CORRUPTION – $25,000 Project Funds Stolen by their Leaders
Kourou, French Guiana
Proposed Plan Gone Totally Wrong
The Organization and the Friendship Center
ONAG – Organization of Indigenous Nations of Guiana – represents the seven indigenous nations in French Guiana: the Kali’na Tileuyu, the Wayana, the Lokono (s), the Pahikweneh, the Teko, the Wayampi and the Apalaï. Locally they are collectively known as ‘Amerindians’. They are the descendants of the first people to inhabit the varied geographical zones in the northern part of South America. Some groups were coastal dwellers while others lived mainly in the rain forest, savannahs and mountains of the interior. Indigenous groups now constitute about nine per cent of the total population of Guyana and about 90 per cent of the communities are located in the vast remote interior. This is in contrast to the majority of Guyana’s people who are essentially concentrated on the narrow Atlantic coastal strip.
Located in South America, between Brazil and Suriname, French Guiana has no economic benefit of its local resources, it is a developing country under the French governance; therefore, it is difficult for the indigenous communities to access financial support for health, education and cultural development.
Inti Raymi Fund allocated $25,000 to construct a Friendship Center. This center was to be built on Tileuyu’s property allocated for the use of cultural and agricultural development. Within Kourou city, the Tileuyu’s nation has 385 hectares (approx. 1.5 Sq Mi) of land. Besides the Friendship Center building, this land was to be used for cultural development, raising livestock, farming and other forms of activities that can be used to create a local development. The Tileuyu struggle to preserve and enhance their ancestral traditions. Typically they opt to live with nature. They have retained many of their customs, despite the colonization and have always sought to preserve their environment.
Located on a Tileuyu territory, the Friendship Centre was to provide:
- A cultural hut;
- A shelter for the seven indigenous nations when traveling delegates, students or guests might need sleeping quarters
- Offices for each of the nations;
- A conference room.
ONAG already had the wood and labor ready to build the “Friendship Centre”. Additionally, ONAG organization had computer equipment; the only thing missing was the structure of the center itself. To facilitate travel, a tourist route through the forest was part of the building plan for the “Friendship Centre”.
The Inti Raymi Fund became aware of the ONAG Organization and the Tileuyu Land and its Peoples while attending the World Conference of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The Inti Raymi Fund provided a $25,000 Grant to the ONAG Organization for the above aforementioned project; however, it was stolen.
Start Date: January, 2014
Completion Date: January, 2014
Funded so far: $25,000 USD
Total Project: $25,000 USD
Vincent Louis, Josée Daris, Eric Louis, Chaski of Inti Raymi Fund