President Donald Ramotar last evening paid tribute to his Party for the quiet revolution of development that has taken place in the hinterland.
Addressing the large crowd at the launching of Amerindian Heritage Month 2013, at the Amerindian Village, Sophia Exhibition Complex, President Ramotar said that only under the People’s Progressive Party (PPPC) did Amerindians experience development.
Also present were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and several Cabinet members. The President said that historically Amerindian development posed a tremendous challenge. He said that during the colonial era, the neglect was almost absolute in Amerindian communities and during this period, it was thanks to the churches, that in some areas, basic education was afforded to Amerindians.
“We also introduced at that time health services, a service that was almost totally absent in Amerindian communities,” he said.
During his address, the President posited that he believes strongly that the transformation being witnessed in the hinterland has to do with the administration’s investment in education and because of the presence of more educated Hinterland residents.
This year, Amerindian Heritage Month celebration is being held under the theme, “Honouring our culture; advancing our future.” President Ramotar tonight suggested that one of the ways Amerindians can preserve, develop, advance and build on their culture is to preserve their language.
He pointed out that “language is extremely important in any culture” and that “losing a language is losing a large part of the culture.” He urged that the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs do all it can to help the nine tribes preserve their language.
During the event, Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai reaffirmed and recommitted the Government’s position to be “that supportive partner of the Amerindian nationals in working to consolidate and revitalize Amerindian cultural heritage” and to work with leaders to avert any future lost of the rich indigenous culture.
The celebration will continue at the village at Sophia with craft and food exhibitions that will run for one-week (September 2-5.) Karasabai, Region Nine has been designated Heritage Village and the celebrations will move to the location on September 7.
A night of reflection on the achievements of the first Amerindian Parliamentarian, Stephen Campbell, will be held on September 10 at the Umana Yana and on September 21-22 the Amerindian Heritage sports will be held at the GCC Ground, Georgetown.
The month of activities will culminate with a Heritage Month pageant on September 28 at the National Cultural Centre.