Virtual activities, engagements for Amerindian Heritage Month

mini heritage celebrations to be non-contact, alcohol free

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will be hosting a number of activities and engagements virtually this year, in observance of Amerindian Heritage Month.

Minister, Pauline Sukhai, MP, updated the media on Saturday.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, MP

“This year we’re still in the pandemic and from my understanding, our country is confirmed as having one of the variants that is referred to as the Delta variant and therefore, we are still in a position where we will not be able to hold the level of celebrations that we are accustomed to.”

The month of activities will begin with a virtual concert on September 1, which will feature artistes from the coastal areas. It will be broadcast live on HJTV, E- Networks, NCN TV, MTV 65, NTN 69 and the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs’ Facebook page.

Another activity will be hosted on September 10, and will showcase art and craft in honour of the first Indigenous parliamentarian, Stephen Campbell.

There will also be a series of sampling of Amerindian cuisine at the Ministry’s Thomas Street, Georgetown location, as well as a day of games, cultural display, talent, marathons and Cricket. However, these events will be spectator free and non-contact.

Minister Sukhai said there will also be mini heritage celebrations in several hinterland villages, which will be mainly non-contact and alcohol free.

 “We are going to ask also the location where the heritage activities are going to take place that it will be alcoholic free and observe all the protocols. We will be providing masks, sanitisers…we will have at each location, medical teams that will encourage anyone who may come to the activity to take a test or to be vaccinated.

“These will be spectator free activities, but we may very well have a few onlookers that’s why we will encourage the Ministry of Health to participate in these events too.”

The theme for this year’s observance is Maintaining our traditional integrity, celebrating our cultural identity.

“We believe that Amerindians should be proud of their background and continue to work to sustain their traditional practices by various means, they should be able to uphold their culture so that they will be able to pass it on to the current and future generation,” Minister Sukhai said.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, MP, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ryan Toolsiram and Principal Regional Development Officer, Anil Roberts

During September there will be engagements with the village leaders at the regional level.

As a result of the large number of villages in Region One, there will be two meetings in the Moruca and Mabaruma sub-districts.

The meeting for Region Seven will be in the Lower Mazaruni, while Region Eight leaders will meet in the Mahdia Sub-District and Region Nine leaders in Lethem.

An Amerindian group in traditional wear

Leaders of regions two to six and 10, will meet at Mainstay, Region Two.

“At the regional leaders meeting we expect to discuss their concerns, of course we cannot not discuss their concerns, their development challenges and of course their priority, with respect to including their developmental priorities in the upcoming budget for next year, 2022 budget.”

An Amerindian group

On the second day of the meetings, the Indigenous leaders will meet with Ministers of Government and will elect executive members of the National Toshaos Council.

All COVID-19 protocols will be observed and locations will have the adequate spacing.