Over 1000 indigenous persons helped with various issues in 2023 – Min. Sukhai

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs’ Welfare Department has helped more than 1000 indigenous persons to resolve various matters concerning their overall well-being in 2023.

The department, which was described as “critical”, offers support to Amerindians who go to the ministry in times of need. The support often varies and includes financial assistance and the procurement of important documents among others.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai

Speaking at the ministry’s end-of-year press conference last week, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai said that the ministry always supports its indigenous people in any way it can.

“We support patients that are discharged from the hospitals. We have also been able to provide support…in terms of expending sums of money to fly them back into their villages. Our welfare cases can vary between those who find themselves stranded in Georgetown and those who have difficult financial circumstances,” Minister Sukhai explained.

The minister said these indigenous persons were both from the coastland and hinterland regions.

Meanwhile, to further bring ease to Amerindians living in the far-stretched areas, the department also helped with birth certificate applications.

Ministry of Amerindian Affairs

“We do not do the work of the General Register Office (GRO) however, we perform a supporting role to assist villagers who may not have the opportunity to have registration officers in their area. So, they can go to the village council office, and the Toshaos were last year given legal authority to address birth certificate applications,” the minister stated.

She noted that the action is for the Toshaos to stamp and verify that the persons applying are from the village.

The applications will then be transferred to the ministry and its officers will follow through until the documents are issued by the GRO.

It was also noted that the ministry sometimes helps in the application process for persons who go directly to their office in Georgetown.

“So, last year we did about 146,100 applications and we have received the majority of those already. This process is very helpful and I think this is an achievement because there are no registration officers in certain villages,” Minister Sukhai recounted.