While consultations continue on the Amerindian Act Revision 2006, Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, David James said that some communities may require more time to prepare.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), James was providing an update on the status of the consultation to Toshaos at the National Toshaos Council Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
According to James, the APNU/AFC Government is committed to the fulfillment of the elections campaign promise and noted that if all goes well, the Bill could be laid in Parliament by 2019.
He said, however, while the idea is to have consultations with as many communities as possible, it seems that individual communities might need some more time to prepare for these consultations.
So far, consultations were held in Region One, Barima-Waini as well as a number of Indigenous organisations and interest groups in Georgetown, however, he noted that the turnout has not been what was expected. This is the case although there were calls by Amerindian communities for the revision of the Act. He expressed that this response could only suggest that persons “need more time.”
“The fact is, we want to have the best representation and the consultations would reflect very clearly what people intend to have in the law,” James told the conference.
James said there are other consultations planned, particularly for Regions Two, Seven, Eight and Nine. These, he noted, will be held throughout the remainder of the year and into 2019, DPI said.