The War Against Indigenous Schools In the Philippines: Lumad Educators Solidarity Tour 2018

Dear Friends,

From March 19 until April 5th, Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS), Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA), Migrante Aotearoa will be hosting a speaking tour of Lumad (Indigenous peoples) educators from Mindanao, Southern Philippines.

The tour is titled “The War Against Indigenous (Lumad) Schools in the Philippines”. In June last year, immediately following his State of the Nation Address and when confronted by thousands of indigenous activists, Philippine President Duterte threatened to have the military bomb the independent indigenous schools that had been established in the ancestral domains of the Lumad tribes. https://www. theguardian.com/world/2017/ jul/26/philippines-duterte- threatens-to-bomb-indigenous- schools

His threats are not hollow; Mindanao is currently under ‘martial law’ and under the guise of “counter insurgency” and in the interests of big mining corporations, hundreds of military and para-military attacks against the schools have occurred. The attacks include military encampments within the schools, indiscriminate firing against schools, threats, harassment and intimidation of students and teachers, the destruction and divestment of school property, imprisonment of school leaders and even the killing of students and teachers. Thousands of students have been affected and several schools have been forced to close.

In response the Lumad communities launched the Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign and gained national attention after a notorious para-military group publicly executed a Lumad school director Emerito Samarca and two Lumad community leaders in September 2015. In support of the SOS campaign we are touring two Manobo Lumad Educators; Fritzi Junance Magbanua and Anthony “Pele” Navarro.

Fritzi Junance Magbunua is a Moro (Indigenous Muslim tribes) and Teduray (Lumad) educator. She coordinates the programmes and training of staff and faculty for 32 schools in Moro and Lumad communities for the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc (MISFI) (https://misfi-phil.org). She previously served as a volunteer teacher for several years in Salupongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community (in Defense of Ancestral Land) Centers in the Taliangod Manobo Ancestral Domain.

Anthony “Pele” Navarro is the Executive Director of Salupongan International (http://salupongan.org/) an organisation dedicated to the empowerment of rural Lumad and Moro Communities in Southern Philippines. He is the international representative of the SOS campaign and a part-time teacher at the Community Technical College of Southern Mindanao.

https://filipinosolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/tour-speaker-profiles.pdf

The speaking tour has six main objectives:

1. To forge links with Maori Kura Kaupapa and Kohanga Reo schools and organisations in the Bay of Plenty and Auckland.

2. To facilitate sharing and learning from the experiences of indigenous education in Aotearoa and Philippines.

3. To forge links with relevant tertiary institutes and NGOs that may be in a position to support or form relationships with the schools.

4. To raise awareness of the Philippine military attacks against Indigenous Schools and communities.

5. To raise awareness of situation of Martial Law in Mindanao and the repressive rule of President Duterte.

6. To raise awareness of the struggle of the Indigenous peoples of the Philippines for self-determination and liberation.

We will organise public meetings in Auckland and Wellington. In addition we have arranged visits to Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Wananga, Universities and Marae in Auckland and the Bay of Plenty and meetings with Members of Parliament in Wellington.

The tour will cost a considerable amount of money (approximately $6,000) so we are requesting donations from individuals and organisations. Any amount big or small is appreciated. You may donate through our BNZ account Philippines Solidarity 02- 0208 – 0062905 – 001. Your solidarity is greatly appreciated.

A fantastic short documentary on the schools “Pangandoy: The Manobo fight for land, education and their future” can be viewed at this link. https://vimeo.com/128953648

An informative primer on the SOS campaign is here:

https://filipinosolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/0-sos-primer-2017.pdf

If you have any questions, would like to be involved or would like us to send you more information please let us know.

For Auckland Philippines Solidarity,

Luke Coxon and Cameron Walker

Mobile: 021 904 888

Email: luke_coxon

c/o First Union, 120 Church Street, Onehunga, Auckland 1643

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