The Amerindian heritage celebrations should not be reduced to three days

Dear Editor,

The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) is reliably informed that the one week of Amerindian heritage celebrations at Heritage Village, Sophia, will now only be held for three days (Sept 1-3, 2017).

This is totally inconsiderate and unacceptable since Indigenous Peoples from Guyana’s ten administrative regions will converge at Heritage Village to display their products, cuisine, beverages and handicraft, and within three days many of these items will not be sold, leaving Indigenous vendors and exhibitors at a loss and disappointed with Amerindian Heritage Month.

TAAMOG is therefore appealing to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs to abandon its decision made without consulting Indigenous vendors, and instead reschedule Amerindian Heritage Month to September 1-10. In this regard, TAAMOG proposes a simple solution: the ministry would manage the heritage celebrations at the Heritage Village from September 1-3, and then the Indigenous peoples caucus (NTC and Amerindian organizations) would take over from September 4-10. If this is not possible for the ministry, then another venue will have to be sought.

The Amerindian peoples heritage celebrations in September of every year are not about sadness, but rather joy and happiness in displaying their cultural heritage passed down to them by their ancestors. But it seems apparent that the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs is slowly moving away from the culture of Indigenous peoples.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Persaud  

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