$500M for land titling to fix failures under APNU/AFC – Sukhai

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai

A $500 million allocation in Budget 2023 for land titling in Amerindian communities would better the lives of persons within these communities, Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai has announced.
In her budget presentation, the Amerindian Affairs Minister lambasted the former APNU/AFC Government for failing to issue land titles to Indigenous communities, as she expressed this was a failure to the people.
Reports highlighted by Minister Sukhai quoted former Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock accepting that the former Government had not issued titles in three years, and due to this failure, the administration had sought extensions.
“The land tenure for Amerindians was simply not a priority. Upon our resumption of office, the PPP/C Government has reaffirmed its commitment towards ensuring the fulfillment of our manifesto commitment and governmental obligation to ensure that we complete the land tenure project, which will benefit numerous Amerindian villages.
“The APNU/AFC has no moral standing to speak about effective Government nor taking credit for land extensions to Amerindian villages. They failed the Amerindians miserably. I want to assure this honourable house that the PPP/C Government will continue to support the Amerindian Land Titling Project,” Sukhai expressed.
She reported that her Ministry has demarcated seven villages and issued five certificates of title to villages in under two years. In addition, it has completed revision of 23 investigative reports to date. The Ministry will be pursuing 19 demarcations and 11 land extensions in 2023.
“We will act on them. We will not sit down for five years and watch them on the shelves. The Government will further support the ALT programme through the allocation of $500 million for land titling activities to further safeguard and improve the security of land tenure… We have a vested interest in ensuring that the hinterland and the Amerindian villages which populate the hinterland get the benefit of our country’s resources under our Government.”
Amid requests for training for Indigenous communities, the Amerindian Affairs Minister set the record straight: that under the APNU/AFC tenures, there was no training. “Training was resumed in 2020, 2022, and again another sum has been provided in this current budget for training of toshaos… They talked about transportation for school children. Long before they came into office, our Government provided 38 minibuses in the hinterland. When we came back into office, we have already been providing transportation, both land and water. Even leaders who were denied ATVs to do administrative work and to use it as a tool to move about in the region was denied. I’m proud to say that every village in Region 8 now have ATVs,” she asserted.
This year, $205 million will also be allocated towards women, culture and language revival.