NTC pleased with PPP/C Govt’s approach to Amerindian Peoples’ development

Ministry of Amerindian Affairs

Press Release

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Amerindian Land Titling, COVID-19 and other health challenges, Heritage celebrations, agriculture and sustainable economic projects were discussed when Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Hon. Pauline Sukhai, met with the Executive of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), on Tuesday.

The Minister engaged the NTC Chairman, Mr. Nicholas Fredericks and his team at the Ministry’s Thomas and Quamina Streets location.

“We look forward to working with you at the National Toshaos’ Council to see how we can together bring about a resolution. We have seen your comprehensive press releases which are very good for the priority needs of our people, and I think already you have hit the ground at a pace,” Mr. Fredericks assured the Minister.

He added that the NTC is prepared to get down to work “considering for the last few months there was a great lapse, and we were unable to carry on our functions as normal, and we look forward to a good working relationship”.

Minister Sukhai expressed gratitude to the NTC for its continued commitment to the Indigenous Peoples and pledged to build a strong relationship with the highest representative body for the country’s First Peoples.

Since returning to the fore, Minister Sukhai highlighted significant deficiencies as it relates to the Ministry’s governance structure under the previous APNU+AFC Coalition Administration which, she noted, has greatly disadvantaged the Indigenous Peoples.

“We will address the services that have been denied, the opportunity to have health services in the hinterland, the improvement was lacking, supplies continue to be almost non-existent in some regions… We have to return to a service delivery approach from this Ministry, in terms of ensuring that our representative position forces the other sectors to respond. We have started to do that”, the Minister said.

She has since assured the NTC that with its support, the Ministry will move assiduously to end the stagnant posture of the ALT Project in particular. At the same time, efforts will intensify in the areas of livelihood projects, housing and youth development and agriculture pursuits, all to the benefit of the Indigenous peoples.

“Agriculture support has suddenly gone under, there’s no free acoushi ants bait, no chemicals or pesticides which were provided free to our Indigenous communities in Regions 7, 8 and 9. That has gone under, and we have to move back to focusing on where we can support agriculture development”, Minister Sukhai told the NTC representatives.

Touching on the annual NTC Conference, and the Heritage Month Celebrations, the Minister noted that due to COVID-19 restrictions nationally, a different approach will be taken. Details on Heritage Celebrations will be revealed shortly.