About Us

DSC_0048

HISTORY

The APA was formed in 1991 at a conference for Indigenous leaders in Georgetown. These leaders had met to discuss various problems affecting their communities and felt that there was the need for an independent organization to represent their issues especially as these were not being addressed by the government. Such issues included natural resources exploitation on traditional Indigenous lands by large mining and logging companies and various forms of human right abuses including police brutality.

The APA was therefore formed to actively support community initiatives to address human rights violations and to work towards improving the general conditions of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana. The organization was first led by a Steering Committee which later became the Executive Committee.  TheAPA held its First General Assembly in Georgetown in 1992 and has since held seven others, the last at Better Hope, East Coast Demerara, in 2011.

The organization was registered under the under the Friendly Societies Act (Laws of Guyana) in January 1998.

The APA first opened its office in 1993 with part time voluntary assistance. In 1994, the organisation employed its first paid member of staff and from this time onwards began taking more sustained actions in working with indigenous communities to deal with the various issues confronting them. Since the first Assembly, the APA has grown, increasing the membership of the Executive Committee, extending its programme and outreach and enhancing its capacity to respond to the requests for support by indigenous communities throughout Guyana.

Who we are

The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) is a non-governmental Indigenous Peoples organization in Guyana. It is primarily an advocacy organization that seeks to promote and defend the rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana.

Membership of the APA is made up of Units throughout the country, currently amounting to close to eighty such units. The Association is led by an Executive Committee comprising the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer, thirteen regional representatives, a women’s representative and a youth representative.

The APA has a central office in Georgetown which is staffed by persons from interior communities who carry out the daily functions of the organization and who provides the link between what is happening in the communities and at the national and international levels.

Mission

Goals and Objectives

The objectives of the APA are to promote the social, economic, political and cultural development of Amerindian communities in solidarity with each other and to promote and defend their rights.

The long term goal of the APA is to secure legislative and policy changes to protect indigenous rights in all instances, to promote representation of indigenous peoples by indigenous peoples themselves, to provide information to indigenous communities about their rights under national and international law, to promote the sustainable use of the natural resources by indigenous peoples and to ensure the protection of the environment, to secure participation in development activities and decision making processes that affect the lives of the indigenous peoples of Guyana, and to ensure that the state fulfill its obligations in providing basic services to indigenous communities such as health, education, transportation and communication services.