MCJ Shares Archiving Research Results and Supplies with Davao IP Community

The ongoing collaboration between Mindanao Climate Justice Resource Facility, Inc. (MCJ) and Davao’s Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities demonstrates a steadfast commitment to supporting Lumad schools amidst environmental and socio-economic challenges.

On May 29-30 2024, MCJ returned to its partner IP community in Davao City to present findings from the Duyog program’s archiving research and provide materials for preserving Lumad school records.

MCJ’s Duyog program head and volunteers conducted a presentation for IP community leaders and members, outlining the outcomes of the “Lumad School Memory Project.” This archiving initiative, rooted in an indigenous archiving framework, addresses the pressing, collective, and temporary needs of Lumad communities. This framework is vital for safeguarding school records and cultural heritage materials, especially in conflict-affected and climate-vulnerable areas of Mindanao.

Davao’s Lumad communities and their schools have endured severe impacts from climate change, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities. From February to May 2024, the Davao IP community faced an intense drought, resulting in devastating crop failures. This prolonged dry spell triggered significant food insecurity, heightening hunger, displacement, and poverty within the community.

The drought posed an immediate threat to the community’s livelihood and jeopardized the preservation of Lumad school records. With insufficient storage, these documents were highly susceptible to damage. Recognizing this risk, MCJ provided plastic boxes to temporarily shield the school records from further deterioration, a critical measure in safeguarding these invaluable materials.

MCJ’s visit underscored the pressing need for climate adaptation efforts to safeguard indigenous knowledge systems and practices (IKSPs). Conversations with the community emphasized the vital role of preserving Lumad educational materials in upholding cultural heritage amidst ongoing social and climate-related crises.