2015 International Garifuna Summit and Conference Currently Taking Place in St. Vincent and The Grenadines From March 8th 2015 through March 15th 2015

 

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Kingstown, St. Vincent Island — The Garifuna Heritage Foundation and the Coordinating Committee of the International Garifuna Summit has announced that they are holding their FIRST International Garifuna Summit and their SECOND International Garifuna Conference, which are taking place during the Annual Celebration of National Heroes and Heritage Month on St. Vincent Island, which is in March.

This celebration is in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture on St. Vincent Island.  The Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St. Vincent and The Grenadines will be hosting their FIRST International Garifuna Summit to be held in St. Vincent and The Grenadines.  This Summit will be held from March 8th – 15th, 2015 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines under the Theme “The Garifuna, A Nation Displaced- Cultural Rights, Economic Survival and Reparations.”     

FIRST International Garifuna Summit on St. Vincent Island - March 8th 2015 through March 15th 2015.

FIRST International Garifuna Summit on St. Vincent Island – March 8th 2015 through March 15th 2015.

In addition to that, in recognition of the  UN Declaration and Launching of 2015 – 2024 as the UN  International Decade for  People of African Descent, the Summit will seek to focus attention on the African component of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture.  A significant  part of the Summit will be the organizing of their SECOND International Garifuna Conference –  which will be held at the Peace Memorial Hall from March 11th – 13th, 2015 as a follow-up to the FIRST International Garifuna Conference held there in 2012.

On March 11th 2015, As part of the Opening Ceremony, attendees of this Summit and Conference were scheduled to listen to a lecture by Keynote Speaker, Professor Dr. Sheila S. Walker.  This Lecture took place at the Peace Memorial Hall.

About Professor Dr. Sheila S. Walker

Dr. Walker is  a leading scholar of the Global African Diaspora who has published and lectured extensively, is a filmmaker and cultural anthropologist with extensive field experience in Africa, the Americas , Asia and Europe.    Dr. Walker co- Produced the film “Slave Routes: A Global Vision,”  with Georges Collinet Productions for the UNESCO Slave Route Project.  She also edited the volume “African  Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the creation of the Americas” and produced the highly acclaimed documentary “Scattered Africa: Faces and Voices of the African Diaspora”.   She is also the Managing Director of AfroDiaspora Inc.

National Delegations from Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and USA are expected to attend.  Scholars and practitioners of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and overseas will be present for the week of activities.

David 'Darkie' Williams, President of The Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St. Vincent at 2014 International Garifuna Conference.  Photo from Facebook Page of Garifuna Heritage Foundation.

David ‘Darkie’ Williams, President of The Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St. Vincent at 2014 International Garifuna Conference. Photo from Facebook Page of Garifuna Heritage Foundation.

Activities for this Conference include:  1

SUNDAY, March 8th 2015 — Church Service  — St George’s Cathedral, Kingstown

MONDAY, March 9th 2015 — Screening of Film ‘Garifuna In Peril’ and the Documentaries ‘Lubaraun’ and ‘Yurumein’ for Secondary School Students.  Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

MONDAY, March 9th 2015 — Opening of Exhibition of Model of a Traditional early Colonial Indigenous Village found at Argyle, St. Vincent.   National Public Library, Kingstown.

MONDAY, March 9th 2015 — Opening of Exhibition of Photographs done by Robert Charlotte. Old Public Library, Kingstown.

MONDAY, March 9th 2015 — Screening of Film ‘Garifuna In Peril’ and the Documentaries ‘Lubaraun’ and ‘Yurumein’ to the General Public.  Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

TUESDAY, March 10th 2015 — Screening of Film ‘Garifuna In Peril’ and the Documentaries ‘Lubaraun’ and ‘Yurumein’ to Primary School Students.   Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

WEDNESDAY, March 11th 2015 — Film ‘Garifuna In Peril’ and the Documentaries ‘Lubaraun’ and ‘Yurumein’ for Secondary School Students in the Windward and Leeward Areas.  Barroullie, Petit Bordel, North Union, Sandy Bay.

WEDNESDAY, March 11th 2015 — Gathering of National and Visiting Garifuna Delegations.   Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

WEDNESDAY, March 11th 2015 — Opening Ceremony of FIRST International Garifuna Summit.  Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sheila Walker.  Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

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THURSDAY, March 12th 2015 — National Garifuna Folk Festival for Primary and Secondary Schools.  Victoria Park, Kingstown.

THURSDAY, March 12th 2015 — Commencement of Sessions of SECOND International Garifuna Conference.  Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

THURSDAY, March 12th 2015 — Garifuna Music Workshop.  Open To The Public.  Old Public Library, Kingstown.

THURSDAY, March 12th 2015 — Theatre Arts Workshops.  Victoria Park.

THURSDAY, March 12th 2015 – Screening of Films on Slavery: “Slave Routes: A Global Vision” and “Scattered Africa: Faces and Voices of the African Diaspora” for the General Public.  Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

FRIDAY, March 13th 2015 — Opening Ceremony for “Back To Our Roots” Garifuna Village at Heritage Square.  Heritage Square and National Trust Grounds.

FRIDAY, March 13th 2015 — Day Two (Final Day) & Closure of Garifuna Conference.  Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

FRIDAY, March 13th 2015 — Garifuna Music Workshop — Open To The Public.  Heritage Square, Kingstown.

FRIDAY, March 13th 2015 — Garifuna Medicinal Plants Workshop — Open To The Public.  Old Public Library, Kingstown.

FRIDAY, March 13th 2015 — Theatre Arts Workshop — Open To The Public.  Heritage Square.

FRIDAY, March 13th 2015 — Screening of Garifuna Film “Garifuna In Peril” and Documentaries “Lubaraun” and “Yurumein” for the Public.  Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown.

SATURDAY, March 14th 2015 — Wreath Laying Ceremony in Honor of Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer — First National Hero — Dorsetshire Hill

SATURDAY, March 14th 2015 — Garifuna Village Continuation and Garifuna International Culture Extravaganza Show featuring Generation X Band — (a.k.a. GX Team) from New York City and Adrian “The Doc” Martinez From Belize and Other International Delegates.  Heritage Square, Kingstown.

SUNDAY, March 15th 2015 — Pilgrimage To Island of Balliceaux

Dr. Adrian Fraser, Vincentian Author, Historian, Social and Political Commentator and Newspaper Columnist for the Searchlight Newspaper of St. Vincent and The Grenadines at the 2014 International Garifuna Conference.  Photo from the Facebook Page of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St. Vincent.

Dr. Adrian Fraser, Vincentian Author, Historian, Social and Political Commentator and Newspaper Columnist for the Searchlight Newspaper of St. Vincent and The Grenadines at the 2014 International Garifuna Conference. Photo from the Facebook Page of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St. Vincent.

FIRST International Garifuna Summit Activities Include:

Opening Ceremony

WEDNESDAY, March 11th 2015

7pm

Peace Memorial Hall, Kingstown

Libation — Visiting Delegates

National Anthem

Welcome Remarks — Chairperson — Mrs. Margaret Lewis Jackson

Remarks by TGHF President – David ‘Darkie’ Williams

Remarks by Representative of Visiting Garifuna Delegations

Cultural Item

Remarks by Minister of Tourism and Culture — Hon Ces Mckie

Cultural Item

Introduction of Keynote Speaker — Mrs. Zoila Ellis Browne

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sheila S. Walker, Cultural Anthropologist, Filmmaker, and Managing Director, AfroDiaspora Inc.

Vote of Thanks – Mrs. Beverly Richards.

CONFERENCE PROGRAME

Thursday, March 10th 2015 – PRESENTATIONS

Panel Presentation #1 9am to 11am

Reading Resistance and the Garifuna Experience

Moderator: Mrs. Decima Hamilton

Presenters:

  • Dr. Adrian Fraser — “Vincentian ‘Caribs’ after 1797
  • Dr. Melanie Newton — “Indigeneity, Sexuality and Gender in the Conquest of the Lesser Antilles”
  • Kimberly Palmer — “The Deployment of Difference: Identity, Neoliberalism and the Garinagu”

DISCUSSION

11am to 11:15am Health Break

Panel Presentation #2 — 11:15am to 1pm

The Garifuna Nation: Possibilities, Challenges and Impacts

Moderator: Dr. Melanie Newton

Presenters:

  • Sandra Miranda – “The Garifuna Nation: Can The Garifuna Nation Be Defined?”
  • Dr. Jada Benn Torres – “Genetic perspectives on Garifuna/Kalinago ancestry and Emergence in St. Vincent”

DISCUSSION

1pm to 2pm — LUNCH BREAK – Screening of Nicaraguan Documentary Film, ‘Lubaraun’.

Panel Presentation #3   2pm to 5pm

Physical and Cultural Legacies of the Garifuna

Moderator: Dr. Adrian Fraser

  • Dr. Jimmy L.J.A. Mans AND Dr. Corinne Hoffman, “Garifuna and Kalinago archaeologies in the Lesser Antilles”
  • Dr. Theodore Schurr “Reconstructing the genetic history of Indigenous Caribbean Populations”

DISCUSSION

FRIDAY, March 13th 2015 – CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Panel Presenation #4     9am to 11am

Centering the Garifuna Story in Discusslons of Caribbean Cultures and Resistance

Moderator — Ms. Kimberly Palmer

Presenters:

  • Felisa Baynes Ross — “The Black Carib Sublime: A Discourse of Resistance in Alexander Anderson’s Geography and History of St. Vincent”
  • Thabisile Griffin — “The Garifuna: A Legacy of Colonial Resistance, Creativity and Survival”
  • Dr. Garry Dennie — “Narratives of Home; the Garifuna Perspective”

DISCUSSION

11am – 11:15am — Health Break

Panel Presentation #5   11:15am to 1pm

Establishing a case for reparations for the Garifuna

CFP Theme: The socio-political/socioeconomic dynamics of reparations for the Garifuna

MODERATOR — Mr. Alex Gough

Presenters:

  • Dr. Amy Strecker — “Indigenous reparations and land in the Caribbean”
  • Dr. Nsaka Sesepketiu — “NOT GUILTY: a critique of the vicarious liability claims of the Garifuna reparations claimants”
  • Mr. Joseph Delves — “Legal and Practical issues relating to establishing a case for reparation”

DISCUSSION

1pm to 2pm – Lunch Break

2pm to 3pm – Plenary and Closing Ceremony

A multitude of issues will be examined, discussed and debated at this International Garifuna Summit and Conference in St. Vincent and The Grenadines.  I’m not sure why there’s discussion about Slavery as it relates to the Garifuna people as it’s said that they were not slaves.  In fact, the Garifuna people led the resistance against colonialism against the British on St. Vincent Island so I’d be curious to know what link is made between Slavery and the Garifuna or Black Carib people.

The screening of the film Garifuna In Peril, as well as the Documentaries Lubaraun and Yurumein also add another educational component to this International Garifuna Summit and Conference.  The Garifuna Music and Theatre Arts Workshops and Garifuna Music Show should also be a unique opportunity for international musical and social bridges to be crossed.  We’ll see how this all turns out.

 

ABOUT The Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent. From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.  2

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In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, namely the port town of Trujillo, Honduras in May 1797; the Garifunas subsequently settled many towns and villages along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.  Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

Participants at 2012 International Garifuna Conference at St. Vincent and The Grenadines.  Photo from Facebook Page of The Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Participants at 2012 International Garifuna Conference at St. Vincent and The Grenadines. Photo from Facebook Page of The Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Notes:

  1. http://garifunaresearchcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Conference-Programme-and-Events.pdf
  2. Nancie L Gonzalez, “Sojourners of The Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pgs 21-23

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