Ten Indigenous persons honoured for their contribution to community development

─ Life of Stephen Campbell remembered at event

DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 10, 2018

Ten Indigenous leaders were toasted for their invaluable contributions to community development, at the Reflection on the Life of Stephen Campbell today, at the Umana Yana, Kingston.

Among those honoured for their contribution in the area of education, health and community development were; Johnathan Jarvis and Edwards Anthony Jarvis and Olga Chacon, Region One; Morris Leyland Jeffery, Region Two; Region Four, Lloyd Andrews and Amanda Mahadeo; Region Five, Sylvie Henry; Region Six, Rudolph Peneux; Region Eight, Dianna Abraham; Region Nine, John Medas Alfred and Janet Rema Yaymochi.

First Lady Mrs. Sandra Granger, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock and Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, Minister of Public Affairs, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Minister with within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, and Permanent Secretary, Alfred King along with the awardees at the reflection on the life of Stephen Campbell at the Umana Yana, Kingston.

The late Stephen Campbell, Guyana’s first Amerindian Member of Parliament, is widely regarded as a hero by the Indigenous communities, and his achievements are celebrated on September 10 every year as a part of activities to commemorate Heritage Month.

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs’ Sydney Allicock described Campbell as “Jack of all Trades and Master for the representation of land rights for the Indigenous peoples.” He said Campbell was a visionary and most of what he represented is still relevant today.

Today, the Indigenous peoples can boast of having access to roads, radio, and ICT in keeping with the government’s vision of bridging the gap between the hinterland and the coastland, Minister Allicock emphasised.

The minister encouraged the Indigenous population to use the opportunity to remember all those who would have fought for their rights and contributed to the development of Guyana.

Also noting the importance of today’s celebration was Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe. The minister described Stephen Campbell as a “strong man and a fighter for the rights of the Indigenous Peoples”.

Among his achievements were his efforts towards crafting an Amerindian Act, and improving access to health and education services, and agriculture development. Minister Garrido-Lowe underscored the importance of Campbell’s role in ensuring that the Indigenous peoples were given legal rights of their lands.

“Indigenous peoples must remember that their lands are valuable to them…We take for granted that somebody had to make representation for us to have our lands and that person was Stephen Campbell.”

Also in attendance of the event were First Lady Mrs. Sandra Granger, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, Minister of Public Affairs, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Minister with within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings.

By: Synieka Thorne.

Image: Keno George.

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