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In 1995 President Dr Cheddi Jagan declared September, Indigenous Heritage Month in honour of Guyana’s first indigenous Member of Parliament, Stephen Campbell, and to also honour the contributions of Guyana’s Indigenous Peoples.
Stephen Joseph Campbell was born on 26 December 1897 in Santa Rosa to Tiburtio A. Campbell and his wife, Maria dos Santos, in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is a community in Barima-Waini, Region One. In 1840 the Catholic established the Santa Rosa Mission.
Both of Campbell’s parents died when he was young, and he was subsequently raised by his grandmother. He was raised a devout Catholic and studied at Santa Rosa Mission School.
Campell, who was of the Arawak tribe, was a teacher before he became a politician. He was a member of the National Labour Front Party from 1957-1961, and The United Force (1961-1966). He served in the National Assembly from 1957-1966
In 1964 he was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs. Campbell went to Canada for medical treatment, and died there on 12 May 1966, just two weeks before Guyana became an independent nation.
In 1995 a monument, in his honour, was erected in Santa Rosa. This monument is located within close proximity to the Heroes of Moruca Monument.
In 2018, the building that housed the Ministry of Citizenship was renamed after Campbell.