IMPACT Justice Co-Sponsors Meeting and Seminar for Indigenous Peoples

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The Canadian Government-funded project Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) will be hosting, with the Indian Law Resource Center, a ‘Seminar on the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ on October 9th, and with the University of Guyana, a ‘Meeting to discuss the formation of a CARICOM Association of Indigenous Peoples’ on October 10-11th at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel in Guyana. These activities follow an Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean Conference IMPACT Justice held in Belize in April 2016.

An Opening Ceremony will be held on October 9th where remarks will be given by Professor Velma Newton, Regional Project Director of the IMPACT Justice Project, representatives of the Governments of Guyana and Canada and of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana. The Right Honourable, Sir Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will deliver the feature address.

In recognition of the challenges faced by Indigenous Persons, the organisers hope to raise awareness of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was adopted by the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) in June 2016, and to provide a forum for discussion on whether there needs to be a CARICOM Indigenous Peoples Association.

There will be seminar presentations on the origins, history and legal and practical effects of the American Declaration, a comparative study of the American and United Nations Declarations and the ILO Convention No. 169, and strategies for follow-up and implementation. The two-day meeting, which follows the seminar, will include updates from national indigenous persons’ associations, and a discussion on regional associations.

The almost seventy expected participants comprise representatives of Indigenous Peoples groups from Belize,Dominica, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the host country, Guyana.

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