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Sunday, July 01, 2007

A sad state

Whether you believe in native rights or not, the state of the native people in Dominica is sad. Like the Aboriginals in Australia the state of our kalinago people is nothing to be proud about. They are the poorest of the poor, and in the social order of things that is as low as it gets.

Passing through the Carib reserve (there is no PC way to say it, they have their own reserve 'territory') you get to see an environment which just screams 'leave'. There is nothing for the average young person to do, the assimilation in mainstream Dominica is still difficult because of an inbuilt bias towards them, especially ironic given the chain of racism black people have had to shake off.

The level of abuse of young Kalinago women is something else as well, a byproduct of poverty meeting limited ambition. The amount of Carib children sent off into adoption or to work and live with some benefactor in the city who can do what they want with them is of course another situation.

They have so much to offer Dominica, yet Dominica cannot see fit to help elevate the Kalinago. The Government reflects the general populace with a disregard for them except when their votes are needed. In the meantime we do not see how this reflects on ourselves.

The Carib Chief can be over the top but he is technically correct when he refers to the neglect of the Kalinago people, even while we try to wrap their identity into the brand that is Dominica. Its not fair. We are working on a client communications project which actually ties in Kalinago products so hopefully we will give them some well needed support.

Of course many believe having their own plot of land to subsist on as a community is enough to be grateful for. Maybe those who think deep and far back can see the irony.


TropicallyTied said...

I am surprised also by the ignorance of some Dominicans about the Kalinago and their culture, even after all these years of living together.
I'm not sure if Kalinago history & culture is touched on in schools. Also at events such as DOMFESTA, which is a celebration of Arts & Culture in Dominica, I haven't seen much in the way of Kalinago inclusion lately.
Re the state of the Kalinago, as with most Aboriginal people, it's hard to see what the right solution is. I suspect many would like to have "their island" back (although I read the Igneri were here before the Kalinago) and I get the impression that some Kalinago feel Wai'tukubuli was better cared for when they were in charge....but we can't just all leave so really need to find a solution where everyone can have a decent standard of living

KG said...

thanks for the comment.

you make a good point. If we were to actually refresh our knowledge beyond the handed down savage cannibals history maybe we would have more respect as a nation for Kalinago people. that would help.

Kalinago history and culture has never been seriously approached.

billy said...

good article. i mean the kalinago are the original people of dominica. i propose a 24 hour tv channel should be created to promote the kalinago people.