The indigenous peoples of the Cordillera remain in full control of their own land, resources, and politics. A high level of education, a strong work ethic, and a passion for independence have created an engaged and capable populace that has been able to stand up to every effort to exploit their resources. The tribes of the Cordillera have had to fight to keep control of their land and lives, but so far they have always prevailed, a stark contrast to the fate of so many indigenous people. Throughout the region the tribal people embrace their identity with pride and keep their rituals alive even as they adapt to the modern world.
Visitors expecting stereotyped "primitive" tribes may be disconcerted by the extent to which the Cordillerans have adjusted to the modern world: these are communities, not museums. If yu look beyond the surface you will see living, evolving traditional cultures. Many areas discourage or prohibit staging rituals for tourists or dressing in traditional attire for photo ops; we support and cooperate with these efforts. The extent to which culture becomes an attraction must be decided by the communities themselves. Travelers who approach Cordillera cultures with respect, seeking education, not exploitation, will find a receptive populace eager to share their knowledge and history.