Warrau language project gets $2M boost – Kamwatta Hill residents urged to preserve their heritage

Georgetown, GINA, June 21, 2016

The sum of $2M was donated to the residents of the Warrau community of Kamwatta Hill, in Region One for the revival of their language. The money was handed over to Toshao, Ronald Manano by Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe while on a recent visit to the region.

The Minister said, the revival of the Warrau language plays a major role in helping the Indigenous people identify with their culture. Once the programme gets off the ground, Minister Lowe stated, “They will know where they came from and where they want to go.”

Toshao Manano noted, “This here is a good initiative for the younger youths. In a way they can learn the language, they can speak it anywhere… I myself can join the programme and other elders who are interested,” Manano stated.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe handing over the $2M cheque to Toshao of Kamwatta Hill, Ronald Manano

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe handing over the $2M cheque to Toshao of Kamwatta Hill, Ronald Manano

The Indigenous people were encouraged to start documenting their lives as was done in the past by their ancestors. “I went to Aishalton and I saw the hieroglyph on the rocks nicely carved out… that was done 7000 years ago, according to archeologists. So we have to start documenting our lives which will become our history,” the Minister urged.

The money will go towards providing payment for a teacher for the Warrau language. Also, craft, singing and dancing will be part of the classes, to aid in the preservation of the people’s culture.

President David Granger at the launch of Indigenous Heritage month in September 1, 2015, noted that while many of the older folks spoke in tribal tongue, the younger generations are not keen on preserving it.

President Granger stated “It is, therefore, important that those languages be preserved and practiced because for many it is the most efficient means of personal communication… we are all poorer when we are not able to communicate with each other.”

At the Heritage launch, it was also announced by the Head of State that government will re-establish the Amerindian Language Project under the name Indigenous Language Project. The project will soon commence at the University of Guyana as part of cultural preservation.

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