Damon Gerard Corrie; Founder/President Pan-Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations & Barbados Representative of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) | Registered participant in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), Member of the Indigenous Caucus of the Americas working group on the Draft Declaration of the Americas and Sole Caribbean Representative on the planning committee of the 4th Indigenous Leaders Summit of the Americas (ILSA) – both at the Organization of American States (OAS). CARICOM Commissioner on the Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas (ICCTA)

On 9th February 2012, in the Gabriella Mistral room at the GSB Building of the Organization of American States located at 1889 F st. NW Washington DC; a Consultation Session with the working group on ‘Access to and Use of Technology‘ was held. Only two indigenous representatives were directly involved and physically present at this event, Nelson Kantule of the Kuna General Congress in Panama, and Damon Gerard Corrie of the Pan-Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations (the only multi-racial worldwide Indigenous Confederacy in existence). Damon describes himself as a Caribbean man, with ancestral connections that include Barbados, Guyana (Lokono-Arawak), Venezuela, Trinidad, Dominica (Kalinago-Carib), St. Kitts & Saba.

Participants were asked to make concrete recommendations/suggestions under the theme ‘Access to and Use of Technology‘ – which would be submitted for the permanent records of the Organization of American States (OAS) and for the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) on February 13th. The SIRG is the core management body of the Summits Process and comprises the 34 democratically-elected governments of the Hemisphere, which are represented by their appointed National Coordinators. The SIRG is responsible for reporting on the progress achieved in the fulfillment of previous Summit mandates and in the preparations of the upcoming Sixth Summit of the Americas – which will be held in Cartagena Colombia in April 2012.

This is the recommendation/suggestion that was made by Indigenous Representative Damon Gerard Corrie:

I would humbly suggest to the OAS heads of state to seriously consider making a joint declaration that 1% of each of their respective National Military budgets for just ONE given year (say 2013 for example) – would be re-allocated to fund various national projects focused on creating national infrastructural platforms that would then be used to introduce, educate and include – virtually every citizen in their various populations into the information age.

The States would then invite private sector entities & individual grass-roots level beneficiaries themselves – that have a vested interest in information technologies to sustain this historic effort on behalf of the States – by providing/creating self-sustaining funding to ensure it’s continuity. It can be metaphorically likened to the State agreeing to provide the fishing boat – and the recipient agreeing to provide the fuel and necessary maintenance required to keep said boat ‘in operation’ – to the ultimate benefit of both parties.”


Money is difficult to access in these times, instead of looking to implement small scale here-and-there projects towards this meritorious stated end, or trying to raise new funding in difficult economic times… why not spend a small sum of existing funds in a more humanitarian way instead? Let us be honest with ourselves, we are blessed in the Americas to live in THE most peaceful major geographical area on mother Earth, and a minor 1% one-time re-allocation in the Military budgets of each OAS member country for one specified year (decided at their consensual discretion) is NOT going to adversely effect our national security for it to be invested in the noble goal of introducing, educating and including – virtually every citizen of this Hemisphere (a Global first I might add!) into the information age; furthermore – this will not only be viewed as a tremendous and unprecedented magnanimous historic leap forward by the rest of the world…but will also be a concrete demonstration of political foresight and a genuine practical investment in the human resources of the citizenry of the entire Western Hemisphere!

If one can see a bigger picture emerging – this feat can then be adopted and replicated the rest of the world, the African Union, Asia-Pacific, etc.

In short, our Heads of State in the OAS have a real golden opportunity to lead the entire world by example – into an era where National Budgets can finally begin to be re-directed, slowly but surely, into non-lethal purposes that bring us – as the collective sea of humanity we are – one blessed step closer to the proverbial promised shore of a peaceful and equitable life on this planet for ALL.”

N.B. – The suggestion received strong support in among the 20 member working group at the Organization of American States (OAS), but it remains to be seen whether young Corrie’s vision is going to be recognized, understood, appreciated and ultimately acted upon – by our Political leadership in the Americas, the proverbial ball is in their court now… and we shall watch carefully to see what they ultimately decide to do with it.

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