Amerindians are important to present-day Guyana − PM Phillips
– at Amerindian Heritage Month celebration in St Ignatius
Amerindian villages in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) came together today in celebration of Amerindian Heritage Month, for a week-long celebration at St. Ignatius.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips declared the celebration open in the presence of Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai.
The Prime Minister and Minister Sukhai travelled to the region to celebrate the rich diverse culture of the Rupununi. PM Phillips expressed the importance of Amerindians to the Guyana we know today.
“The conception of Guyana as a nation, as a country began with our Amerindian people. That is why sometimes you are referred to as our first people but as far as I’m concerned, you are our most important people because without you, there will be no Guyana as we know it today.”
He reaffirmed government’s commitment to equitably developing Guyana.
“We took a decision that the revenue from oil and gas will be utilised for the development for all the people of Guyana. It doesn’t matter if you live on the coastland or if you live in the hinterland, development must come to you in your communities,” he emphasised.
Minister Sukhai said that the celebration of Amerindians underscores government’s commitment to the ‘One Guyana’ concept.
She noted that through continuous support by the PPP/C Government, Amerindians have been empowered to be proud of their culture and tradition.
“No longer are we the people of the forest as we were once termed; however, today we are embracing our culture and identity with pride.
“We need to give credit to the PPP/C Government led by our former leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, who in his wisdom, thought that to resolve the issue of us Amerindians being looked upon as second class, that he dedicated and entire month in which we can showcase how rich our culture, tradition and custom are.”
Amerindian Heritage month is celebrated in Guyana every year in September and is being observed this year under the theme, ‘Celebrating our traditional culture while building a One Guyana.’