangi with the Maori people. The treaty recognized the Maori people's rights to their lands, forests, and fisheries. It also established a process for resolving disputes between the Maori people and the government.

  4. United States - In 1978, the United States government passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. The act recognized the rights of Indigenous peoples to practice their traditional religions and to access sacred sites. The government has also established a process for returning land to Indigenous peoples through the Indian Claims Commission and the Indian Land Consolidation Act.

  5. Brazil - In 1988, the Brazilian government passed a new constitution that recognized the rights of Indigenous peoples to their lands and resources. The constitution also established a process for demarcating Indigenous lands and protecting them from encroachment by non-Indigenous people.

These are just a few examples of concessions given by governments around the world to their Indigenous peoples in recognition of their ancestral rights. Such undertakings are an important step towards reconciliation and healing for Indigenous peoples, and they serve as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights and justice.

While the Philippines have the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), much is yet to be done inorder to fully give life to the principles laid down in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People. Much is yet to be done in addressing the century-long struggle of the Ibalois and other native tribes displaced by colonization, corporate greed, and government indifference.

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