The Commission on Higher Education (CHEDRO XI) participated in the 1st Philippine Higher Education Conference on Indigenous Peoples and Peace Education held on July 4-5, 2024, at Malaybalay City, Bukidnon hosted by Bukidnon State University (BukSU). The activity was chaired by Commissioner Ronald Adamat, the oversight Commissioner for IP and Peace Education, who has been a driving force in promoting the integration of indigenous knowledge into higher education. His dedication to this cause, as evidenced by the comprehensive and inclusive agenda of the conference, was a key factor in the success of the event. The conference was also attended by Regional Directors, CHED personnel from both the Central Office and CHED Regional Offices, and  HEIs from all over the country.

The theme of the conference, ‘Building Indigenous Knowledge for Inclusivity and Sustainability’ (BIGKIS), was a clear statement of the event’s main goal. It aimed to emphasize the importance of integrating Indigenous knowledge into the higher education framework to foster inclusivity and sustainability. The conference provided a platform for HEIs to showcase their best practices in the implementation of IP Studies, highlighting successful models and innovative approaches.

This two-day event featured six (6) keynote addresses on relevant and significant topics and cultural presentations that underscored the vital role of indigenous wisdom in addressing contemporary challenges. The conference also included a series of competitions showcasing the talents and innovations of participants. Notable achievements included: 1. Vocal Solo Competition, in which CHEDRO XI emerged as the champion, with an outstanding performance by the representative from UM Digos College. 2. The Contemporary Dance Competition with UM Digos College garnered the 2nd Runner-up position, showcasing a remarkable fusion of traditional and contemporary dance styles. 3. The Most Innovative HEI in Implementing IP and Peace Education was highlighted with the entry of the University of Southeastern Philippines, which emerged and was honored as the 2nd Runner-up, recognizing their innovative approaches in incorporating Indigenous Peoples (IP) and peace education into their curriculum.

The success of the 1st Philippine Higher Education Conference on Indigenous Peoples Education marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to integrate Indigenous knowledge into academic settings. The conference highlighted the importance of inclusivity and sustainability and set the stage for future initiatives by signing the Commitment Board, which is meant to support empowering indigenous communities and preserving their rich cultural heritage.