KAPWA-3: THE KNOWLEDGE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THE ACADEME
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CUM SYMPOSIUM for
SCHOOLS of LIVING TRADITIONS
TARGET DATES: 25 June - 1 July 2012
PROPONENT ORGANIZATION: Heritage and Arts Academies of the Philippines Inc. (HAPI Foundation), in partnership with the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) and others.
BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CONFERENCE:
A. Colonialization Disrupts Social and Ecological Equilibrium in the Philippines
The Filipino people, since the 16th century, have been invaded by foreign cultures, religions and education. Until today, Western educational models dominate the horizon of Philippine education from elementary to university levels. The ecology-friendly knowledge systems and practices (IKSP) of indigenous people (IP) in the Philippines are marginalized.
Where the elders of indigenous people once taught their communities that nature was a partner in co-existence, Western education commends the exploitation of natural resources. The continuing “mis-education” of Filipinos with such imported discourse spells a road map to an ecological disaster, where the harmony between man and the environment is spiraling out of balance.
B. IKSP equal Eco-Balance: A Need for Recovery
Recently, some scientists acknowledged the enormous gaps in western scientific knowledge— especially in the field of global biodiversity. The inextricable link between indigenous people and the conservation of biodiversity has also been established. Where Academic Knowledge (AK) in economics teaches how to maximize profit, Indigenous Knowledge (IK) bids a sustainable “law” of supply and demand: “Hunt only what you can eat. Harvest only what you can consume. Leave some fruits on the tree for others.” Efforts by lawmakers and international ecology agencies, lately, seek to include the IP sector in drawing up global environmental policies to ease the consequences of our extractive/ destructive modern culture.
What Western economic models fail to stress is that the world is a holistic system. Man and nature operate interdependently. This systemic view is one of the most important features of indigenous knowledge. The traditional Filipino value system, according to Virgilio Enriquez, is based on “kapwa” sharing and including. Education based on the principles of these Kapwa values lead to fairness in the social order and to a balanced co-existence of nature and man.
C. KAPWA-3 – Including Indigenous Knowledge in Modern Education
The first Kapwa Conference took place in 2004 in UP Diliman. Kapwa-2 was held in 2008 at UP Iloilo. In line with the Kapwa principles, the design of those two meetings had put the indigenous people, the culture-bearing artists and the academe on equal footing. Both conferences also included also special meetings for Schools of Living Traditions (SLT), workshops on indigenous arts and crafts, film presentations and exhibits by culture-bearing artists. The 3rd Kapwa Conference will integrate Kapwa-1 and Kapwa-2 as well as topics discussed at a SLT meeting in Baguio in 2010.
D. KAPWA-3 – A Filipino Effort at Bridging Ancient and Modern Worlds
The chosen location for the proposed KAPWA-3 is Baguio City, the foremost university hub in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). A cosmopolitan city surrounded by rich ancestral communities, the city is known for IP culture activities and as research center for the IKSP of the region. The University of the Philippines Baguio, particularly their new Program for Indigenous Cultures (PIC), is committed to co-host this meeting.