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A photo of children dressed in Garifna colours in Kingstown, uploaded to the Facebook page of the Agency for Public Information on March 1, 2023.
A photo of children dressed in Garifna colours in Kingstown, uploaded to the Facebook page of the Agency for Public Information on March 1, 2023.
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The Garifuna Heritage Foundation (TGHF) in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Global Campus (UWIGC) will host the 11th International Garifuna Conference March 11 to 13 under the theme “Promoting Reparatory Justice: Towards the Development and Implementation of a 2030 Indigenous People’s Development Plan”.

This IGC 2024 Conference will be conducted in hybrid modality (face-to-face and virtually) and will be held at UWIGC Conference Room. 

The opening ceremony for the conference takes place on March 11 at 12 noon, with the keynote address by Professor Jovan Scott Lewis, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of “Scammer’s Yard: The Crime of Black Repair in Jamaica” and “Violent Utopia: Dispossession and Black Restoration in Tulsa”.

Lewis studied Black people’s lived experience of racial capitalism and underdevelopment and advance radical and productive reparative frameworks.

On March 12, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves will deliver the keynote address on the topic “Balliceaux: Representation of Reparatory Justice for Indigenous people in the Caribbean”.

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As part of the day’s session, there will be a panel of speakers presenting on the topic “The significance of Balliceaux to Garinagu in the Diaspora”. These panellists will describe the situation of Garifuna communities in various countries including Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

There will also be presentations by other speakers on the topic of Balliceaux. These speakers include Joan Hoyte, Vincentian attorney–at–law employed at the US Congress; Lucia Ellis, Belizean researcher and director of the NUMASA Wellness Institute; Ana Filipa Vrdoljak, professor of law, Faculty of Law and UNESCO chair of International Law and Cultural Heritage at the University of Technology Sydney.

Other presentations will also be delivered by Louise Mitchell, attorney–at–law and executive director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Environment Fundas well as Esther Nunez, professor at Medgar Evers College, New York. Nunez will speak on the theme “Retracing the Footprints of my Ancestors through Pilgrimage in Search of Reconciliation and Healing”.

On March 13, the final day of the conference, will focus on the theme of reparations.

 The keynote address will be delivered by Christian Callejas Escoto, attorney–at–law, Costa Rica; professor of paw, University of San Jose, Costa Rica and University of San Francisco, California.

Callejas Escoto is a prominent human rights attorney who has litigated cases before the International Court of Justice in relation to the fight for land rights of the Garifuna people in Honduras.

He will speak on the topic on “The use of Systems of International Law for the Promotion of Ancestral Rights of Garifuna People”.

This will be followed by Lennox Honychurch, history lecturer, researcher and former resident tutor, UWI Open Campus, who will address the issue of the rights of indigenous people in Dominica.

Garrey Dennie, associate professor of history, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, United States and Historian Adrian Fraser, will both speak on topics relevant to the historical basis for reparatory justice for the Garifuna.

The final presentation will be delivered by Andony Perez Castill and Mick Castillo who are representatives from Garifuna communities in Honduras and Belize, respectively.

Registration is free and commences at 8 a.m. daily.

One reply on “11th International Garifuna Conference slated for March 11 – 13”

  1. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have teachers teach students the Garifuna language to Vincentians students.

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