The Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs on Friday officially launched Indigenous Heritage month celebrations at the Sophia Exhibition Centre.
Slated to commence in September, the month will be observed under the theme: ‘Maintaining our cultural practices while promoting a green economy.”
Fourth Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs Sydney Allicock said, the aim of the heritage celebrations is to bring people together to reflect and celebrate the country’s first people.
“The mission is to support in the preservation of safeguarding indigenous historical practices by embracing and enhancing all forms of social and environmental preservation in order to sustain, protect and develop these historic practices,” Minister Allicock said.
The Minister is hoping that this year they will begin the proper documentation of the indigenous history to safeguard the culture for many years to come.
“The collection of all information of our food types and other crops, we have to have it properly documented. We need to be able to create our own identity which is blended in the Guyanese society…we should be able to understand the value of what we have,” Minister Allicock said.
Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs Valerie Garrido Lowe said, with this year being the designated year of indigenous languages by the United Nations, the ministry has been conducting a number of activities to preserve, revitalize and promote the nine indigenous languages in Guyana.
“Some of the activities planned and being executed are the launching of a Patamona dictionary, compilation of an Arecuna alphabet, composition of teaching modules for Arawak, Carib and Warrau languages, storytelling and musical festivals, tourists handbook and academic debate for the need for the institutionalization of the indigenous languages,” Minister Garrido-Lowe said.
Some of the activities planned for the national heritage 2019 celebrations include a religious service, cultural extravaganza with live shows, an art exhibition at Castellani House, educational school tours and educational lectures, heritage games such as football, cricket, archery and swimming and the Miss indigenous heritage pageant.
September 10th is designated every year to celebrate the life and work of Stephen Campbell. Campbell fought for the rights of the indigenous people and for September to be the official month to celebrate the Indigenous Heritage.