Gov’t to reintroduce Amerindian language lessons in 2023

The Amerindian Affairs Ministry will reintroduce the Amerindians’ language revival programme in 2023 to students being housed at the hinterland scholarship dormitory at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

The language revival project is intended to preserve the nine Amerindian languages which are spoken by the various tribes; Arawak, Akawaio, Arekuna, Carib, Macushi, Patamona, Wai Wai, Wapishana and Warraus.

Senior Social Worker at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Christopher Sookdeo

It was first initiated in 2013 under then President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo.

Senior Social Worker Christopher Sookdeo said the students will benefit from the initiative.

“We would like to share some of our plans for the new year academic year which include the reintroduction of indigenous language lessons for our dorm students, internship fairs for students, career guidance and internship programmes throughout the country, ”Sookdeo said, at the annual hinterland scholarship graduation ceremony held Wednesday.

The students will also benefit from music programmes, additional recreational facilities, and mental health and developmental programmes.

The language revival project saw the revival of the Arawak language in Wakapau village, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). Due to the success of the programme, it was expanded to include other languages.

Subject minister, Pauline Sukhai revealed that the ministry will fund culture groups in several villages as part of the cultural preservation efforts in 2023.

“We want to ensure that according to the Amerindian Act, we also support the cultural development of the people […] Our language and our culture make us who we are. It identifies us. And, so we will be supporting a few groups next year when the budget passes,” Minister Sukhai emphasised.

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