Trinidad & Tobago (UCTP Taino News) – Under the theme “exploring heritage, consolidating traditions, and creating a legacy” First Peoples Week was celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago from October 11-19, 2013. The celebrations raised the visibility of Trinidad’s Indigenous Peoples, as well as other Indigenous Peoples from around the Circum-Caribbean region.
The events began with an international conference held at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UCTT) and continued through the week with several cultural events in Arima, home of the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community. The activities were co-sponsored by the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community, the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration.
Invited participants to this year’s celebrations included delegates of Indigenous Peoples of Guyana, Suriname, Belize, Venezuela, Dominica, St Vincent, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Canada and the USA. Among the various issues presented during the week, the Santa Rosa First People’s Community is calling for a national holiday to honor the island’s Indigenous Peoples.
The final day of the scheduled activities included a meeting of the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP). The meeting was held at the newly expanded Santa Rosa First Peoples Community Center in Arima. During the historic proceedings COIP officially welcomed its newest member, the United Confederation of Taino People.