14 February 2021
A dialogue was held with local government and Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Jahada Rural Municipality of Morang district, Province No.1. The dialogue was to interact with the local government on the development aspirations of IPs as identified by the Indigenous navigator- a set of tools to monitor IPs rights and development.
The participants raised the series of development agendas, such as participation of IPs in local development process, socio-cultural development issues, protection of sacred sites, development aggression, special, protected and autonomous region of Indigenous Peoples that is provisioned by the Article 56 (5) of the constitution and local government operational Act for the development of IPs and legal recognition of customary institutions of Shanthal IPs called 'Majhihadam' to promote right to self-determination.
Mr. Subarna Ghimire, chief executive officer of the local government, has presented the local government initiatives for the development of IPs. He said, "We have brought inclusion policy for the development of IPs and other social groups of the Rural Municipality. The local government has allocated Rs. 6,700,000 for IPs development for this fiscal year. We are in the process of developing school curriculum for Shanthal Mother Tongue education. The local government has provided budget for the protection of sacred sites of Shalthal IPs, conducted training for home stay business for enhancing livelihoods of the IPs women, allocated budget for establishment of Shanthal museum. He informed that the IPs participation of different users committees and management committees of schools and health institutions is more than 80%.
Kailash Mandal, chair person of the Rural Municipality, has strongly suggested the IPs to make demands with self- identified development plan. He is committed to declare special area where Shanthal IPs has high population concentration through the local government's plan and polices to address their development aspiration.
Durga Yamphu, LAHURNIP representative, has clarified about the Indigenous Navigator and encouraged the local government and IPs to consider these tools in local development process. Bhim Rai, LAHURNIP representative clarified the key provisions of ILO -169 and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including legal and constitutional provisions that needs to be implemented for the sustainable development of IPs.
The dialogue was jointly organized by Shantal Indigenous Peoples' Organization and LAHURNIP where local government members, Indigenous leaders of Shanthal IPs other IPs groups and traditional leaders participated the dialogue.