The Philippine Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) Two Decades Later: What Worked, What Failed, What Now?

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: The Philippine Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) Two Decades Later: What Worked, What Failed, What Now?
Stream: Anthropology
Presentation Type: Roundtable
Authors:
Cherubim Quizon, Seton Hall University, United States (organizer, roundtable-chair)
Maria Mangahas, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Philippines (roundtable-co-chair)
Corazon Alvina, Museo ng Kaalamang Katutubo (MusKKat), Philippines (discussant)
Philip Anghag, Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines (discussant)
Ruth Batani, Benguet State University, Philippines (discussant)
Christian Rosales, University of the Philippines-Los Banos, Philippines (discussant)
Antoine Laugrand, Université Catholique de Louvain - UCL, Belgium (discussant)

Abstract:

The Philippine Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) passed in 1997 was intended to protect the rights of indigenous peoples (IPs) or indigenous cultural communities (ICCs). It was informed both by national jurisprudence on land rights and mediated by the post-EDSA1987 Constitution, as well as by transnational shifts towards shared frameworks for IP rights as expressed in various UN declarations, working groups, and permanent fora. One outcome of the law has been the routinization of ICC/IP research in ways that were intended to flesh out the ethics of consent and empower those communities as research gatekeepers. As one of the earliest laws of its kind in postcolonial contexts, insights from the Philippine experience have the potential to shape the increasingly globalized discussion of research ethics in ways that examine neoliberal assumptions about rigor and representation.

This panel seeks to assess how the law’s manifest shifts have shaped field-based scholarly practice by exploring the constraints, innovations, barriers, responses, etc. vis a vis research on/by/alongside Philippine Indigenous Peoples. Emphasizing praxis as a starting point for reflection, the roundtable brings together both established scholars who worked in both institutional and non-institutional contexts decades before the passage of the law as well as emerging scholars who worked post-IPRA and that include members of ICCs/IPs. Panelists will share professional, scholarly and community-based perspectives in anthropological practice, museum-based work, interreligious dialogue and indigenous peoples ethnographies, drawn from research conducted in Northern, Central and Southern regions of the country. Prior to the conference, discussants will exchange five page summaries of their work; at the conference itself, each will present five minute overviews of their research and observations, with 1-2 minutes to respond to each other. Audience members will then be invited to comment or pose questions to the panel. By facilitating an open conversation on the kinds of shifts, adjustments, dilemmas and responses of those who study and engage with indigenous knowledge systems on the ground, the panel seeks to amplify both practice-based and within-community perspectives in dialogue with legal and ethical frameworks, broadly defined.