NTC affirms its position as legitimate representative body of Amerindians

The National Toshaos Council (NTC) has reiterated that it is the ‘sole, legal and legitimate’ body that represents the interests of Amerindians in Guyana.

Led by Chairman, Toshao Derrick John, the executive members of the body organised an outreach with toshaos of the North Pakaraimas District in Kurukabaru Monday last, where the message of the Council’s legal authority was reaffirmed.

Chairman of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), Derrick John

Toshao John informed the village leaders that it is alarming to know that there are non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which are trying to block the development of the indigenous people through misinformation. 

As such, Amerindian leaders were urged to be cautious of the information being shared.

“We are here to protect your rights and grow…We from the NTC are trying to help our indigenous brothers develop. We want to see progress happening, there are some NGOs that are on the opposite side and I want to emphasise the fact that we need to be very careful,” Toshao John expressed.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai

John reminded that it was the Amerindian People’s Association (APA) that attempted to block funding earned from Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy in 2009 and 2023, despite the fact that the same money is helping to support development in many hinterland areas.

The NTC’s team also comprised its Vice President, Toshao Sonia Latchman, Secretary, Toshao Shane Cornelius, and others.  The NTC is a semi-autonomous body comprising all toshaos in Guyana. Its executive committee consists of one toshao from each of the ten administrative regions.

This body is responsible for promoting good governance in the villages; preparing strategies and plans for the protection, conservation, and sustainable management of village lands and natural resources, and collaborating with the government to improve health education and other critical services.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal addresses the meeting

Toshaos were able to raise concerns relating to agriculture, education, Amerindian affairs, housing, and water and with commitments made by the ministers, these will be addressed at the earliest opportunity .

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, GWI’s Hinterland Services Director, Ramchand Jailal, and other invited officials were also in attendance.