VII INTERNATIONAL GARIFUNA CONFERENCE: “Indigenous Caribbean- Rethinking a Strategic Direction for Reviving Garifuna Heritage and Culture through Education”
One of the most important characteristic that defines the Garifuna Culture is the unity that has being achieved through the syncretization of important elements of several cultures namely African, European and Amerindian. The Garifuna have maintained a flexibility and capacity to adapt to external factors throughout their history. At present Garifuna people have been able to take advantage of significant social, cultural and economic opportunities in Central America, the United States and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, traditionally known by the Garifuna as Yurumei, is still considered the ancestral homeland of all Garifuna people, this being the land from which the ancestors were cruelly exiled in 1797.
The Garifuna people form one of the Indigenous Nations that has become one of the more important symbols of resistance in the Caribbean, informed and formed as it has been by the history of resistance to European Colonial domination. In 2001 UNESCO declared that the Garifuna Heritage and Culture was a masterpiece of Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The rights of Garifuna are also represented in and supported by the 2007 United Nations Declaration of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and form part of that indigenous struggle as well as the struggle of People of African Descent. Most recently, UNESCO declared 2019 as the International year of Indigenous Languages in order to raise awareness, not only to benefit people who speak these languages but also for others to appreciate the important contributions they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity.
Garifuna culture, has attracted researchers at Universities and other institutions worldwide in the fields of Anthropology, History, Archeology, Dance and Music among others. There is still a need for more opportunities for scholars, activists and practitioners to engage with Garifuna communities and with each other in this conversation in relation to the Garifuna Culture, Indigeneity and the existing realities of the Caribbean and Central America.
The Garifuna Heritage Foundation in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Open Campus- St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be hosting the Seventh Annual International Garifuna Conference in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines from March 11th -13th, 2020. Within this context it is hoped that the Conference will encourage the continuing conversation regarding all aspects of the Garifuna History, Language, Heritage and Culture. We hope to make this research available to the general public for the purposes of informing policy makers, cultural practitioners, social activists, students and other researchers. Specifically, it is further expected that the Conference will provide strategic direction for the development of Education and Training on these issues.
- GENERAL THEMES:
- Geography, Politics, History, Environment, Land Rights, Sociology and Economics of Garifuna Culture in relation to the Indigenous Caribbean Experience;
- Intersecting and divergent histories of distinct Indigeneities in the Caribbean space;
- Networking Opportunities and Challenges encountered by Practitioners, Indigenous Communities and Scholars in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the USA in relation to the Garifuna Heritage;
- The impact of the UN Declaration of 2019 as the year of Indigenous Languages;
- Strategies for economic livelihood emerging from Indigenous culture;
For more information, call 784-456-2124 or email yurumeiconference [at] gmail.com