Kalinago youth in the race to lead Kalinago Territory

Lorenzo Sanford

If Lorenzo Sanford is elected Kalinago Chief, he will be the youngest to do so, in the 2019 crop of candidates vying for that position.

In fact, the 22 year-old Sanford is among the youngest in the history of the Kalinago Territory, to have contested that position.

According to a Kalinago source, two other Kalinago Chiefs were younger than Sanford. According to a Kalinago source, they are: Hilary Frederick who served from 1978 to 1984 and Irvince Auguiste who held office from 1984 to 1994.

Sanford told Dominica News Online (DNO) that he decided to contest the election for Kalinago Chief in response to the call for young people to take up more leadership positions in their communities.

He graduated from the Castle Bruce Secondary School in 2013 and went on to attend the Dominica State College where he obtained an Associate Degree in Agriculture. He has been a youth leader in his church and currently works as a carpenter.

Sanford is from the hamlet of Bataca which he says, has never had a representative in the elections for Kalinago Chief.

The aspiring Kalinago youth says if he wins the elections, his plans are, “to build better relations within other indigenous communities abroad, implement ways to help youth socially and economically in land management, employ strength-based approaches instead of deficit modeling, create a diversification in crop production in the Kalinago Territory and maintain ancient yet relevant Kalinago Ontology.”

Sanford believes he has a “great chance” of winning because according to him, by taking this bold step as a young man, he has gotten the Kalinago youth to gravitate towards him. He also believes that the relationship which he has built with the Kalinago community has strengthened his chances of winning.

The Carib or Kalinago Chief presides over the Kalinago Council, the local government of the Kalinago Territory. Former Kalinago Chief, Garnet Joseph explains in an article which he wrote, entitled The Kalinago Chiefs Of Dominica, that the changing times have dictated the role of the modern day Chief.

“The ceremonial Chief is now history. The demanding role of the Kalinago Chief requires him to be computer literate, with excellent communication skills, Office and Project Manager, Counsellor, Fund Raiser, and Diplomat are all functions that the Chief has to perform,” Joseph writes.

The election of Kalinago Chiefs can be dated back to the 1800s. According to an article on the Division of Culture Website, throughout history, the Chief has played a very important role in keeping the Kalinago people together in times of peace and hostility.

Initially, Chiefs were selected by the Elders for specific functions, such as hunting or fishing expeditions, but could not exercise authority after the mission was completed. This was the custom in Dominica as the communities consisted of only a few families. However, as Garnet Joseph points out, the role of the Chief has changed over time. So far, there have been 18 Carib Chiefs in the history of the Kalinago people.

Sanford will be running against incumbent Charles Williams, Elvis Francis, Irvince Auguiste and Jumardine Fredrick.

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16 Comments

  1. Magua Massive
    May 29, 2019

    Very well! :-D I’m proud of you my boy. It is time for some new minds to enter this arena. Enough of the same old heads who are working for their own selfish agenda. I wish you the best. (UWI is offering full scholarships for Kalinagoes for years now. Spread the news so more of you can pursue good education too. The past chiefs and leaders have tried to hide this information from you all long enough). Good luck!!!

  2. Braindamage
    May 28, 2019

    Young man, you got the great mind.
    You got good vibes. Keep striving for your community and Dominica.
    Best wishes to you in the faith of your victory.

  3. ATKINSON
    May 28, 2019

    I thought Casius or the Graneau brothers would be running for the job. and what about the “people’s choice” Melissa, I know that would be the evil Dr Supremo”s, choice, to be kalinago chief

  4. Risa pawee
    May 28, 2019

    Where Irvince Auguiste going? He was there before and he did nothing. Cha man. Give lorenzo a chance.

    • Celia
      May 29, 2019

      This is so true. Go sit down irvince , Charles Williams all u had lol u turn

  5. Peace
    May 28, 2019

    Good luck, young man.

  6. Ras B
    May 28, 2019

    Sanford seems to be the only surname rising from the Kalingo territory of late? How must we understand this? Can some one please explain>

  7. Josey R
    May 28, 2019

    Go for it Lolo! I know you have what it takes to be a well rounded leader in your community!

  8. Kalinago Strong
    May 28, 2019

    Appreciate the updated version.

  9. Asaka
    May 28, 2019

    Go for it young one!!!! Great to see a young person who wants to do right by his people. I support you and wish you the best. Keep on!!!!

  10. edward
    May 28, 2019

    yes, i support this

  11. Kalinago Strong
    May 28, 2019

    Great a young person has chosen to represent his people.
    However he is not the youngest, both Hilary Frederick and Irvince Auguiste were younger. Our history matters

  12. Dixie Normas
    May 28, 2019

    nice to see young people stepping up to take charge

  13. time has told
    May 28, 2019

    Young man. I wish you luck and i hope you win. History has shown that those who are older do not respect the younger generation. The like to think they are more and the youth are less capable. Meanwhile nothing changes, nothing develops, nothing progresses under their watch.

    If you win, you need to mobilize your people to seek more representation as 1st class citizens in Dominica. To put proposals together to access the millions and billions available to our Kalinagos as indigenous people (original people), in order to develop the territory and vastly improve the productivity of our people in the area. I see hope in you young man, i just hope that you recieve the proper guidance, and not have people around you who only want to push their own selfish agendas. God bless.

  14. Ibo France
    May 28, 2019

    Best wishes to you, young man. It is always moving when I see a young, ambitious person who is willing to strive for excellence. Again, much success in all your endeavors.

  15. SMH
    May 28, 2019

    Mr. Sanford good luck! i wish u well

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