HEYS youths consulted on Amerindian Act revision

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs Sydney Allicock

Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs Sydney Allicock

Youths in Region Eight who are engaged in the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) programme have begun making inputs on the revision of the Amerindian Act of 2006. This follows consultations which started at the National Toshaos Conference in August, 2016.

According to Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), during the consultations, residents of nearby communities were also invited to share their ideas.

Minister Garrido-Lowe said that, from the feedback received from facilitator Jimmy James, who is also conducting the consultations, residents were enthusiastic about the process and have already made a few recommendations.

“He (James) told me recently, that people, they are very interested, the communities are very interested and came up with one or two suggestions towards the amendments,” the Minister explained.

Though the consultations are somewhat small, Minister Garrido-Lowe said they are proving to be effective as everyone involved has a copy of the act and can peruse it thoroughly.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock hailed the efforts being made thus far, and explained that mass consultations will commence once funding is approved in the 2017 National Budget by the National Assembly.

Minister Allicock pointed out that before the Act can be amended, everyone that it affects must be consulted. Such a wide consultation will be time consuming; however, the Minister noted that additional steps have commenced to aid the process.

The Minister explained that, “we have already started in terms of the paper work, looking at budget for the first year and hopefully we would be able to find some other funding to help us.”

During the National Toshaos Conference in August, 212 indigenous leaders began the process of revision of the 2006 Amerindian Act. While their recommendations were many, all agreed that there is dire need for their rights to land and protection of their resources.

 

By Isaiah Braithwaite

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