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Tuklas Katutubo (National Organisation of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines) is a volunteer tribal organisation composed of professional, teachers, farmers, health workers, fisher folks and community leaders working for the protection and promotion of peace, rights, welfare and development of the indigenous peoples in the country. Tuklas means discovery, and Katutubo means indigenous. It was funded in 1998 in response to the lack of recognition and representation of the indigenous peoples in the Philippines, especially on the issues of peace and development. It recognises that misrepresentation leads to poverty and conflict. Currently, the organisation has reached 20,000 members nationwide with 67 chapters in different tribes and regions.
Tuklas Katutubo has been recognised by local, national and international institutions as one of the leading organisations helping to build an organised and sustainable indigenous community in the fields of education, peace and development, ancestral domain and environmental protection, health, livelihood, agriculture and empowerment.
To implement its peace programmes, Tuklas Katutubo has partnered with Asian Religions for Peace Network, Asian American Initative, Peacetech, Peacemakers Circle, Metrobank Foundation, Splash Foundation, Department of National Defence, Body Shop Foundation and local government units.
Tuklas Katutubo's signature programme is the Balik-Tribo Programme (Return to Tribe). This empowers the local community to help themselves in the aspects of livelihood, education, health and environmental protection. Rebel returnees are part of these activities. This way, communities will not be pushed to further poverty which could result in more conflict.
The National Indigenous Peoples Summit - another project of Tuklas Katutubo's - is an event to address national peace and development issues affecting indigenous peoples. That includes providing representation at peace dialogues and relevant gatherings. The Summit is a gathering of all tribes in the Philippines, including the Muslim tribes.
IPeace (IPs) is another strategy of Tuklas Katutubo's to partner with various organisations to further represent the indigenous peoples in any peace activities in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao. The organisation partners with universities and other peace organisations to educate other sectors on the IPs call for peace, development and representation. Part of this programme is to conduct research as a tool to augment the voices of the indigenous peoples in the country.
Last updated: June 2015