Final consultations on Amerindian Act slated for this year

DPI Guyana, Monday, January 15, 2018

The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs will be conducting its final rounds of consultations on the proposed amendments to the Amerindian Act of 2006, by the end of 2018.

This was according to Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock who explained that his ministry is currently awaiting advice from its technical staff regarding the format the consultations will take this year.

Sydney Allicock, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.

The Minister told the Department of Public Information (DPI), during a recent interview, that while the process is taking longer than expected, this year it will be conducted in a more structured manner.

Minister Allicock pointed out that his ministry is very keen on respecting the process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), which is enshrined in the Act.

Additionally, Minister Allicock noted that his office will also be reviewing some of those recommendations prior to the 2006 Act. “There were lots of ideas, proposals, and suggestions that we can review, to see what might be adequate or relevant to today,” he further explained.

The Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister said that the intention is to have all the communities involved in the process. The National Toshaos Council (NTC) and the South Rupununi District Council (SRDC) will also play critical roles in the process.

Amending the Act of 2006 is expected to resolve many issues within Indigenous communities, especially those regarding land and mining.

The Amerindian Act of 2006 was intended to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Indigenous peoples, including the right to life, liberty, expression, movement and the protection from slavery and forced labour, culture, and tradition.

 

By: Synieka Thorne

 

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