The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) has called out the government for the blatant disregard for proper protocols which pertain to engaging indigenous communities. On the other hand, Local Government Minister, Nigel Dharamlall is claiming that the APA is aligned with the political opposition.


The issue between Minister Dharamlall and the APA comes from a recent consultation exercise organized by the government for the sale of carbon credits in various communities.

The APA said it was not made aware of the consultation with Indigenous Leaders. The APA in its statement today reiterated its call for the government to uphold the tenets of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) when engaging indigenous communities. APA said that it observed numerous instances of the violation of FPIC standards by the government.

“The Minister should be aware that the Amerindian Act of 2006 identifies the Village General Meeting as the decision-making body for indigenous communities and as such, villages should be afforded the opportunity to properly scrutinize policies, agreements and other decisions before signing on to them,” the APA said.

The organisation said that it was made aware that over the weekend, the government summoned various Toshaos to Georgetown “saying that they must walk with documents to set up bank accounts to facilitate the transfer of monies from the carbon credits agreement,” the APA said.

APA said that Toshaos were not informed of the amount of money they will be receiving and how that will be governed. “Again, the actions of the government indicate that there is very little regard for the FPIC process which is a slap in the face of indigenous peoples in Guyana.”

The APA implored the government to engage indigenous peoples in a more structured way and “not foist its decisions on them. We reiterate that the APA is not blocking villages from accessing governmental support but is calling for the administration to respect the FPIC principles.”


APA said that it has taken note of accusations made by Minister Dharamlall on social media. Minister Dharamlall via his social media pages accused the organisation of being aligned with the Opposition.

The Organisation was however furitated over the utterances. The APA noted that the accusations are “a continuation of his previous assault on the organisation.” Minister Dharamlall also accused the APA of “funding the Opposition”.

“He further went on to wrongfully state that the APA is seeking to block indigenous communities from receiving billions of dollars in development funds from the Carbon Credit Facility,” the APA said.

The association continued, “The APA wishes to take this opportunity to remind the Honourable Minister of the dangers of making unsubstantiated claims as well as the ethical guidelines and code of conduct his position demands.”

APA posited that it serves as democratic organisation and is also aware that some of its members and executives support various political parties including the opposition and the current administration. The body stated that the Constitution of Guyana affords citizens the right to participate in politics.

“That being said, the APA remains a politically neutral organisation with the main objective of advocating for and defending the rights of indigenous peoples in Guyana,” The association said.

The Organisation reminded that it has the responsibility to monitor the policies and decisions that particularly affect the lives of indigenous peoples in Guyana. “It is a responsibility we take seriously and will continue to do so to ensure that indigenous peoples are accurately informed of their rights and that such rights are respected.”


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