‘Serve with integrity’ – Outgoing NTC Chairman urges fellow toshaos

─ 12th National Toshaos Conference (NTC) opens at Arthur Chung Conference Centre under the theme Preserving our past, protecting our future.”

─ leaders also urged to collaborate with gov’t for “betterment of Guyana’s first peoples” 

DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 16, 2018

Outgoing Chairman of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), Joel Fredericks charged the incoming executives to serve with integrity and defend the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana.

Addressing the opening session of the 12th Annual National Toshaos Conference today, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Fredericks said, “to the incoming leaders, if you have to stand, lay, walk and crawl, do it on principles and represent your people back home who elected you in office. This way, you will never go astray.”

This year is an important one for the council, Fredericks noted, since new faces will be representing the Indigenous Peoples of the country. He emphasised the need for toshaos, councillors and community chairpersons to continue the legacies of their past leaders, rather destroying them.

Already, the chairman said, new leaders are rubbishing projects that past leaders would have started. This, he said, must cease, since previous leaders would have invested much of their time and millions would have been spent to implement those projects.

Fredericks noted that over the past three years, the NTC has moved from hosting its meetings at the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and other public places, to establishing a secretariat, fully equipped with staff and furnishing.

The council, he said, anticipates the construction of its new secretariat once granted the lease for the land, which was presented to them last year by President David Granger. The outgoing chairman said the council also anticipates the revision of the Amerindian Act and the establishment of the Land Rights Commission.

The 212 indigenous leaders were also urged to move forward and work in collaboration with the government for the betterment of Guyana’s first peoples.

The five-day event is being held under the theme “Preserving our past, protecting our future.”

By: Synieka Thorne.

Images: Keno George.