DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 09, 2017
The rich and diverse culture of Guyana’s Indigenous people will be significantly showcased during the annual Heritage Month celebrations under the theme, ‘Guyana’s First Peoples; Sustaining a Rich Cultural Environment.’
The month long celebration was officially launched, at the Umana Yana, Kingston, Georgetown, on Wednesday.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe noted the launch was timely, as it coincided with International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which is observed globally.
Apart from the various villages’ celebrations, a number of events are planned for the month long heritage celebration.
The activities will commence August 31 with the customary inter-religious service, followed by the heritage ceremonial launch on September 01, where the president will deliver a feature address.
From September 02-06, there will be the food and craft exhibition, along with a cultural extravaganza at the Heritage Village. This year’s National Heritage Village is St Cuthbert’s Mission also known as Pakuri.
One of the highlights at the launch today was the announcement of the winner of the Heritage Jingle Competition, Julian ‘The Mighty Pakuri’ Kattow.
Minister Garrido-Lowe said that in many countries, Indigenous people suffer injustices simply because they are the First
People and want to be recognised as such. Many are advocating and literally fighting for their land and some of the most outspoken; some of the bravest have died for this cause.
“Governments have been working with our Indigenous peoples to ensure that land is legally owned by villages and communities across Guyana. The process is ongoing, through the Amerindian Land Titling Project,” Minister Garrido- Lowe highlighted.
The Minister took the opportunity to highlight some of the projects and programmes being rolled-out by government to improve the living standards of the Indigenous peoples. The Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS), the Community Development Project (CDP) and Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) and the Jubilee Grant project are just a few of those ongoing initiatives.
“Most importantly, we have a president who believes and understands that the hinterland is not another nation and that we have to genuinely work to close the gap between the hinterland and the coast and we are doing that. Since we entered government in 2015 we have been working hard to reduce that gap,” Minister Garrido-Lowe noted.
By: Synieka Thorne