Guyana’s Amerindians make up about 11% of the country’s population. But what does their future look like? Amerindian experiences of land and self-determination vary from the WaiWai who are now the country’s biggest landowners to the Akawaio communities whose land claim filed 14 years ago is still to be decided.
Speaker: Melinda Janki, Head of the Justice Institute Guyana (Inc).
This presentation examines what has worked and what has gone wrong in the never-ending struggle for land and natural resources. The presentation will also look at the new regime for mineral exploitation in Amerindian territory and the conflicts among different interest groups that threaten the traditional Amerindian way of life.
Melinda Janki is an international lawyer now living and working in Guyana where she is the head of the Justice Institute, an independent legal institute. She has advised indigenous peoples in Asia and Africa as well as South America. During her career she has worked with the toshao (chief) of every Amerindian community in Guyana. As lawyer for the Patamona people Melinda was successful in persuading the Government to change the law to recognise Amerindian rights in Guyana’s oldest national park.
She also filed the first land claim for native title in Guyana. In 2006 she was selected by the Government and Amerindian leaders to draft a new law to protect Amerindian land rights and identity. Arranged with the Solicitors International Human Rights Group (SIHRG) and the Society for Advanced Legal Studies (SALS)
Date/Time: 03 October 2012, 18:00 – 19:30
To register and RSVP write to: IALS.Events@sas.ac.uk
Venue : IALS
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square