“First peoples of the Caribbean still being ignored!” By Damon Gerard Corrie
I was pleased to see a documentary on the Lokono, Taino & Kalinago Amerindian Tribal Nations – the first peoples of the Caribbean on the CBC News in Barbados (23rd December 2012), and note that I deliberately said ‘peoples‘ and not ‘people‘, because under International Human Rights Laws each Amerindian tribe is a distinct ‘people‘ in it’s own right in the legal sense, and though being of the same race – the race has literally hundreds of distinct Tribal Nations that comprise it… all deserving of recognition the same as every other race on Earth.
I notice that the dominant non-Amerindian ethnic groups in the Caribbean today are fond of highlighting how we Amerindians ‘were the first to fight against Colonialism‘ and refer to some of our famous leaders as the first ‘National Heroes’ in many countries (most notably Cuba), YET – you non-Amerindians do not see that when European Colonialism ended for both of us (Amerindian & Non-Amerindian) – YOUR Neo-Colonialism began for us Amerindians. History has shown that your valiant anti-colonialism leaders merely put on the attire of the Europeans and continued to deny us – the true landlords of this Hemisphere, OUR right to ALSO be free of the domination of foreign ethnic groups.
You bristle when I say this simple truth, not willing to acknowledge that under International Human Rights Laws WE Amerindians have just as much right to have a seat at the United Nations as the political governments of OUR OWN peoples and states as your governments who inherited the theft of OUR lands currently enjoy. We wish to govern ourselves and not be governed by other peoples the same as you do, but in our case – we wish to enjoy our freedom in the same places we lived before anyone else – and are STILL existing in today despite over 500 years of living under a de-facto armed occupation.
You do not see it this way, but International Human Rights law does – and we have more faith in that than any of your Colonial or Neo-Colonial ‘Law Courts’, and do not try to sell us the fictitious liberty of citizenship in a democracy where we the first peoples of this Hemisphere will always be outnumbered and outvoted, and where your policemen and soldiers enforce your political will upon us, we are not asking you to leave…
We are not even desirous of secession – we are only asking that our United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples enshrined & recognised equal right to self-determination, to live in a manner of our choosing not your dictates in our own territories, be respected; only then can we live in Equity and peace side by side as brothers and children of the one God, is this too much for you to bear?
Many a Neo-Colonial politician has used the invalid argument that ‘If we allow you Amerindians to govern yourselves again it will be like creating a State within a state which we will never allow” (Eugenia Charles of Dominica & Forbes Burnham of Guyana said this)…to which I answer – so is not the United States of America the STRONGEST country in the world the very one that was founded and is still entirely comprised of many states within the state?
Instead of the current violation of International Human Rights Laws concerning Indigenous Peoples that the Nation States of the Americas are famous for (by denying us our true freedom) – this Hemisphere could become a role model for the treatment of Indigenous Tribal Nations who have endured over five centuries of justice denied.
President of the Pan-Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations – the only multi-racial global Indigenous Confederacy in existence, Member of the Board of Directors of the registered non-profit Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization (CADO) the motto of which is: ”Dedicated to the Preservation and Promotion of Amerindian Cultural Heritage, and the Implementation of Internationally Recognized Rights of Indigenous Peoples“. Member of the Working Group on the American Draft Declaration (on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas) with the Organization of American States (OAS), and a registered participant of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).