Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced plans to institute a Kalinago Holiday on Dominica’s calendar of national holidays.
Mr. Skerrit made the announcement at the inauguration of the new Kalinago Council on Wednesday, saying that by 2020, the country should have established a National Holiday to recognize the contributions of the Kalinago people.
Two days currently hold special meaning for the Kalinago people: July 4 when the Kalinago territory was founded, and September 19 which marks the Kalinago uprising in defense of Dominica. Neither, however, are national holidays.
“For a people that have contributed so much to this country…and have defended the patrimony of this country against colonizers, I believe the time has come for us to recognize the Kalinago people in a special way,” the Prime Minister said.
It was also revealed that Government intends to build up to 150 new homes for people in the Kalinago Territory pending approval from the Kalinago Chief and Council to access land.
Mr. Skerrit said government wants to collaborate with the Kalinago Council to increase access to lots for construction. According to him, central government will provide a council administrator to assist with the running of the Kalinago Council and a new, fully maintained vehicle for the use of the Kalinago Chief.
Meantime, New Kalinago Chief Lorenzo Sanford has committed to a collaborative approach with central government to advance the interests of the Kalinago people.
Sanford also called for cooperation from the Kalinago community in support of the work of the Kalinago council.