Orealla wants revised Amerindian Act to address governance issues

GINA Guyana, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The mismanagement of hinterland community’s projects and resources is an issue that residents of Orealla want addressed in the revised Amerindian Act.

The matter came up when Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock visited the village over the weekend.

Project Coordinator in the ministry, Jude Da Silva, said that the first phase of the consultations is completed.

Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Project Coordinator, Jude DaSilva among those gathered at the workshop held on the review of the Amerindian Act

The sessions are being spearheaded by the ministry, along with the National Toshao Council (NTC) and the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA).

Last week, the NTC and the APA held a three day workshop in Georgetown, where Attorney at Law, Nigel Hughes thoroughly went through the Act with the team.

The residents of Orealla are asking for an opportunity to make their input in the process of revising the Act.

One resident said that in its current state, the Act is ambiguous and does not firmly address proper governance within communities

The project coordinator explained that the first stage of the consultations allowed for the two organisations to make their observations and recommendations on the Act.

The team will then submit those proposals to Minister Allicock after which, the second phase of the consultations will begin.

DaSilva said that one of the common issues coming out of the consultation was, governance.  He said most of the Toshaos do not have any records and cannot give account for village funds and projects.

Da Silva said a suggestion was made for a secretary to be part of the Village Council who would be responsible for record keeping. He said this would ensure that when a Toshao leaves office, the one taking over will have records of the assets.

The Amendment of the Amerindian Act (2006) address land rights, governance and other Indigenous rights.


By: Synieka Thorne