Get involved – Hughes advises Indigenous leaders
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Indigenous leaders were urged to be more involved in decisions that directly impact their daily lives by Attorney at Law Nigel Hughes. The charge was made on the second day of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference.
Making reference to Article 13 of Guyana’s Constitution, Hughes told the Toshaos that the constitution gives them the right to be consulted before decisions are made that affect them.
He stated that “the constitution is the supreme law and it says that you have a right to participate, then you have to go to those people who make decisions that affect you and ask them not only why you were not consulted but why you were not part of the decision making.”
Hughes encouraged the indigenous leaders to engage with
relevant authorities whenever decisions are being made, since having an input in decisions that impact their lives will foster enhanced development for their communities.
“Anything that directly affects you whether it is health, education, construction, road building, anything, not only must you be consulted, you have to be part of the decision making and it is in the constitution… it means that you as leaders of the community have to go back and say to the powers that be, not only that you want to be consulted, you want to be present when you make decisions that affect us” Hughes explained.
The Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock whilst noting the need for more consultation between the wider body of the NTC and its Executive, reminded the Toshaos that his ministry is committed to developing the management, accounting, reporting, planning and negotiating skills of indigenous leaders so that they can be better positioned to meet the various challenges facing their communities.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite