This presentation discusses Ati peoples lived-experiences, life’s aspirations and motivations, expression of their cultural identity, struggles for self-determination amidst cultural misrecognition brought about by powerful economic globalization and urbanization. This project may help in understanding the life of the Ati people in Panay, Western Visayas that paves the way for society to give them cultural recognition. It hinges on the idea that the Ati people, being one of the members of the indigenous peoples (IPs) in the country have suffered from various forms of cultural disrespect such as oppression, misrepresentation in local cultural activities, discrimination of their distinctive cultural practices and identities, and various human rights abuses by the society. Despite of the implementation of Republic Act 8371, also known as the Indigenous Peoples Act in 1997 in the Philippines, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, there are still unending issues on land grabbing, poverty, several health issues, and discrimination that haunted the Ati communities. For many years, Ati communities were displaced from their inhabited land because of the urbanization and economic globalization in Panay Island. Thus, the Ati people struggle for recognition of their rights and privileges as co-equal members of the Filipino society.
Keywords: Indigenous Peoples, Ati, Panay Island, Social Justice
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