The Kalinago community is being encouraged to highlight its rich Kalinago heritage in Dominica.
This advice came from Minister of the Environment, Rural Modernisation, and Kalinago Upliftment, Cozier Frederick as the Kalinago community joins the rest of the world to observe World Indigenous Peoples Day today.
“We must continue to highlight our rich Kalinago heritage here in Dominica and that of other indigenous communities around the world,” he said. “We must specifically emphasize the vital role that youth play in shaping the future of our communities and the planet.”
Frederick continued, “we acknowledge and honour our Kalinago culture; we must also recognize that it is the youth who hold the key to preserving and revitalizing these traditions for years to come.”
He added, “Our generation stands at a crossroad in history where we have the opportunity and responsibility to champion the fight against climate change.”
According to him, the connection between indigenous knowledge and sustainable practices is undeniable, and the youth are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between tradition and innovation.
“Through education, activism, and collaboration we can amplify our indigenous voices, ensure our rights are respected, and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable world.”
Frederick went on to say, by embracing the lessons of the past the Kalinago people will forge a path towards a future where the indigenous community thrives, its culture flourishes and the planet is protected for generations to come.
“Let us remember that our actions today will determine the legacy we leave for the youth of tomorrow,” he stated. “As we celebrate World Indigenous People Day let us commit to be advocates for change, champions of justice, and stewards of the environment.”
Furthermore, he stated that the empowerment of youth is not just an aspiration, but a necessity.
“This is because it is through our passion, dedication, and collaboration that we can truly make a difference in our lives,” Frederick noted.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated annually on August 9. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994, in resolution 49/214. The date marks the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations. The day provides an opportunity for indigenous peoples to share their perspectives and concerns on a global stage. It also aims to promote a better understanding of indigenous issues among governments, non-governmental organizations, and the general public.
The theme for this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is, “Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change for Self- Determination.”