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Kalinago Barana (Sea) Stories & Conservation Project

Planning and Community Engagement

Timeline: 10 project days over the period of March 9th to April 26th, 2021.

Discussions began in December 2020 and meetings between Oonya Kempadoo, Marianna Sanford and the Karina Cultural Group leaders (KCG) were ongoing from January with an agreement signed on January 14th, 2021, with agreed roles and responsibilities:

  • The Karina Cultural Group Secretary, Marianna Sanford, will locally manage the project together with Oonya Kempadoo (virtually) who will administer the project and lead the Creative Workshop.

  • Either Gerard or Miranda Langlais will serve as one community facilitator to support the research, workshop and community event, given their years of experience in cultural preservation and education. One other workshop facilitator and a multimedia specialist will be engaged from the Kalinago community.

Plans took into account the role of cultural performance as a means of presenting the outcomes of the research and workshop and the Open Day Presentation as a key community event. Additional human resources and project needs for logistical support were identified and the age of youth for participation and the workshop was lowered to include primary school ages of 12yrs.

Key persons for project and workshop facilitation were identified by KCG, and the importance showing the community that this project is being managed transparently and fair, was discussed.

Financial and budget revisions took many hours since the budget, cut by 30% following the withdrawal of a sponsor, had to be adjusted to the needs and expectations associated with a community project. At the same time, the KCG had little time to secure any supplementary community sponsorship and in-kind support, but nonetheless this quickly came from local organizations and businesses.

Official Kalinago leaders and government officials were communicated with in the formal letters. Interviewees and elders with sea-related knowledge/experience were identified by the KCG and their permissions and participation were sought in person.

Additional needs and costs kept being added as the formality and challenges of community project implementation were identified.

The selection of youth participants were invited through school principles (with letters and in person) and teachers, and some directly by Karina members. Parent permissions were also sought in person or by phone.

Photo courtesy Karina Cultural Group © 2021.

Youth participants:

  • Lynna Burton, 12 years, Lighthouse Christian Academy (writer)
  • Kayanna Darroux, 14 years, Castle Bruce Sec. St. Cyr
  • Lybird Darroux, 12 years, Mahaut River Primary, St Cyr (singer, writer)
  • Kirmichael James, 12 years, Mahaut River Primary, Gaulette River (artist)
  • Annel Eustache, 13 years, Castle Bruce Sec. Bataca (artist)
  • Taliyah Darroux, 13 years, Sineku (Artist)
  • Johnathon Valmond, 13 years, Sineku
  • Dian Augustine, 11 years, Mahaut River
  • Aniska Auguiste, 18 years, Castle Bruce Secondary School. Bataca (dancer)
  • Jervanni Auguiste, 19 years, Dominica State College, Bataca, Karifuna Cultural Group (drummer)
  • Marlon James, 19 years, student at the Dominica State College, Crayfish River
  • Adicia Burton, 18 years, Dominica State College, Crayfish River, Kalinago rep. Nat. Youth Council (writer)
  • Aiden Burton, 12 years, Mahaut River Primary School, Crayfish River

Interviewees and elders:

  • Prosper Paris, 57 years, former member of Kalinago Council, Cultural Officer under the ministry of Kalinago Upliftment, Leader of the Karifuna Cultural group (Bataca)
  • Saracen Auguiste, 85 years, former fisherman, Crayfish River
  • Noel Valmond, 68 years, former fisherman and canoe builder, Sineku
  • Napoleon Sanford, 70 years, fisherman and canoe builder, Salybia
  • Dr Lennox Honychurch, 68 years, past politician and Dominica’s leading historian (renowned for his research on Kalinago history), Woodfordhill

Oonya Kempadoo © 2021 FDL