Discrimination and the Lumad Struggle in Mindanao

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In the multiple narratives of the Filipino nation, the story of Mindanao and its people is a frayed thread. More than a century after the nation’s birth from the bosom of colonial rule and governance mostly emanating from political centers of the North, the inhabitants of the country’s Southernmost Island remain locked in a bitter struggle over land and rights. The indigenous peoples of Mindanao comprising of numerous ethnolinguistic groups who consider themselves falling under the collective identity of “Lumad” or natives are the unfortunate victims of the regime of resource-extraction in the form of logging, mining, and large-scale agricultural enterprises by a growing migrant population from the North and the Visayas backed by foreign economic interest in the past century. This has led to the lumads’ social, political, and economic displacement together with a significant Muslim population of the South. Mindanao has thus been the site of these national contradictions that tear upon the imagined fragile fabric of peaceful co-existence among its tri-partite peoples.

This book aims to trace the history and evolution of these narratives of structural discrimination among a number of Lumad communities in Mindanao. It seeks to document the stories of social, political, and economic marginalization from the past to the present that are the bases for their continued structural discrimination. Through the gathering of community histories and life-stories among the old and the young from select lumad communities, the study aspires to surface not just the stories of oppression but also highlight the narratives of resistance and hope among the indigenous peoples of Mindanao.

Author: Prof. Arnold Alamon
Publisher: Mindanao Interfaith Institute on Lumad Studies