14 October 2013

First Peoples Conference in Trinidad and Tobago

Two Vincentians are representing this country at the International Conference of First Peoples of the Caribbean and the Americas, which began today, Friday 11th October, and will run until Sunday 13th October, 2013, in Trinidad.

Mr. Edwin Johnson of the Greiggs Black Carib (Garifuna) Community, and Ms. Molena ‘Mel’ Nanton of the Sandy Bay Kalinago community are attending the Conference hosted by the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community of Trinidad, and held under the theme, ‘Exploring Heritage, Consolidating Traditions, Creating a Legacy’.

The Conference is being held in collaboration with The University of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration, Trinidad and Tobago, and carries as its objectives, to: map the cultural continuity of First Peoples communities of the region, including governance systems, gender and the participation of youth; raise awareness of the indigenous spiritual traditions and world views; highlight and propagate the importance of sustainable living practices of First Peoples communities; regenerate the knowledge systems of First Peoples communities in preserving natural resources; revitalize the traditional skills associated with First Peoples culture for the larger usage by different communities; explore governance systems, politics and international affairs.

The Conference will be held at The University of Trinidad and Tobago, O’Meara Campus, and features seven working Panels, covering the areas of: Youth, gender and elders; Indigenous World Views; Approaches to Spirituality, Rituals and Festivals; Governance and Relationship with the Natural Environment.

In addition, there will be two Performance Panels, showcasing the music, song, dance, handicraft, cuisine and literature of the First Peoples.
St. Vincent’s Nelcia Robinson serves as the Conference Administrator.

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