Indigenous bodies concerned about process to review Amerindian Act
Stabroek News
April 14, 2002

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Three indigenous organisations have expressed concerns about the process which is to be utilised to review the Amerindian Act.

The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), the Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous Peoples (GOIP) and the Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG), said that while they have some objections to this process, they were not sure if their concerns have been taken on board.

According to a press release, the three bodies were invited to a meeting by the Amerindian Affairs Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues, on March 7 to talk about the review of the Amerindian Act but in fact they were informed then that "a process for revision had already been decided upon." There has been no further meeting since the one in March, no minutes of the meeting has been circulated and "we do not know at what stage the process is in at this time," the release stated.

While welcoming the government's initiative to move forward with the revision of the Amerindian Act, the three organisations noted that one of their concerns was the composition and terms of reference of the Technical Committee said to be working on the review.

"We neither know who are the members of this committee and how such persons were or are to be selected," the release said.

GOIP, APA and TAAMOG, the release said further, have since met and have concluded that the success of the programme will rely heavily on the full participation of the Amerindian peoples including NGOs.

The organisations have written to Rodrigues asking for an urgent meeting to discuss their concerns, the release informed.