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Encouraging the Acceleration of the Local Law on the Recognition of the Indigenous Peoples of Kutai Barat Regency

By: Ramadhana Abdul halim

Kutai Barat Regency, Kalimantan Timur Province, has issued Local Law No. 13 of 2017 concerning the Implementation of Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Law Communities (MHA).

Then the Regional’s Regulation No. 14 of 2017 concerning Status and Ancestral Territories has issued. The regulation will provide legal certainty and prevent a prolonged conflict between Indigenous Peoples versus the developer company, also among inter-communities. If the policy achieves its aim, it will encourage the establishment of a conducive business climate and investment in Kutai Barat.

The Antique Lamin Mancong (traditional house) from Kutai Barat Regency, Kalimantan Timur Province

Unfortunately, the Committee for the Establishment of Indigenous Peoples that will be in charge of the identification, verification, and validation, was established on January 17, 2022, through the Decree of the Regent of Kutai Barat No. 411.189.1/K 387/2022. We hope that such delays should not continue to drag on. A great opportunity comes when everything was done quickly and easily, considering the characteristics and typology of Indigenous Peoples in Kutai Barat have many similarities. All of them can be categorized in a single local law altogether. Similar to the experience of Lebak Regency, Banten Province, where Local Law No. 08 of 2015 can confirm 522 Indigenous Peoples Villages at once. In Kutai Barat Regency, 190 Indigenous Peoples Villages have been identified, so that could be encouraged simultaneously and together. If this could be done, it would save time and money.

Kaoem Telapak’s Team; Johanes Jenito (left), Ramadhana Abdul Halim (Middle) met with Lorensius Itang, the official of Jampang Distrik, Kutai Barat Regency

Kaoem Telapak has met with staff for the Community and Village Empowerment Service, which is the place for processing the implementation of this policy. Then, they met with the Leader of Indigenous Peoples of Kutai Barat Regency. Next, they had a meeting with members of the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN) that prepared proposals for the Local Law for recognition of Indigenous Peoples of Kutai Barat Regency. They also met with the executives of AMAN. Two days earlier, They had met with the Leader of Indigenous Peoples of Muara Tae Village, the Secretary of the Muara Tae Village Chief, the Indigenous Peoples Chairperson of the Jempang District, and the Secretary of Jempang District. This meeting is to garner support from the parties to contribute to each other according to their respective expertise and main tasks.

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