The Question of a National Holiday and Programme of Reparation For The First Peoples of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

20 December 2021

By Winston H. E. Suite

First Peoples

UMROBI in one of it’s earliest publications supported the just call for the declaration of a national holiday in recognition of the First Peoples of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago . This has been a painful and indeed a most embarrassing omission. We called then for this recognition as part of our call for Reparation and Recognition of the rape, plunder, and abuse, during the period of their enslavement and the subsequent driving of them into reservations in their own land.

There must this day be recognition of the theft of their land first by the Spaniards and then continued by the French and the British . We must also point to the government of Independent Trinidad and Tobago in 1962 ,at the time of independence negotiations and celebrations ,who failed or refused to demand reparation from the British government on behalf of the First Peoples ,then citizens of our country . The government failed or refused to seriously address the entire question of reparation for the descendants of the first people as well as that for the descendants of African Enslavement during their period of enslavement or for the period of colonial abuse of the Africans and the Indentured East Indians that was to continue during the entire period of British colonialism.

We ,as a people ,collectively owe the memory of the abused First Peoples and their descendants a very serious attempt to make good this omission and we therefore call on the government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to immediate take steps on behalf of the embarrassed nation to make peace with this most important component of the national community by immediately declaring a National Holiday for the memory of the First Peoples of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

We must move now to strengthen the fragile bonds that are forever under daily attack and that must nevertheless keep us together as a nation.