The National Working Meeting of the Fifth Congress of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago will be held once more on 14-17 March 2018 in Wanua Koha, Minahasa District, North Sulawesi Province, with the theme “Strengthening the Organisation to Ensure the Fulfillment of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights by the State in realising political sovereignty, economic independence and cultural dignity.”
The Fifth AMAN National Working Meeting (or Rakernas) is one of the decision-making mechanisms mandated by the AMAN Statutes after the Indigenous Peoples’ Congress of Nusantara (or KMAN). Rakernas is also a means to review and evaluate AMAN’s progress as an organisation after KMAN V, the fifth Congress that was held in Medan, North Sumatera in March 2017.
Rakernas will be attended by AMAN’s central office (including AMAN’s Secretary General and the National AMAN Board), 21 AMAN Regional Executive Officers, and 116 AMAN Regional Administrators (including the Chairman of the Daily Implementing Agency and AMAN Regional Board) who are spread throughout most of the archipelago. In addition, Rakernas will also be attended by the 3 AMAN wing organisations, 3 AMAN autonomous bodies and the entire network of the AMAM organisation.
AMAN’s wing organisations are the Indigenous Women’s Association (PEREMPUAN AMAN), the Indigenous Youth Association (BPAN) and the Indigenous Peoples Defenders Association (PPMAN). In addition, AMAN’s autonomous bodies include the Indigenous Peoples Registration Board (BRWA), the AMAN Independent Producers Cooperative (KPAM) and the Indigenous Peoples Education Foundation (YPMAN). Government representatives and supporters of the Indigenous Peoples Movement of the Archipelago, from both the national level and the local level, will be present during the implementation of Rakernas.
The Chairman of the Rakernas Organising Committee, Nedine Helena Sulu, revealed that Rakernas will be attended by around 500 people from Aceh to Papua. “The committee has prepared about 100 houses in Wanua Koha (Koha Village) to accommodate participants during the Rakernas proceedings,” continued Nedine.
The Public Dialogue of Indigenous Peoples and various workshops will be held during Rakernas to discuss thematic issues of special concern to Indigenous Peoples. The discussion of thematic issues will involve speakers representing the central government and local government and experts, who will speak on their respective areas of expertise. In addition to the General Dialogue and several workshops, Rakernas will also include Organisational Sessions to discuss the development of AMAN’s organisation at the local, regional and national levels; the development of AMAN’s membership; AMAN central office’s budget; the strategic plan of AMAN’s 2018-2020 work program; and the recommendations and strategic decisions that are necessary to respond to the situation that Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia currently face.
Most of the Rakernas proceedings including the General Dialogue, Workshops and Organisational Sessions will be based in Wanua Koha. The main highlight of Rakernas will be the Celebration of Indigenous Peoples beginning with the Indigenous Cultural Festival on March 17, 2018, based in Fort Moraya, Tondano, Minahasa. This celebration will simultaneously commemorate the Anniversary of the Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago and the 19th anniversary of AMAN as an organisation.
From its initial establishment on March 17, 1999 until today, AMAN’s membership has grown to consist of 2,342 indigenous communities with a population of about 16-18 million people.