Public building to be renamed after indigenous political leader

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The public building which currently houses the Ministry of Citizenship at 164 Waterloo Street, North Cummingsburg, Georgetown, will be renamed in honour of the Indigenous political leader, Stephen Joseph Campbell.

This is according to Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr George Norton.

1st Arawak Parliamentarian in Guyana – Stephen Campbell

A statement making this disclosure from the Ministry of the Presidency did not give reason for the decision but instead pointed to Campbell’s importance to the Indigenous peoples and in the history of Guyana.

The statement noted that consideration is also being given to the possibility of erecting a monument in Campbell’s honour at some time in the future.

Born in Moruca, British Guiana on December 26, 1897, he was the first Guyanese of Indigenous descent to have become of a Member of Parliament.

Campbell is widely regarded as a hero in Indigenous communities after having fought for their right to vote, land rights and for increased remunerations for captains, the statement said.

The Ministry outlined his fight for indigenous land rights, leading to the establishment of the Amerindian Act. Campbell is said to have also advocated for matters including agriculture and education.

In 1964, he was re-elected to the House of Assembly where he was made Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs with special responsibility for Amerindian Affairs.

Campbell’s contributions are celebrated every year on September 10, during the Annual Indigenous Heritage Month celebrations.

He died on May 12, 1966, two weeks before British Guiana obtained Independence.

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