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More steps taken to preserve, promote Garifuna Heritage in SVG

More steps taken to preserve,  promote Garifuna Heritage in SVG


The Garifuna Heritage Foundation will continue to preserve and promote the Garifuna Culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,{{more}} as they not only plan to establish an International Garifuna Centre, but they will host the first ever International Garifuna Conference this year.

Speaking at a press conference at the office of the Professional Secretarial Consultancy Services Inc, Chairman of the foundation David ‘Darkie’ Williams stated that it is important that the Garifuna culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines be retained since this country is the birthplace of the Garifuna people.

According to Chairman of the Conference Committee Mike Browne, the conference, which will take place at the Peace Memorial Hall from March 10 to 15, 2012, will address several issues, including the establishment of the International Garifuna Centre. Browne stated that the preservation of information on Garifuna culture is another issue to be addressed.

The Conference’s main aim according to a press release is “to gather in Yurumei, the birthplace of the Garifuna Nation to share ideas, examine issues, network and strengthen global links to support the development of International Garifuna Centre, created to research, accumulate, document and disseminate information on the history, heritage and culture of the Garifuna worldwide.”

The Conference, which will also feature Art and Exhibition, Film Series and a Garifuna Marketplace, will be held under the theme “Living the Garifuna Heritage and Culture after 215 years: Strengthening Links, forging Networks, claiming ancestral space.” It will feature renowned Garifuna Scholar Dr. Joseph Palacio of Belize as a guest speaker. There will also be three days of working sessions led by noted Vincentian and international presenters who will address the issues relevant to Garifuna worldwide. The Garifuna Market place will also showcase films, books, paintings, photographs, music and craft.

The International Garifuna Centre, the first of its kind to be established, will be an expanding reservoir of information about the Garifuna locally, regionally and internationally. It will house books, papers, films, recordings, paintings, sketches, artifacts and archival documents, the release stated.

Browne added that the Foundation is in negotiation with Government to secure a site in Kingstown. The Centre, he added, will have an attractive ambiance and will also be a place where students and the general public can learn more about the Garifuna culture, including the Garifuna language.(OS)