Rukka Sombolinggi

Secretary General
Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN)

Rukka is the first female Secretary General of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN)-the world’s largest Indigenous Peoples organization.

Rukka is a Torajan from the highlands of Sulawesi, a starfish-shaped island the size of Florida. Her people have gained notoriety for their elaborate funeral rituals and the way they have built a local tourism industry while preserving their cultural identity.

She is known for her fiery oratory and her longtime dedication to the indigenous rights movement. Her parents hosted a meeting in 1993 that is often cited as its genesis in Indonesia.

Rukka completed her bachelor degree from the Faculty of Agriculture, Hasanuddin University and her Master degree in Political Science the University of Chulalongkorn, Thailand.

Before joining AMAN in 1999, Rukka worked for JAPHAMA (Jaringan Pembelaan Hak-hak Masyarakat Adat), a network of Indigenous Peoples’ defenders-one of the main groups that convened the first congress of Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia in March 1999 during which AMAN was established.

Rukka joined UNDP Regional Indigenous Peoples Programme at UNDP Asia Pacific Reginal Centre in Bangkok, Thailand as Program Specialist in 2007 and returned to AMAN in early 2011 as Project Manager. Later that year she is assigned as the Chair of Organizing Committee of the Fourth Indigenous Peoples Congress in Halmahera, North Maluku, which gather more than one thousand indigenous representatives from across Indonesia.

From 2009-2012 Rukka as a member of Executive Council of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact/AIPP representing Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Timor Leste. Rukka has written the Indonesian Chapter of the Indigenous World, an annual global report on indigenous peoples by the International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs based in Copenhagen, Denmark.