Sunday, February 13, 2005

Check out the beautiful ACPC Sikat site, webweaved by Geejay Arriola. The art at left is by Boy Dominguez, whose work also graces the site. In 1984, an assembly of Asian youth was launched by the Christian Conference of Asia. It was held in India and gave birth to Asian Council for Peoples Culture (ACPC).

The network developed with the participation of cultural workers and community educators from 16 Asia-Pacific countries. Progress founded on culture is the basic premise of this coming together.

Community education and training are the key activities of ACPC. Its training pedagogy draws on local lifeways and learning systems. Culture and indigenous wisdom are core areas of study opening pathways for people's empowerment and action.

SIKAT or Schools of Indigenous Knowledge and Traditions is a national network of indigenous schools and community educators.

The SIKAT vision began to take shape during a gathering of a core group of trainors and educators in 1997 at the foot of Mt. Banahaw in Tayabas, Quezon. The group studied ways of harnessing the empowering elements of people's culture.

In 1999, an inter-tribal council of elders met in Tabuk, Kalinga and launched the movement for the promotion of indigenous education. The Kalinga declaration, thus envisions:

"Indigenous education founded on the lifeways, traditions, worldview, culture and spirituality of the native community is a basic right of all indigenous people. It is a pathway of education that recognizes wisdom embedded in indigenous knowledge."

The SIKAT network presently comprises more than twenty partner communities and continues to grow