The PNCR takes pride in its association with the many activities which are being held by the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana, during the month of September 2010, to showcase their talents in all its richness and significance, and to popularize their various art forms, cuisine and herbal medicines.

Despite the efforts of the Administration and its sycophants, we wish to remind the people of Guyana that Amerindian Heritage Month was initiated by the PNC through the Commemorative Committee, in 1988, for the purpose of highlighting the fact that Guyana is a nation of multiculturalism, ethnic diversity and social pluralism. Therefore, the programmes of activities, for the annual commemoration of Amerindian Heritage Month, were intended to amply demonstrate this reality.

The sad fact is that, though there have been various programmes directed at improving the lives of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana, the levels of development of the Indigenous Communities still remain unsatisfactory; due mainly to the absence of genuine consultation with the Indigenous Communities to agree their own priorities for the development of their Communities.

Immediate attention need to be paid to the provision of adequate national resources, in these communities, especially for education, health and transportation. It is also vital, for the sustainability of the heritage of those communities that no new economic or development activities are allowed to undermine and destroy the way of life of the Indigenous Peoples.

The PNCR is of the opinion, and this is supported by various international reports, that not enough is being done to protect the Indigenous communities from the threatening scourge of human trafficking. The Jagdeo Administration must take credible steps to arrest and bring these activities to an end.

According to a recent World Bank Report, the levels of poverty are highest in the Indigenous Communities in Guyana. The PNCR calls upon the Administration to implement sustainable programmes to reduce the levels of poverty, in these communities, including programmes which empower them to become self-sufficient, rather than those that are now prevalent which perpetuate their dependency and reliance on handouts from Governments and other agencies.

As the 2011 National and Regional Elections approach, it is evident that these practices have become a prominent feature of the Government’s campaign to buy the votes of our Indigenous peoples. In the circumstances, the PNCR calls upon the Jagdeo Government to stop playing propaganda games and engaging in political manipulation of our Indigenous peoples.

The PNCR wishes our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers Happy Heritage Month celebrations and assures them that our Party continues to be irrevocably committed to the implementation of programmes for the empowerment of the Indigenous Communities while respecting their way of life.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 10 September 2010

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