Revision of Amerindian Act critical to addressing Amerindian land rights- Minister Allicock

Georgetown GINA, June 1, 2016

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock says there are many deficiencies in the Amerindian Act 2006, especially in the area of land rights. He said that amending the Act will help to solve many of the land issues within Indigenous communities.

The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs is in the process of consulting with stakeholders, including village leaders and the Nationals Toshaos Council (NTC), on the revision of the Amerindian Act of 2006.

During an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister Allicock explained that the issue of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), which is enshrined in the Act, was ignored over the years. This, he noted, is one of the areas the consultations is focusing on.

Allicock noted that while the process should have been at a more advanced level, Government is keen on involving all the Indigenous peoples and their representatives. The South Indigenous Group is playing a critical role in this initiative.

“We believe that some of the things could be easily amended to allow us to move the process of land settlements…We are encouraging other indigenous groups and organisations to help to come up with ideas that will assist in moving the process forward,” the minister pointed out.

The Amerindian Act of 2006 was intended to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms  of the Indigenous peoples, including the right to life, liberty, expression, movement and the protection from slavery and forced labour, culture and tradition.

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