Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indigenous Peoples plan OAS Summit Participation

UCTP Taino News - The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC), have initiated a meeting to discuss the upcoming 3rd Indigenous Leaders Summit of the Americas (3rd ILSA). The primary goal of the 3rd ILSA is to precede and inform the Organization of American States’ 5th Summit of the Americas to be held in Trinidad.

Indigenous leaders from the Americas will participate in this event, including women, youth and Elder leaders from across hemisphere. A secondary goal is to continue the policy dialogue initiated in the first two Indigenous Summits and move this dialogue forward to focus on implementation of the measures necessary for the previous Declarations and Plans of Actions to be fully realized.

A preliminary ILSA Planning Committee meeting is scheduled to take place February 27-28 in Ottawa, Ontario, to be preceded by a teleconference call in the very near future.

The planning committee meeting will be co-hosted by Grand Chief Edward John, AFN and President Beverley Jacobs, NWAC.

Among the confirmed participants for the planning meeting is Roberto Mukaro Borrero of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP). Commenting on the meeting Borrero noted “as this international summit is taking place in Trinidad, this is an historic opportunity to increase the visibility of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples.”

Borrero also noted “Trinidad and Tobago is home to a recognized indigenous community and is the current Chair of the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP). It is more than appropriate for this reality to be highlighted before the international community who will be gathered at this event.”

The 5th Summit of the Americas is taking place from April 17-19, 2009 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

UCTPTN 02.25.2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sukhai cites secure livelihoods initiative for Amerindians

Norton says development far from being realized

Guyana (Stabroek News) - Development in Amerindian communities is far from being realized says PNCR-1G Member of Parliament (MP), Dr. George Norton but Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai strongly rebutted this and pointed to a new initiative to secure livelihoods.

Norton’s charge of under-development in Amerindian communities came as he joined in debating the 2009 Budget at Parliament. He declared that on his visits to hinterland communities, he has been hearing residents using words such as discrimination and oppressed to describe their situation.

He said that the residents faced problems such as lack of jobs, no markets for produce, lack of water supply and poor infrastructure. Norton named several communities, such as Mabaruma and Annai among others, where, he said, these problems were prevalent. In Mabaruma, he said, no water flowed through the pipes, though money was allocated for the rehabilitation of the area’s well, in last year’s budget. Norton declared that with regard to infrastructure, there were many in various communities, in need of repairs and rehabilitation. With regard to money budgeted for the airstrip at Mahdia, he questioned the necessity of that project stating that other communities were more in need.

The MP however noted that the Region Eight community needs a reliable supply of electricity.

Further, Norton pointed out, the hospitals at Mabaruma, Linden and Lethem are still to come on stream, with the one at Lethem encountering problems such as cracked walls, leaking roof and an unstable electrical system. He added that there was a staff shortage in the health sector country-wide.

Fellow PNCR-1G MP, Desmond Fernandes adding his voice to the debate stated that it seemed that some people are more equal than some and referring to hinterland residents being unable to access television and radio signals, stated that in the age of advanced science and technology, all peoples should be given equal opportunities.

He declared that at Matthew’s Ridge the roads and the lights are “bad” but there is nothing mentioned in the Budget for the community except for the rehabilitation of a guest house. “It is important that we spend the money wisely”, he stated. He disclosed that several machines purchased by the region had quickly broken down.

Positively eventful

But in a robust defence of Government’s policy, Sukhai declared that Norton had painted a dismal picture of the situation in Amerindian communities stating that 2008 was “positively eventful” and changes occurred at the Ministerial level resulting in a strengthened number of Amerindians at the policy-making levels and at cabinet. She asserted that last year the Ministry successfully delivered all the goods and services that were budgeted for to support Amerindian development.

Describing the Budget as “Guyana’s stimulus programme”, she declared that the PPP government can be described as a “creative government” exemplified by their sustaining political cohesion and encouraging an emerging social compact with stakeholders through dialogue and engagement at the national level.

The Amerindian Affairs Minister stated that the Hinterland Regional Budget will deal with the issues raised by Norton.

“That budget is crafted in favour of further adding to increased investment in hinterland educational opportunities at the nursery to secondary levels”, she declared. She had noted that the construction of the new student hostel at Liliendaal for hinterland students studying in the city, will commence this year

Giving a list of achievements by her Ministry, Sukhai stated that each year the Ministry executes a grant fund for economic and community development projects and last year over 100 communities embarked on and completed several projects.

She asserted the 2009 Budget highlights continued focus on new and emerging sectors, some of which will impact on hinterland communities.

She stated that this year the Ministry will embark on securing the livelihood of Amerindians and will be facilitating various initiatives commencing with a Hinterland Secure Livelihood Strategy.

She asserted that the Ministry will aggressively pursue support for emerging enterprises for communities and settlements within the Ministry of Agriculture’s READ project.

According to the minister, should one visit the Rupununi, the “tarnished image” presented by Norton would “very well be dismissed”.

She declared that the region has moved ahead and listing some projects that will commence this year including the delineation of the boundaries of the Kanuku Mountain Protected Area.

Sukhai further noted that a number of roads and bridges will be constructed in several communities while the completion and rehabilitation of schools is also on the cards. She declared that there is a long list of water projects to be undertaken this year and most, if not all of the villages have health huts. Their lives have been greatly enhanced, she declared.

Rounding off Monday night’s session, which ended at around 11 pm, PPP/C MP Farouk Mohamed stated that there has been development in Region Two and it is moving ahead at an accelerated pace.

If one could not see this, he said, he would arrange for them to be on the Cuban Mission Miracle programme, which deals with eyesight.

Source: Stabroek News

Author: Gaulbert Sutherland

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Indigenous Fellowship Programmes / Programas de Becas para Pueblos Indígenas


Indigenous Fellowship Programmes

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organises every year an Indigenous Fellowship Programme, which is an extensive training programme aimed at strengthening indigenous representatives' knowledge of the United Nations system, general Human Rights mechanisms and other mechanisms more specifically dealing with indigenous issues. This programme is exclusively for indigenous persons. It is implemented in close cooperation with University partners and other UN agencies. Trained participants are better equipped to assist their organisations and communities in using existing international instruments and mechanisms to protect their rights. This training programme is available in 4 languages: English, Spanish, French and Russian. For more information on the fellowship programme, please visit our website:

Deadlines to apply to the 2010 programmes per linguistic versions are:

- English: 30 April 2009
- Spanish: 15 July 2009
- French: to be confirmed
- Russian: 30 September 2009


Programas de Becas para Pueblos Indígenas

La Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (ACNUDH) organiza cada año un Programa de Becas para pueblos indígenas cual finalidad es fortalecer los conocimientos de representantes indígenas sobre el systema de las Naciones Unidas, mecanismos de derechos humanos, especialmente aquellos que analizan cuestiones indígenas. Este programa se desarolla exclusivamente para representantes indígenas. Está organizado en estrecha colaboración con Universidades y otras agencias de las Naciones Unidas. Los becarios capacitados están en mejor situación para ayudar a sus organizaciones y comunidades a utilizar estos intrumentos y mecanismos para proteger sus derechos. El programa de formación existe en 4 idiomas: Inglés, Español, Francés y Ruso. Para obtener más información sobre el Programa de Becas, puede visitar nuestra página web:

Las fechas límites para mandar sus solicitudes a los Progamas de Becas 2010 son (por componente linguístico):

- Inglés: el 30 de abril de 2009
- Español: el 15 de julio de 2009
- Francés: queda por confirmar
- Ruso: el 30 de septiembre de 2009