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Lakbay Ata project launches with Ata Exhibit

November 26, 2022

(left to right) IP Advocates, Dr. Romeo Teruel – Asst. Vice-Chancellor for Research, Dr. Sheilla Trajera – Director, Center of Linkages and Internationalization Affairs, and Dr. Sheila Uy – Dean, College of Education.*

The University of St. La Salle’s College of Education Student Council launched the year-long Lakbay Ata initiative with the exhibit entitled “Pag-ulikid: The Ata Exhibit” at Museo De La Salle Bacolod last November 21, 2022.

Pag-ulikid: The Ata Exhibit showcases the lives and ways of the Ata tribes of Sagay, Cadiz, and Don Salvador Benedicto. The projects established by the USLS College of Education for the past few years, through different forms of media and arts, are also featured in this exhibit. This activity is also part of the extended celebration for the National Indigenous People’s Month of October.

“The Lakbay Ata project is a year-long journey of this Ata Exhibit that will promote awareness about our IP tribes through appreciation of their arts and crafts. We will tour this exhibit to the different schools around Negros. We hope to share this with other students to ignite their intellectual curiosity and nurture their appreciation of the arts,” adds Chair for the Secondary Education Department June Carl Seran.

USLS College of Education alumna Vejiel Velez, the first education college graduate from the Ata tribe, inspired this project as she had been passionately sharing their lives and the stories from her home. Teacher Vejiel is now teaching at Bagong Silang Elementary School in their ancestral domain in the mountains of Don Salvador Benedicto. Her sister Jaquelyn is also a teacher-in-the-making and heads the IP committee of the student council.

Dr. Sheila Uy, Dean of the USLS College of Education, first started the efforts because she believed that the Atas should be included and be part of the conversation in the scope of the Negritos in Southeast Asia. This project is in line with the college’s partnership with Project FORTH (Formation of Teachers in Emerging Challenged Areas), an Erasmus Mundus-funded project by the European Union. The USLS faculty recently presented the needs assessment in the implementation of the IP education curriculum in Bagong Silang Elementary School to Project FORTH in their European study visit in Brussels, Belgium.

The Lakbay Ata Project was also hailed as one of the national finalists for the 19th Search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organization Award (TAYO) in 2021. With this accomplishment, the student council hopes to bring more help and support for the Ata Learning Hub to be built in the coming year.

The Pag-ulikid Exhibit at Museo De La Salle Bacolod was open to all students to visit from November 21 to 25, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. For more information, contact the FB page: USLS College of Education Student Council.*

College of Education Faculty with the Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Dr. Ricver Ureta and President and Chancellor, Br. Joaquin Severino Martinez FSC during the Project FORTH presentation in the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.*
Jaquelyn Velez, Ata teacher in the making, demonstrates how to play their indigenous game, “kasing” to the students.*
The First College of Education graduate of the Ata Tribe, Teacher Vejiel Velez of Bagong Silang Elementary School.*
Ata kids making their artworks from local pigments found in their ancestral domain.*

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