Indigenous Heritage 2020: Story of Horse Pond

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  Storytelling is one way in which Indigenous people pass knowledge down through the generations. It is an ongoing process linking the past to the present, and the present to the past and future. Storytelling is therefore important in transmitting essential and critical knowledge for survival and ensuring a healthy and sustainable community. Stories have many functions. They help to provide guidance on how people should behave and understand their responsibilities to their neighbours and the environment. They acknowledge the … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Importance of Parakari

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  The root crop, cassava, is integral to the way of life of Indigenous people in Guyana. It is the source of a multitude of products, such as cassava bread, farine, casareep and a variety of beverages. In fact, all families in the community likely have a small cassava farm. The variety of cassava most notably is referred to as ‘bitter cassava’; it contains cyanide, so to consume it without first properly processing it would have deadly consequences. This is … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: The story of Elka and Christianity

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  Our next video represents the historical stories that can be told about a people. In this case it is the impact one man can have on his community. The story is of Elka of the Wai Wai. Elka was a great Wai Wai Chief of recent history who changed the spiritual course of his community. Called to be a Piaiman or shaman, Elka spent many years training to hone his craft. He was believed to be a very powerful … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Traditional fishing in Katoka Village, Central Rupununi

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  Are you looking for some tasty fish for your tuma? Then Katoka is the place to go! Katoka is an Indigenous village located on the right bank of the Rupununi River. The name Katoka is said to have been derived from a jaguar that was seen by a fisherman at the mouth of the creek where he was fishing.  The jaguar looked as white as cotton. With such a rare sight, the fisherman abandoned his fishing plans and ran … Read More

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 … Read More

Amerindian Heritage Celebrations 2020

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Amerindian Heritage is an annual celebration of Guyana’s Indigenous peoples throughout the month of September. It is linked to Guyana’s first Indigenous Parliamentarian, Stephen Campbell from the Arawak nation of Moruca (Santa Rosa) in the north-west region of Guyana, who was sworn into Parliament on September 10, 1957. Every year Guyana’s Indigenous people take time to remember his achievements at a time when there was little to no representation of the rights and interests of Indigenous people in Guyana. The … Read More

Coping with Covid-19 in the North Rupununi

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It was the early part of March 2020, and we were in the midst of the national election season. All the communities were excited about who would be the next President. There was tension between the different political party supporters., and it was not long before we realised that there were issues with reporting the final results of the elections. And in all of this turmoil there came the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus otherwise known as Covid-19. The messages … Read More

Our solutions are in nature

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“Our Solutions are in Nature” – what an appropriate theme for this year’s International Day for Biodiversity! The Convention on Biological Diversity highlights that ‘our biodiversity remains the answer to a number of sustainable development challenges that we all face. From nature-based solutions to climate, to food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity remains the basis for a sustainable future’. The year 2020 can be deemed as a year of opportunity and solutions for biodiversity. It is the final … Read More

Languages without borders

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In Guyana, many of our Indigenous Nations reside along the borders of our country and have a strong familial and cultural link to the Indigenous groups that live in Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname. In the current times of hardship faced by many Venezuelan Indigenous groups, cross border languages are being used to provide assistance that is in dire need. International Mother Language Day (celebrated on the 21st February each year) is designated to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, and multilingualism. … Read More

Pilot training in traditional knowledge integration for local stakeholders in Guyana

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As the Darwin Initiative project ‘Integrating traditional knowledge into national policy and practice‘ completes year three of implementation, the project team found themselves extra busy as 2020 began. Lots of work went into fine-tuning and finalizing material for the training course “Traditional knowledge integration for conservation and development”. Aimed at representatives of governmental organizations, civil society groups/NGOs and Indigenous leaders, the course aims to build capacity of stakeholders, not only be more knowledgeable of traditional knowledge, but also to better … Read More

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