Preparations underway for Amerindian Village Council Elections in May

Amerindians in all 10 administrative regions will head to the polls on May 15, 2024, to elect the new Village Council for their respective villages.

These elections, mandated by the 2006 Amerindian Act, are held every two to three years and involve the selection of new council members for over 200 villages and communities across the country.

It is important to note that the election of a Toshao (Amerindian leader) is different to the date fixed for the election of the councillors. Voting is done by a secret ballot.

A resident of River’s View, Region Ten casting her secret ballot at the 2021 Village Council Elections

According to the Act, villages should have already publicised their list of voters for villagers to scrutinize on March 15, 2024, three months before the election date.

The legal corporate bodies are responsible for administering the villages’ affairs, including providing for the planning and development of the village and national representation for their respective communities among other functions.

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs is currently in full swing with preparations for this electoral event.   

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai has been actively engaging with Amerindian leaders across the country, emphasising the importance of ensuring a smooth transition of the new administration.  

Leaders have also been encouraged to submit their asset register, consisting of all movable and immovable assets of the village to the ministry.

“I am encouraging village councils, that by March 31 all annual financial reports should be in at the ministry. Our CDOs will be instructed to collect and for those villages who chose to send it in or bring it in directly, we expect it by March 31,” the minister stressed during a recent engagement.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai

The submission of audited reports of the financial affairs of these villages and asset registers is a crucial step in ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of resources by the local councils and by extension the government.

Outgoing Toshaos were also informed that all ongoing projects from the previous years must be completed by March 31, 2024.

In keeping with the Amerindian Act, an observer from the ministry and National Toshaos Council (NTC) will be on the ground, ensuring the process runs smoothly and free from discrepancies.

Regional Officials, Community Development Officers (CDOs) and Community Support Officers (CSOs) will also receive training for the proper oversight and conduct of the local elections. Villagers are required to be 18 years and older, must be of Amerindian descent, and a resident for several years within the desired place of voting, to be eligible to cast their ballot.

COVID-19 Notice: Due to the pandemic some consular services will be conducted by registered mail until further notice. Learn more