VIDEO: Region Nine Toshao elected new chair of NTC
By Bibi Khatoon
The new executive body was Wednesday elected to head the National Toshaos Council (NTC) in what was described as a “free and fair” process by outgoing Chairman, Joel Fredericks.
The new body, comprising of a total of 20 members, was elected by Toshaos attending the NTC’s 2018 conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
Nicholas Fredericks from the Village of Shulinab in Region Nine was elected to Chair the body for the period 2018-2021.
Paul Pierre of Kwebana in Region One was elected as Vice Chair of the NTC; Russian Dorrick of Yupukari, Region Nine as Secretary; Marbel Thomas of Campbelltown, Region Eight as Treasurer and Loretta Fiedktou of Muritaro, Region Ten as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
For the first time in the life of the National Toshaos’ Council’s conference, a ceremonial handing over was held.
Delivering his charge to those gathered in the dome of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, the new NTC chair urged his team to work towards delivering tangible solutions to the issues affecting Indigenous people.
He also called on the Government to recognize those issues and cautioned against confrontations between the Government and the NTC.
Earlier this year, Former Vice Chairman of the NTC, Lenox Shuman was involved in a public confrontation with the Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock.
“I ask that we resolve our indifferences in a friendly and a professional manner,” the new Chair said as he turned his attention to the Ministers of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock and Valerie Garrido-Lowe who were present at the event. His comment was met with applause from those gathered.
The Ministry had accused the NTC of organizing a mass protest against the Government and failing to account for Government subventions. The statement further called out Shuman for “divisive, disingenuous and sometimes incoherent statements” made in the press.
Addressing his elected members, the Chairman added that “let us make this NTC one that will move all of the activities that was started by the previous NTC, take those things forward. That is a challenge to every one of us here.”
Outgoing chairman, Joel Fredericks charged the new executive to avoid politicizing the body. He called on the leaders to serve the persons who elected them to the best of their abilities.
“You will have to work with your executives, the Indigenous peoples and the Government of Guyana. You will have to work with them to address these issues. You don’t have to work for them, it is a different thing working with and for,” the outgoing chair told the new leaders.
The country’s Amerindian chiefs meet annually in Georgetown. The week-long meeting gives them the opportunity to meet with various government ministers and the heads of government departments in hopes of settling troubling issues.