Hampering land title process To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
November 30, 2001

The Amerindian communities are finally being given land title rights for their lands. However, the process is being slowed down because of some interest groups hampering the exercise for their own gains.

These Amerindian groups claim to be representing the interests of the Amerindian people. However, most Amerindians are unaware of the policies of these groups. Ideally, their policies should not reflect the wants of a few persons, whose aim is to make money on behalf of the Amerindians. It is impossible for one family to make representation for Amerindians throughout this country, moreso only where their lands are concerned.

Amerindians have long been waiting for their land titles. Now that the Government is taking steps to address this issues that has existed for the past 30 years, so called Amerindian representatives are encouraging the less fortunate Amerindians not to accept their lands.

The immediate positive impact of this exercise is far reaching in that it gives the Amerindians full ownership collectively to the lands on which they live. The younger generation, as is already evident, is investing in less land, especially for farming purposes. Many of Amerindians would rather have a transport in order to obtain collateral to invest otherwise.

It is recognised that every process is an evolving one and in a few years, of course, the demands will change. There will probably be the need for individual ownership as well as expansion of some of the boundaries set because of population growth, etc, and the Government has agreed to consider additional land. However, this is only possible after the first phase, the demarcating and the acceptance of the first set of land.

However, that is not the immediate need and representative groups should NOT try to dissuade Amerindians from accepting their titles. Instead, try to help Amerindians to understand and recognise the importance and the need for the titles. I am sure that when the land issue is solved, these representative groups could have alternative means of survival.
G. King