On Sunday the 19th March, the Fifth Indigenous Peoples Archipelago Congress (KMAN) created a new history in the struggle of the indigenous peoples of the archipelago. Rukka Sombolinggi, an indigenous woman from Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, was elected as Secretary General of The Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) for the period of 2017-2022. Rukka replaced Abdon Nababan, who officiated AMAN as Secretary General for 10 years.
Before the selection process began, the entire indigenous community and membership of AMAN, deliberated in order to propose names of candidates. There were 5 candidates who passed the verification and were willing to become Secretary General of AMAN. They were Rukka Sombolinggi, Mina Setra, Eustobio Renggi, Arifin Monang Saleh and Simpun Sampurna.
During the election process on Sunday evening, each candidate conveyed their visions and missions in front of thousands of indigenous people who were present at the congress. Monang was one of the candidate who emphasized strengthening the economic organization. “We must harness the economic potential of indigenous people so that we do not become beggars” Monang said.