‘Let us reflect on the struggles of all indigenous peoples’
--Says Peter Persaud, President of the Amerindian Action
Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG)
September 23, 2003
THE Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) on the auspicious occasion of Amerindian Heritage Month September 2003 wishes to extend warmest Heritage Month greetings to the Government and people of Guyana, particularly the Amerindian community.
The observance of Amerindian Heritage month every calendar year is a special occasion to pay tribute to and acknowledge the unique heritage, culture, contributions and achievements of Guyana’s indigenous peoples since the evolution of Guyana as a nation state.
During this time of our month-long celebrations, it is important for Guyana’s indigenous peoples to reflect on the present struggles of Indigenous peoples in other parts of the world fighting to secure their rights and to form alliances of solidarity with them so as to overcome the barriers that tend to frustrate and prevent the achievement of their aspirations. In this regard, we should remember Mr Leonard Peltier, a Native American Indian and political prisoner, who, because of defending the human rights of his people, is presently languishing in a USA prison since 1977.
However, while indigenous peoples celebrate Heritage Month in September 2003 in Guyana, feasting on pepperpot, drinking the Piawarri and dancing the Mari-Mari, as well as engaging in other heritage activities, it is vitally important that they use this occasion wisely to evaluate their social and economic achievements and to re-energise for social and economic empowerment in solid partnerships with the Government.
In this regard, the indigenous peoples of Guyana crave the formulation and implementation of a feasible Amerindian Development Plan and Strategy in active collaboration with the Government, the indigenous communities and the Amerindian organisations.
In the pursuance of this task therefore, indigenous peoples should make a firm commitment to themselves, their communities and their country to make Heritage Month September 2003 the starting point of a development explosion.
Happy Amerindian Heritage Month September 2003 to all Amerindians and Non-Amerindians!