Kalindogan 2009: Reclaiming Indigenous Leadership

Leadership is the mark of excellence in life. In the different aspects of one’s life, leadership is expressed in different ways. Among the youth it means a clear path, the drive and values to pursue it, relevant skills and resources that need to be mustered. Among young indigenous people, it means even more: reclaiming one’s heritage and territory to be able to achieve a life that is full of meaning which includes the right to indigenous governance and self-determination.

Indigenous youth are faced with a unique context which presents challenges to being authentic leaders. There is thus a need to highlight the inner sources of their leadership, bring forward models that the youth can emulate and develop their capacity to discern situations based on their vision to be able to make the appropriate choices as they mobilize community strength for action. The Kalindogan event, which will be held on the month of Indigenous People, is seen to be a venue for IP youth to reclaim the roots and sources of their leadership.

Having been held thrice already, Kalindogan has become part of an annual tradition among the indigenous youth that provides a venue for consciousness-raising about current issues affecting the indigenous peoples (IP) communities, and for generating culturally rooted and peace promoting responses that the IP youth can do in their respective communities.


Reclaiming Leadership

Building on the theme of leadership serves as a build up on the reflections and actions from the past Kalindogan events into a peak learning experience where they will be challenged to introspect and look at their own leadership traits and principles in the context of their aspirations as IPs.

This year too, the theme seeks to bring the attention of the IP youth to the importance of leadership not only in their personal life, family and community but in the national and international dimensions as well. The link between local and global action and frameworks becomes even more imperative as the youth prepare to exercise their right to choose leaders for 2010 that will impact not only on the national governance systems and structures but on the IP governance systems as well. It is recognized that an important aspect and role of IP leadership is to be able to find the harmonious link between these two.


Thus, Kalindogan 2009 will mobilize 250 IP youth from all over the Philippines to:

1. Reflect on and celebrate leadership qualities and traits that they have discovered and that they still seek to emerge;

2. Find the roots of their leadership in their own indigenous traditions and way of life;

3. Identify factors in their specific community and in broader society that pose challenges to the achievement of IP leadership;

4. Present specific action points based on their agenda to aspiring (e.g. presidentiables) and current leaders in Philippine society; and,

5. Identify action points in terms on how they can best pursue these agenda within the electoral process and in their day-to-day lives.