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Map of Guyana showing 10 administrative regions, formally titled indigenous areas, and names of indigenous nations. Source: Map prepared by Anthony Cummings. 

Map of Guyana showing 10 administrative regions, formally titled indigenous areas, and names of indigenous nations. Source: Map prepared by Anthony Cummings. 

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Article
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In Guyana’s racialised geography, Amerindians live in scattered villages in the vast hinterland that covers 90% of the country. Amerindian iconography is appropriated in state-making, even while Amerindians themselves are consigned to a patron–client relationship with the dominant ‘coastlander’ society. In the late 1950s, Amerindians made up only 4...

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Context 1
... turn, the GGMC improperly awards mining licences in the absence of environmental permits. With the continued rise in the price of gold and the clamour for more mining concessions, a conflict between persistent Amerindian claims to traditional lands and customary rights and the GGDMA is inevitable (Appendix 1, full- ...
Context 2
... 1980, Guyana instituted a regional system of sub-national administration consisting of 10 Regions, mostly demarcated by following the course of rivers rather than water- sheds ( Figure 1). There has been no devolution of power from central to lower levels of government, nor have local government elections been held since 1994. ...

Citations

... Following the first week of activities, the next big events are usually scheduled for Amerindian Heritage Day on September 10, when celebrations move from Georgetown to a designated Heritage Village, which hosts a day of activities for the community and visitors, including state officials and special guests. September 10 is also reserved for activities commemorating the life and work of Stephen Campbell, the first Indigenous parliamentarian, who joined the British Guiana Legislative Council on September 10, 1957 (see Bulkan, 2013). Campbell's representation for Indigenous Peoples on issues such as land tenure, land rights and education is recognised as the inspiration for September being named AHM. ...
... As Norman Whittaker (2017), former minister of government states in his letter to Stabroek News, AHM provides the opportunity for Guyanese and non-Guyanese people "to view, experience and be reminded of the unique sub-culture of Amerindians," while it also functions as a "medium for promoting hinterland tourism." Indeed, the tendency in colonial and postcolonial Guyana enacted by various governments has been to represent Indigenous Peoples and their heritage as symbols of national pride (Cordis, 2019;Jackson, 2012;Bulkan, 2013) without the corresponding focus on the Indigenous present and presence, including complex debates regarding development, heritage and culture. In fact, it is ironic that the inaugural Heritage Month celebrations in September 1995 occurred two months before the Government of Guyana and the Commonwealth signed the Iwokrama Agreement that preceded the passing of the 1996 Iwokrama Act in Parliament (Iwokrama, 2017). ...
... Tapsell (2018) hails this inclusion of urban communities as "reciprocity," which acknowledges the connections between heritage, "landscapes and descendant communities, whether by elders at home" in ancestral lands "or by their grandchildren raised in distant urban cities." The Heritage Village at Sophia, built to host Heritage Month activities in Georgetown and the Umana Yana, the Wai-Wai inspired building and token of Indigenous importance in Guyanese nationhood (Jackson, 2012;Bulkan, 2013), are under-utilised for most of the year. These could be used more by Indigenous Peoples. ...
... Of these groups, the first four live primarily along the coastal zone, while Amerindians, who are indigenous to Guyana, account for around 10. There are nine Amerindian nations in Guyana [39], and like indigenous peoples-influenced landscapes across Latin America, their villages are located in the same spaces as high natural resource deposits. A large number of villages have remained relatively insulated from the coast, primarily because their villages are located in the forested landscapes of Guyana, where access by road is often limited to fair weather times of the year. ...
... As a consequence, the number of crimes committed in Guyana on gold miners, as gold prices have soared, has been on the increase. In a number of instances, as people traverse the newer transportation routes There are nine Amerindian nations in Guyana [39], and like indigenous peoples-influenced landscapes across Latin America, their villages are located in the same spaces as high natural resource deposits. A large number of villages have remained relatively insulated from the coast, primarily because their villages are located in the forested landscapes of Guyana, where access by road is often limited to fair weather times of the year. ...
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As the rate of crime decelerates in the developed world, the opposite phenomenon is being observed in the developing world, including Latin America and the Caribbean. Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean has been concentrated in urban settings, but the expertise for studying crime and providing guidance on policing remain heavily rooted in the developed world. A hindrance to studying crime in the developing world is the difficulty in obtaining official data, allowing for generalizations on where crime is concentrated to persist. This paper tackles two challenges facing crime analysis in the developing world: the availability of data and an examination of whether crime is concentrated in urban settings. We utilized newspaper archival data to study the spatial distribution of crime in Guyana, South America, across the landscape, and in relation to rural indigenous villages. Three spatial analysis tools, hotspot analysis, mean center, and standard deviation ellipse were used to examine the changing distribution of crime across 20 years. Based on 3900 reports of violent crime, our analyses suggest that the center of the gravity of crime changed over the years, spilling over to indigenous peoples’ landscapes. An examination of murder, where firearms and bladed weapons were the weapons of choice, suggests that these weapons moved beyond the coastal zone. The movement of weapons away from the coast raises concerns for the security of indigenous peoples and their associated wildlife. Our analysis suggests that policing measures should seek to extend towards Amerindian landscapes, and this is perhaps indicative of Latin American states with demographics similar to Guyana’s.
... However, the country suffers from a high emigration rate of skilled people and professionals, mainly to the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and the UK. This brain drain is causing the overall population to decrease (Bulkan 2013;Griffiths & Anselmo 2010;. Guyana Wai peoples (Box 1). ...
... Amerindian populations gradually recovered during the 20 th century. Their absolute numbers grew four fold between the mid-1940s and the 2000s, to reach approximately 70,000 individuals, making Amerindians the fastest growing ethnic group in Guyana (Bulkan 2013). However, many Indigenous peoples found themselves in a state of acute poverty and marginalisation. ...
... Amerindians in Guyanese Politics", Janette Bulkan (2013), a Guyanese author and researcher retraces the long endeavour and intense pressure Amerindians have had to exert on the British Colonial State, followed by the Guyanese State, to obtain the recognition of their rights, and the protection of their traditional lands. In the first half of the 20 th century, the policies adopted by the British rulers towards Amerindians were inspired by paternalism, and led to the creation of 1.3 million hectares (Mha) of reservations 4 . ...
Thesis
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Having its roots in computer science and information systems, the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) in development has arguably been dominated by technocentric approaches, mainly concerned with describing and managing the mechanisms of technology diffusion and adoption. However, the high failure rate of many ICT for development (ICT4D) interventions and their limited focus on wellbeing impact has drawn attention to the needs for designing better evaluation frameworks to help make sense of the complex realities in which ICT interventions take place, and for interrogating the usefulness of mainstream approaches on the impact of ICT4D interventions on wellbeing. Efforts to operationalise the capability approach, and to apply it to the field of ICT4D constitute an increasingly popular alternative in this regard. The alternative shifts the focus of ICT4D evaluation away from an exclusive focus on technology access and use, towards understanding their multidimensional development outcomes, including their impact on wellbeing. One avenue, which has largely been underexplored, is the potential contribution of systems thinking approaches for further strengthening the focus on multidimensional development outcomes while improving the practical applicability of ICT4D evaluations. This doctoral research sets out to explore how systems thinking concepts and techniques can be used to complement existing approaches so as to increase the success rate of ICT4D interventions, as measured by their effect on the wellbeing of intended beneficiaries. Drawing on multiple theoretical influences, including the capability approach, systemic inquiry, critical theory and pragmatism, this thesis evaluates four ICT4D interventions, including a researcher-led ICT4D intervention, which have all taken place in Indigenous communities of the North Rupununi, Guyana, between 2005 and 2015. The findings of this study suggest that the wellbeing impact of ICT4D interventions is primarily determined by whether they are introduced to address locally-defined needs and the extent to which beneficiary communities are involved in their design, implementation and evaluation. It argues that applying concepts and techniques from systems thinking can help address some of the criticism and shortcomings of established and emerging approaches for evaluating ICT4D interventions, by looking beyond efficiency and optimisation towards questions of participation, power, purpose and values. The research then outlines the contours of a Systemic Implementation and Evaluation (SIE) framework, as a way to draw attention to the inevitable clashes of worldviews that characterise interventions involving multiple stakeholders, and to allow a critical reflection on the nature of these interventions and the changes brought about. It concludes by producing a series of policy recommendations associated with enhancing the impact of ICT4D interventions on Indigenous wellbeing.
... While most of Guyana's non-Amerindian population live within or in the suburbs of the nine main municipalities, Anna Regina, Bartica, Corriverton, Georgetown, Lethem, Linden, Mabaruma, New Amsterdam, and Rose Hall, the Amerindians live in more than 106 communities across the forest and forest-edge landscape. Today, there are nine Amerindian nations in Guyana (Bulkan 2013), and their villages occupy around 15% of Guyana's 214,970 km 2 land area. All indigenous communities have members that maintain a strong reliance on swidden agriculture, a fact that holds true the further away one moves from Guyana's capital city, Georgetown. ...
Article
Swidden agriculture, or the continuing agricultural system in which clearings are cropped for shorter periods than they are fallowed, landscapes have been described as ‘difficult-to-map’ because they host a high variety of land-cover types. Consequently, satellite-borne remotely sensed data have not proven overwhelmingly successful in detecting and measuring change within these landscapes. We utilize data derived from an optical sensor carried on-board an unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to measure the change on a swidden agriculture plot over a 4 month period in Guyana. UAVs were built with indigenous farmers who were trained in their operation to collect data over the swidden plot. A two-class classification was developed to quantify the change in both cultivated and naturally occurring vegetation. We found that non-vegetation surfaces rapidly decreased over the 4 months, declining from 79.42% in June to 69.69% in September. Vegetation recolonization of the swidden crop was particularly the cassava crop planted by the Makushi farmer. While our analysis was completed over a single swidden plot, our work demonstrated that UAVs could play a role in mapping swidden landscapes and change the perception that they are difficult to map. Local people involvement was critical to mapping their landscapes.
... Approximately 10.5% of Guyana's population is indigenous peoples (Guyana Bureau of Statistics 2012) most of whom live in the country's forested hinterland regions. Currently, there are more than 100 Amerindian communities (both titled and untitled) distributed across Guyana's hinterland landscape (Bulkan 2013). We worked with two villages, Wowetta, and Surama, in the North Rupununi ( Fig. 1) to lay the groundwork for a forest monitoring program that has indigenous peoples at the core. ...
... We worked with two villages, Wowetta, and Surama, in the North Rupununi ( Fig. 1) to lay the groundwork for a forest monitoring program that has indigenous peoples at the core. Overall, there are nine main indigenous nations living in Guyana (Bulkan 2013), and we worked with the Makushi and Wapishiana peoples whose ancestors have lived in the Rupununi forest-savannah biome for more than 10 000 years (Plew 2005). ...
Article
Unmanned aerial vehicles are quickly becoming an important part of the conservation and natural resource management toolkits. Scholars and practitioners alike are adapting UAVs as a part of their work in record numbers, but there still remain room for adapting UAVs within indigenous peoples’ dominated settings. As indigenous peoples continue to work towards embracing the most appropriate tools for chartering their own development, the flexibility and utility of UAVs can bring significant benefits to their natural resource management and food production efforts. In this paper, we describe the process we followed, in introducing UAVs to two Amerindian communities in the North Rupununi, Guyana. Following consultations on the benefits and potential dangers associated with the introduction of UAVs on their lands, we successfully built and flew UAVs over swidden agriculture plots of various ages. We found that scholars willing to embrace and respect the indigenous culture, regulatory guidelines, and customary norms, can build mutualistic relationships with indigenous peoples. Such relationships can allow the remote sensing process to be accessed by groups normally not associated with mainstream remotely sensing technology adaption while having the potential for global-level implications such as monitoring above-ground biomass and carbon sequestration potential.
... The dynamic of Amerindian communities being omitted from the political process is supported on a national scale by Bulkan's [70] articulation of Guyana's 'racialized geography'. Her concept refers to more than simply the ethnically quantifiable demographics of census data. ...
... [71] (p. 11) This is an oppositional framing born from the colonial disregard for the indigenous communities in Guyana [70]. Bulkan identifies this cultural divide as persisting in contemporary politics, finding that "although Amerindians constitute almost 10% of the population . . . ...
... Bulkan identifies this cultural divide as persisting in contemporary politics, finding that "although Amerindians constitute almost 10% of the population . . . political issues and resource allocations are still dominated by the coastland parties and their concerns" [70] (p. 373). ...
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International bi-lateral agreements to support the conservation of rainforests to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are growing in prevalence. In 2009, the governments of Guyana and Norway established Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). We examine the extent to which the participation and inclusion of Guyana’s indigenous population within the LCDS is being achieved. We conducted a single site case study, focussing on the experiences and perceptions from the Amerindian community of Chenapou. Based on 30 interviews, we find that a deficit of adequate dialogue and consultation has occurred in the six years since the LCDS was established. Moreover, key indigenous rights, inscribed at both a national and international level, have not been upheld with respect to the community of Chenapou. Our findings identify consistent shortcomings to achieve genuine participation and the distinct and reinforced marginalisation of Amerindian communities within the LCDS. A further critique is the failure of the government to act on previous research, indicating a weakness of not including indigenous groups in the Guyana-Norway bi-lateral agreement. We conclude that, if the government is to uphold the rights of Amerindian communities in Guyana, significant adjustments are needed. A more contextualised governance, decentralising power and offering genuine participation and inclusion, is required to support the engagement of marginal forest-dependent communities in the management of their natural resources.
... The work of the Guyanese anthropologist Janette Bulkan (formerly, Forte) among the Makushi and Wapishana peoples is also of importance here (Forte 1996a, Forte et al. 1992, Bulkan 2013. In particular, the volume Makusipe komanto iseru (1996b), edited by Forte, represents a unique insight into Makushi culture. ...
... The majority of Guyana's 750,000 citizens live along the Atlantic coastal floodplain at the northern edge of South America. The interior territory that leads to the southern borders with Venezuela and Brazil has been historically portrayed as a rainforest terra nullius (ROOPNARAINE, 1996;BULKAN, 2013;HENNESSY, 2013), beyond the reach of state territoriality, or strategies of the state to attract, influence, or control resources and people by controlling the areas where they are located (OFFEN, 2003;ELDEN, 2010). The inability of the Guyanese state to effectively extend its authority from border to border meant that, in the late twentieth century, territoriality was imposed by a conglomerate of external actors whose managing strategy was the profitable extraction of natural resources (GILPIN and GILPIN, 2001;DINNEN, 2002). ...
... One is borne of the potential profitability of natural resource extraction, and associated corruption rings that operate in Guyana's interior territory, including, sometimes, within Islands of Governmentality 353 the islands we describe (COLCHESTER and MACKAY, 2004;BULKAN, 2004a;BULKAN and PALMER, 2008). The second, as we emphasize, is the prevalence of often erroneous assumptions by the state and external actors about the livelihoods, beliefs, and needs of Amerindian communities who live in the interior (GRIFFITHS and ANSELMO, 2010;BULKAN, 2013;FOOK, 2013). Initiatives like Iwokrama, the UECC, and Konashen exemplify that indigenous groups are conveniently designated the local managers of these conservation areas, whose authority theoretically prevails over that of the state (HALE, 2004). ...
... The government is talking about climate change and selling off all our forests and trading our forest … who are the people who are protecting those same forests that they now want to sell off? '[Selling] off … forests' is a reference to the Government of Guyana's LCDS, and, in particular, to the fact that none of the components of the LCDS that depend on forest conservation as a land-use practice on indigenous titles was developed through participatory consultation with Amerindians (BULKAN, 2013;GEORGE et al., 2014). The APA spokeswoman's argument was that, despite her view of Amerindians as the de facto protectors of the forests, they should not be confined to this livelihood narrative. ...
Article
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Contemporary scholarship increasingly emphasizes that modern state sovereignty does not depend on the control of a strictly bounded and uniformly governed territory. Rather, authority now stems from a variety of different actors, within and external to states, who enact shared forms of power over different areas of national territory for different objectives. In Guyana, contemporary expressions of neoliberal governmentality, environmental conservation and the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights, have recently emerged as alternative forms of territorial authority in the country's interior rainforest—an area that has historically posed challenges to steady state control. We outline the history and configuration of these territorial ‘islands', demonstrating the ways in which their diverse sources of authority articulate and overlap with—and often contradict—each other, thereby emphasizing that these processes are intrinsic to the very constitution, expansion, and legitimacy of modern state power. This paper contributes to understandings of the territorial reconfiguration of sovereignty in English-speaking South America.
... However, Amerindian customary land, which is not under statutory communal title, can be and mostly is swept up into State Forests. Amerindian communities generally do not know this, because the legal Proclamations and Orders for declaration of State Forest are not easily accessible, and most communities do not have community offices, let alone filing systems (Bulkan, 2013). ...
Article
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Colonial governments asserted sovereignty and property rights gradually over the territory of Guyana, disregarding preexisting Indigenous Rights. Although a Forest Department modeled on the Indian Forest Service was established, there was no equivalent settlement process to determine the rights of forest peoples. State Forest area is declared by administrative fiat. These two elements have enabled State-endorsed forestland grabbing. Logging was scattered and selective until the early 1980s. A neoliberal economic program from the 1980s has allowed Asian companies to gain control over at least 80% of large-scale forestry concessions, equivalent to one-third of the 15.8 million hectares (Mha) of State-administered public forests. The relative success of the Asian companies can be understood in terms of available capital, willingness to invest, knowledge of markets, and willingness to corrupt. The relative failure of the preexisting Guyanese-owned businesses can be understood in terms of lack of capital, inability to save and unwillingness to invest, lack of knowledge of marketing, and lack of cooperation within the sector. Some conclusions from the Guyana story are relevant to other countries related to resource-hungry transnational enterprises.