(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – On March 12th, 2018 a select group of representatives from regional indigenous and tribal communities met to discuss the way forward for the Network of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples which was formed after a meeting of regional indigenous groups co-sponsored by the IMPACT Justice Project and the University of Guyana in October, 2017.
The meeting was held at the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Conference Room, Kingstown, St. Vincent and Grenadines.
Continuing its support for indigenous peoples in the region, the Canadian Government funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project sponsored the participation of 11 persons who represented the National Toshaos Council, Guyana; the Association of Saramaka Authorities, Suriname; the National Garifuna Council of Belize; The Maya Leaders Alliance and Maya South Community, Belize; the Indigenous Platform ESAV, Suriname; the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS); the Kalinago Council, Dominica and the Garifuna Community residing in Trinidad. Also in attendance were members of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Professor Velma Newton, Regional Project Director of the IMPACT Justice Project, who delivered brief remarks on behalf of the Project.
At the meeting, the topics tabled for discussion included a review of regional and international processes of importance to Caribbean indigenous and tribal peoples, the objectives and membership of the Network, the functions of the Network and the development of a sustainability strategy.
The meeting falls amongst a number activities hosted by the Garifuna Heritage Foundation to commemorate St. Vincent’s National Heroes Day and Heritage Month.