On the occasion of Amerindian Heritage Month, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) is pleased to extend greetings and congratulations to our Amerindian brothers and sisters.

The PNCR hopes that the activities which will grace this occasion will give all Guyanese the opportunity to understand the historical contributions of the Amerindians to the development of Guyana and to give prominence to the cultural attributes of this section of our society and showcase their talents in all its richness and significance. The Guyanese people have much to learn and have learnt over the years from Amerindian expertise in various art forms, cuisine and herbal medicine.

Over the years, and beginning with the historic conference held under the auspices of the People’s National Congress (PNC) in 1969, various efforts have been made to improve the lives and living conditions of our Amerindian community. Yet it cannot be claimed that such improvement has been significant and organic enough to give the PNCR and the rest of the nation the belief that the development of Amerindian Community has reached satisfactory levels. Much more has to be done and much more must be done.

The PNCR is already on record as stating that the Amerindians must be empowered to be self sufficient and not to rely on handouts from the Government and other agencies. In particular, the PNCR is convinced that programmes must be put in place to reduce the levels of poverty within this community, which the World Bank has noted is the highest in Guyana. It is also a source of concern to the PNCR that human trafficking remains a serious problem for the Amerindian Community and it therefore calls on the Jagdeo Administration to take urgent measures to arrest and eventually end this nefarious practice.

The empowerment and greater freedom that the PNCR seeks for the Amerindian Community must be rooted in the greater availability of educational opportunities for its residents. The Party therefore calls on the Jagdeo Administration to provide a greater number of hinterland scholarships and to commit to such a decision in the shortest possible time.

The PNCR therefore takes great pleasure in wishing the Amerindian Community every success in the various activities which it will promote on this occasion and to remind its residents that the Party remains fully supportive of all measures to fully integrate its manifold economic activities into the wider economy, thereby making the Amerindian full and equal participants in the endeavour of national development.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Monday, September 01, 2008