MCJ Presents Indigenous Archiving Framework at International Conference

Conflict-stricken Lumad communities and IP rights advocates pioneer Indigenous Archiving to safeguard Lumad schools’ documentary materials and cultural heritage.

Mindanao Climate Justice Resource Facility, Inc. (MCJ) Duyog program head Ryan Cezar Alcarde presented the paper “Archiving the Lumad Schools” at the UGAT 45th International Conference: Anthropology of Home on November 9 to 11, 2023. The conference was spearheaded by Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao (UGAT), and hosted by Ateneo de Zamboanga University’s Ateneo Zamboanga–Mindanao Institute (AZMI) in partnership with the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC).

Alcarde’s presentation detailed the indigenous archiving framework employed by MCJ’s “Lumad School Memory Project.” Tailored to the specific needs and practices of the Lumad communities, said framework has three characteristics: urgent, collective, and transitory. Alcarde described the journey the school records and materials would take from conflict-stricken indigenous peoples’ (IP) communities to the archive. Emerging from the context of a war-torn Mindanao, and commencing amid the Lumad’s internal displacement, this archiving practice anticipates the return of said records and materials to their rightful homes alongside the rebuilding of IP schools within ancestral territories.

UGAT’s 45th annual international conference conducted four plenary sessions and nine parallel sessions on a range of topics exploring the multifaceted concept of home. Alcarde’s paper was part of PANEL 2A, “Emplacing Cultural Narratives: Ethnographic Contexts, Notions of Home, and Marginalized Communities in Mindanao.” 

Founded in 1977, UGAT is the national organization of anthropologists in the Philippines, and is a regular member of the PSSC and the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCCA).