Indigenous Heritage 2020: How they do it in Fair View Village, Rupununi

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Fair View Village is the only Indigenous settlement located within the protected area of the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve. Fair View began as a family homestead when Arthur Andries requested permission to build his home on the left bank of the Essequibo River at Kurupukari. Arthur Andries was a punt driver, moving people and cattle across the Essequibo River during the Cattle Trail Days. Arthur and his extended family lived in the location even when the cattle trail closed in the 1950s. The area began opening up again with the construction of the Linden – Lethem road and the establishment of the Iwokrama Field Station (now the River Lodge).

The people that make up Fair View come from the Arawak, Makushi, Wapishana, Patamona and Arekuna nations. For the community, celebrating Amerindian Heritage Month is important as it helps to reinforce their identities by appreciating the similarities and differences that make them unique.

This video was made during participatory video training as part of the Darwin Initiative Traditional Knowledge in Conservation project. It outlines some of the elements of a typical Heritage celebration in a community, showing both the traditional customs and how they have adapted to new influences.

Follow Grace Albert:
Grace Albert has 5 years’ experience in community development and visual methodologies. She speaks fluent Makushi and English, and has strong skills in community facilitation and engagement, visual methods, and her local Makushi traditions. Following a strong grounding in further education courses of natural resource management, wildlife management, agriculture , information technology, leadership and culture, she has worked for the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB), a local Indigenous community-based organization, in several roles. This includes as a radio broadcaster, a community film maker and most recently as a Community Research Assistant. With these experiences, Grace hopes to remain as a resource person for her community and is committed towards development of her homeland.