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|Guyana contributing to compilation of French Arawak dictionary|
|Monday, 09 July 2012 22:25|
LEADING Amerindian experts, anthropologists, researchers and officials from within the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will be rendering their assistance in the compilation of a French Arawak dictionary that is being produced by the KEYENO, an Arawak Association of French Guiana.
A visiting team from the association comprising French Guiana and Suriname Arawak people are in Guyana for the next five days and will be conducting a working session with their Guyanese counter-parts including Amerindian Experts George Simon and Chairperson, National Toshaos Council (NTC) Yvonne Pearson on the finalisation of the dictionary.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), the working session was yesterday morning formally opened by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Amerindian Affairs Mr. Nigel Dharamlall at the Umana Yana. Also present were Pearson and other officials of the Amerindian Affairs Ministry.
Dharamlall promised to make every effort to ensure a successful venture for the visiting team. “The Amerindian people for us, in Guyana, are very important and we believe very strongly that protecting their culture, and enhancing their culture, is important for the development of Guyana.”
Dharamlall said it is for this reason that the ministry and the Government of Guyana strongly support KEYENO’s endeavour to foster the development of indigenous culture.
“For us development is not just about social and economic activity; for us development is about expanding the full potential of all of our people, the liberties of all of our people and that is what the Amerindian Act, Act 6 of 2006 of Guyana speaks to with regards to Amerindian development,” the PS said.
He expressed pleasure at the opportunity to share the Guyanese experiences with the team and, by so doing, helping to collectively preserve a culture that the indigenous people’s forefathers of the Guianas left behind.
Pearson welcomed the team to Guyana on behalf of the many toshaos of the NTC and spoke of the opportunity that has been provided for advancing the continued relationship with the Guianas on indigenous development, more so as it relates to language.
Pearson said that the language collaboration was important given that language identifies and tells the history of each group.
Having been fortunate enough to visit a number of Amerindian villages in both French Guiana and Suriname and, having experienced the different cultures, Pearson expressed the hope that the team will also have the opportunity to visit Amerindian villages in Guyana.
The efforts to preserve the French Arawak language is being undertaken with children in mind, President of KEYENO, Usila Visser-Biswane said during her brief remarks. She added that the aim is to get the language printed in books to ensure that it is preserved overtime for every generation.
The visitors were given copies of the Amerindian Act as well as the Guyanese Arawak dictionary.
The working session will run until Thursday when the visiting team is scheduled to conduct field visits to Amerindian communities.
Guyana has nine Amerindian tribes and, to date, has successfully completed five Amerindian dictionaries.
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