MANILA – The National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) issued a resolution denouncing the use of the term âlumadâ in reference to Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) and different groups of Indigenous Peoples (IP).
NCIP resolution 08-009-2021 issued on March 2 stated that elders, leaders and members of various ICC / IP groups in Mindanao had asked that they not be called âlumadâ.
They said the term has been widely used even by some government offices and officials to refer to ICC / IP members, especially those from Mindanao.
âLumadâ is a Cebuano term meaning ânativeâ.
It was first adopted by members of the Lumad Mindanao Peoples Federation (LMPF) on June 26, 1986 at its first congress held in Kidapawan, Cotabato. Since then it has been used to refer to ICCs and IPs.
IP elders, leaders and members have refused to be called âlumadâ because the LPMF, they say, is not the recognized representative of the ICCs and IPs in Mindanao.
As such, it does not represent their collective feelings.
“‘Lumad’ is not an indigenous term. Its emergence and continued use (are) marred by its association with the CPP, NDF and the NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines – National Democratic Front – New People’s Army) whose ideologies are not consistent with the cultures, practices and beliefs of ICCs / IPs, âthe NCIP resolution reads.
He further stated that âlumadâ is associated with national minorities opposed to IPs, and thus weakens the true identity of ethnic communities.
The first congress and subsequent meetings and activities of the LPMF were initiated and sponsored by the CPP-NPA-NDF and were attended by some IP members of the LPMF, who they felt were not made up of actual elders and leaders.
The NCIP further stated that Datu Lito Omos, who was elected the first secretary general of the LMPF, attested to this.
The term “lumad” was chosen to control the identification of IPs under the CPP-NPA-NDF banners, according to Omos.
It also masks the solicitation activities of the insurgents.
NCIP said the use of “lumad” to refer to ICCs and IPs in Mindanao was to deny recognition of their true identity and rights.
“The term has no ancestral domain or indigenous territory per se and is condescending and derogatory,” said NCIP president and commissioner for eastern and southern Mindanao Allen Capuyan.
With the resolution, the NCIP encouraged all government offices to refrain from using the term âlumadâ in their official documents and communications, as well as the general public when referring to IPs.
âThe public is encouraged to use the respective ethnolinguistic group or indigenous cultural communities, indigenous peoples, Katutubong Pamayanang Kultural or Katutubong Pamayanan when collectively referring to IPs,â the resolution reads.
The country has 122 IP groups as of December 2019, but “lumad” is not one of them. (ANP)