A former Kalinago chief is spearheading a project in which students from a university in Canada are sent to the Kalinago Territory on detachment to work among the island’s indigenous people.
Irvince Auguiste told DNO this initiative comes following a recent month long trip to Canada where he participated in a special attachment program at the University of Winnipeg.
“My trip to Canada came out of a friendship that I have with a student from the Caribbean who is studying at the University of Winnipeg,” he explained. “Through that relationship that we had, she visited Dominica and as a result of the visit here she felt very much that the Territory could be one of the areas that the University could use in its annual International Attachment program for students.”
According to him he was excited about the program.
“She went back to Canada and she met with the University persons who contacted me and they were very excited themselves about having an area in the Caribbean that they could have had an international attachment,” he stated.
At present two students from the university are on attachment with in Kalinago territory.
“We decided that we would ask them for persons with interest in indigenous land management and they sent us a young man for eight weeks,” Auguiste noted. “The young lady has a financial background and we wanted her to spend some time with us and advise us on how we access credit as Kalinago people in Dominica.”
Based on that, Auguiste noted, he hopes to contact different financial institutions to find out what is their policy as it relates to the Kalinago Territory since those who live there do not have land as collateral for loans.
“We will probably look at that and hoping that information collected from that will put us in a position to formulate a proposal to submit to the government or an Non Governmental Organization to establish a financial facility specifically for the Kalinago people of Dominica,” he said.
He also revealed that the university is prepared to sponsor a part scholarship for a Kalinago student who would be willing to be a part of that program in September 2015.