This community field-based course will focus on the Tagakolu community culture-based conflict resolution practices in Malita, Mindanao, Philippines. Participants will receive a glimpse of one of the communities of the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao, who are collectively referred to as lumad. Through discussions and interactions with Tagakolu elders, leaders and family members, who will be the resource persons, and an immersion into the life of the community, the participants will learn about practices related to conflict resolution from an indigenous perspective. It is hoped that the participants’ experience in the community will help them appreciate, recognize and better understand the indigenous perspective on peace. It is also hoped that the participants will be able to perceive the different dynamics in the community that are integral to traditional peacebuilding practices and its sustainability.
If the opportunity presents itself, the substantial queries on indigenous people’s historical struggles over time will be tackled and explored. The class will also look into the efficacy of traditional indigenous approaches to resolving conflict when communities are confronted with coercions from the outside and how it could also be co-opted to benefit only the interests of outsiders. As such, the interactions between participants, indigenous elders, leaders and family members would be a venue to learn about culture-based conflict resolution practices interfaced with legal and judicial procedures of the Philippine government, particularly local government units.