Garifuna Communities Urged to Unite as Indigenous Group

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Updated: May 19, 2016

Yesterday was the anniversary of the United Nation’s ratification of the Garifuna Community. Today Dr. Palacio spoke about a release sent by a group of Garifuna elders urging the unification of the Garifuna community as an Indigenous Community.

DR JOSEPH PALACIO

“The press release came from a group of concerned Garifuna elders and it had to do with the feeling that as Belize developers and especially at this point in time that there is a need to go back to what the Garifuna people are about as an indigenous people and of course as Belizeans and to start off the discussion as to what are some of our problems and then lead on from there to possible ways forward of addressing those problems within the larger Belizean context.”

Dr. Palacio shared some ways in which this would prove beneficial to the Garifuna.

DR JOSEPH PALACIO

“You have right to be yourself, to be indigenous peoples, to demand respect for your spirituality, for your culture and so that has been encouraging and what the press release was saying is work together, consult amongst other indigenous peoples in Belize, in Central America, continue also consulting with indigenous peoples in North America as well as in South America. In other words don’t look at yourself as isolated, look at yourself as this body made up of most of the nations in the world have looked at you and people like you over hundreds of thousands of people like you and have come up with scenarios of getting out of the problems.”

Dr. Palacio mentioned that as an Indigenous Community, the Garifuna can access benefits that as individuals they cannot, such as reparation.