29 November 2005

APA in Guyana Responds

Statement from the Amerindian Peoples Association of Guyana:

In response to the proposed revision of the Amerindian Act and the refusal of the Government of Guyana to apply the term "indigenous" to the Amerindians of Guyana.


"Indigenous’ cannot refer to Afro-Guyanese:
The term ‘indigenous’ can only be applied to Amerindians in Guyana. During the debate in Parliament, the Minister stated that the term ‘indigenous’ cannot be used in the Bill because it could apply to Afro-Guyanese in addition to Amerindians. She cited decisions of the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, and the proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as evidence to support this statement. She also stated that international definitions of the term ‘indigenous peoples’ may include Afro-Guyanese because they were present prior to colonization in 1803. Both of these assertions are incorrect and, under international law, Amerindian peoples are the only groups that can be considered to be indigenous to what is now called Guyana...." CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

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