The Indigenous Communities and its peoples lose a guide, friend and an ally for its cause: The Most Reverend Dominic Jala, SDB Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of ShillongAlethea
With deep sadness, The Indigenous Partnership (TIP) and NESFAS, share the news of the passing away of a close friend of the indigenous peoples. The Most Reverend Dominic Jala, SDB Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Shillong died in a tragic road accident in Colusa County, California, USA on 10th October 2019. Born on 12th July 1951 in Mawlai, Shillong, (Meghalaya, North East India) and ordained as Bishop on 2nd April 2000, Reverend Jala was loved and respected by all for his inclusive attitude, his humility, his academic and linguistic achievements and his love for his indigenous communities and landscapes.
For those who were a part of the Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 in Shillong, we will remember him as the approachable and humane leader who hosted the special dinner and a very enjoyable evening for all ITM 2015 delegates at the ground of the Mary Help of Christians, Cathedral. His initiative like that of the Sikh community of Shillong signified that faith is important but together with a humane approach towards understanding others. These are similar to the indigenous ways and the links we have developed with nature such as the “breaking of bread together” and our gathering of songs and dances which tell our stories.
Reverend Dominic Jala became a great supporter of our work at NESFAS, The Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty (TIP), the Slow Food movement and the importance of our social and moral responsibility to make our world a better and more peaceful place for everyone. When in Rome he would visit us to share our Khasi meal marking his link to our land and its peoples. He was an inspiration to all and we will remember our common pledge: unity within diversity.
May his Soul Rest in Peace. Reverend Dominic Jala you shall be remembered for your gentleness, warmth and perseverance as your legacy.
On behalf of our organisations and its friends,
-Phrang Roy, Coordinator, The Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty. (TIP), Rome