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For Baguio’s youth,’ schools of living tradition’ will be established.

On its third and final reading, the city council in this city approved an ordinance that would allow students in all public and private learning institutions to study the cultural practices of indigenous peoples (IPs) in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

According to Jordan Habbiling, city council information officer, the ordinance authored by Councilor Arthur Allad-iw wants to re-instill indigenous cultural heritage in students of various schools by letting young people study the history, chants, dances, and way of life of the IPs in the region.

“By bringing students closer to the IP community, the Schools of Living Tradition (SLT) program will provide an opportunity for students in public and private educational institutions in the city to experience firsthand the Cordilleran IPs’ cultural legacy,” according to the statement.

According to Habbiling, students must learn cultural practices except for ritual-related activities, materials and instruments used during death rites, and sickness and pandemics, which are reserved for elders, bearers, and practitioners.

He stated that the ordinance must first and foremost maintain sensitivity to the cultural traditions covered by the SLT and that individuals affected should always seek the advice of elders, practitioners, and villagers regarded to be knowledgeable or bearers of knowledge of the activities in question.

“The ordinance underlines that before engaging in any action under the SLT, elders, practitioners, or villagers must be contacted beforehand to avoid misrepresentation or other sorts of negligence.” In cases of sensitive cultural practices or those enumerated by-law requiring the consent of the concerned indigenous groups as mandated by Republic Act 8371 otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 and other issuances on the matter by the concerned agency, approval from the IP community shall be sought first by the students or their advisers,” according to the release.

The ordinance mandates the formation of a school-based committee to develop, administer, and evaluate SLT strategies and activities. Learning institutions may have inter-school meetings or seminars to share studies, research, and practices that will help them improve SLT activities and programs in their individual schools.

Elders from indigenous peoples could be used as resource speakers.

The ordinance passed by the municipal council during its most recent meeting has been forwarded to the mayor’s office for signature.

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