More developments should be forthcoming for the Kalinago people, according to the Hon Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Roosevelt Skerrit.
He was addressing the new Kalinago Chief, Lorenzo Sanford when Hon Skerrit said these new proposals are to streamline his leadership initiatives and maximise execution.
“One of these tools is a council administrator who will be senior person who will help you with the administration of the council so that we elevate the level of the council and the office of the chief. We shall exchange notes on this and see how we can proceed immediately,” he told Chief Sanford.
The Hon Prime Minister adds that appropriate remuneration for former Kalinago chiefs has been on his mind for some time.
“I think we have to appreciate contributions made by people. We cannot allow leaders to be unrecognised. So, I want you and MP Hon Cassius Darroux to advise me on addressing this anomaly. Some of you receive about $300 monthly as your pension. We have to up the thing and give you better recognition.”
Added to the list of developments proposed for the Kalinago people is what the Hon Prime Minister describes as a means of elevating the council.
He wants to build a “more respectable” home for the council. Hon Skerrit says the new office, which has been under discussion for some time, will also serve as a cultural centre.
This is not the same as a dedicated craft centre which he also proposed.
“I also want to put at your feet the construction of a craft centre,” he said to Chief Sanford.
“Yes, it’s ok for us to sell our crafts by the road but we are not going to make much money by the roadside. We must have a centre where the tourists can come and enjoy the facilities like a restaurant, entertainment and washrooms. And throughout the year we can have access to the craft and not only during tourism season. We can teach locals and visitors how to make craft on the spot. That could lend to tremendous economic possibilities,” said the Hon Prime Minister.
The Kalinago Chief has also been promised a fully-maintained vehicle to aid in the execution of his duties.