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Mainstay/ Whyaka, Region Two, has been selected as the Amerindian Heritage Village to host this year’s celebrations on September 10, 2022. Amerindian Heritage Month, which is celebrated in September, will this year be celebrated under the theme, ‘Celebrating our traditional culture while building one Guyana.’
The event was hosted by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs on Tuesday at the Umana Yana (Amerindian word for ‘meeting place’) in Georgetown. The conical palm thatched hut was designed by Guyanese architect, Mr. George Henry, and completed in 80 days. The hut, which was erected in 1972 by the Forbes Burnham government was built to be used as a V.I.P lounge and recreation centre for the August 1972 Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference in Georgetown.
Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, at the unveiling event said “September month will bring a whole package of what the Amerindian traditional knowledge is about. What indigenous culture is about and what our tradition and custom is like. We will be able to introduce to this country again our unique dances, our music, our food and of course the treasure of the way we work, the way we live as one.”
The celebrations will commence with an Amerindian religious service on August 31. This will be followed by the Amerindian Heritage Cultural Extravaganza on September 1 at the National Stadium, Art Craft, Cuisine and Cultural Extravaganza at the Amerindian Village, at Sophia exhibition site, a fitness walk, and the Amerindian Heritage Beauty pageant, among other activities. The celebrations will conclude with the highly anticipated Amerindian Heritage Games on October 7- 9 at Everest Ground.
Amerindian Heritage Month celebration 2022
Amerindians are being encouraged to embrace their culture, to wit the minister reminds: “We should never be ashamed of being champions for ourselves. We should never be ashamed of our identity; we should never be ashamed of where we come from or where we have been and where we are today. We are as equal in this country as is anyone… we truly have to stand up for ourselves [because] there is no one who is going to do it for us.”
President Cheddi Jagan, in 1995, declared September Amerindian Heritage Month in honour of Mr. Stephen Campbell, who on September 10, 1957 became Guyana’s first Amerindian Member of Parliament, and also to honour the contributions of the country’s First Peoples.