Caribbean Indigenous peoples to establish regional body

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana , Oct. 12, CMC – A regional mechanism will be established to address issues affected indigenous peoples of the Caribbean.
This is the outcome of a three day conference held here during which representatives highlighted the need for consultation with Indigenous peoples of the different localities before the body is formally established and electing representatives.
Indigenous representatives from Guyana, Suriname, and Belize have agreed that the Suriname will be the focal point for a network of representatives from each jurisdiction to comprise a functioning working group which will be tasked with creating such an organisation.
Jean La Rose, Executive Director of the Amerindian People’s Association of Guyana, said the issues affecting Indigenous people in the Caribbean region are common, therefore, such a regional body will give them a stronger unified voice.
“Latin America, because of the number of countries and because of the large population as opposed to the Caribbean countries, often receives the attention and dominates. We are hoping that forming a separate caucus we can have more visibility for the Caribbean indigenous peoples,” La Rose explained.
When established, the regional representative body will make arguments on behalf of the Caribbean Indigenous Peoples at the regional and international level.
A previous organization was created in 1990, however, that is no longer functional hence the need for a new representative body.
The three-day seminar was facilitated by the Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) a five-year Regional Justice Sector Reform Project funded by the Government of Canada.

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