Govt to resume Amerindian language revival project

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Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai

Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai says the Government will be re-establishing the language revival programme for Amerindians.

This move, she said, will ensure that the Akawaio, Arawak, Arecuna, Carib, Macushi, Patamona, Wai Wai, Wapishana, and Warrau languages do not become extinct.

“Many of them speak their languages but we have had some of the nations that have not maintained and have lost the ability to converse and even to share their language, at the village level or with the younger generation,” Minister Sukhai said.

The programme first started in 2013 under the then PPP/C Government and saw the reviving of the Arawak language in Wakapau, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).

The success of that project had widened the policy to cater for all Amerindian languages. Minister Sukhai said Government has prioritised the programme, as it cares for the well-being of Amerindians.

“We will be supporting villages that need to revive the languages first and foremost and we will also be supporting villages to have the language to ensure that the younger generation continues to be interested and use the language.”

With the PPP/C back in Government, Minister Sukhai said funds will be budgeted next year to restart this project.

The programme is part of a slew of initiatives for Amerindians. The Administration has already re-employed Community Service Officers (CSOs), creating employment in the hinterland.

Some $630 million has also been budgeted to expedite the land titling process in Amerindian villages-a project that was almost neglected under the past administration.

Amerindians have already begun benefitting from improved water and electricity services, with numerous roads earmarked for upgrade. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]