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The Secretariat of the Caribbean Antilles Indigenous Peoples Caucus & the Diaspora, CAIPCD




    From: ALDET CENTRE 
    Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 00:29:51 -0700 (PDT)

    The Secretariat of the Caribbean Antilles Indigenous Peoples
    Caucus & the Diaspora, CAIPCD

    Box MA 020, Marchand P.O., Castries, SAINT LUCIA
    Tel/Fax: + 1 758 452 5374
    Email: CAIPCD_Secretariat@aldetcentre.org
    Executive Chairperson: Dr. Albert DeTERVILLE
    Secretary General: Deanne D. DeTERVILLE
    Youth Diaspora Rep.: Keisha JOSEPHS
    Administrative Assistant: Wilma GASSIE

    DATE: 12 July 2004
    TO:   All
    REFERENCE: CAIPCD/dadin/068/2004

    MESSAGE: The Secretariat of the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono)
    of Saint Lucia Governing Council, BGC, has for sometime now been
    monitoring the behaviour of certain members of the Saint Lucia
    Archaeological and Historical Society toward the treatment of the
    remains of the dead: Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of Saint
    Lucia. Apart from the callous disregard for and desecration of the
    burial sites, the Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical
    Society has over the years not only removed over fifty (50)
    Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of Saint Lucia remains from
    burial sites around the Island, stored some in cardboard boxes,
    but has also paraded them for public viewing. This has been
    compounded by the fact that the Caretaker of the Saint Lucia
    Archaeological and Histroical Society has created the impression
    that the remains are his private property.

    The Secretariat is monitoring the situation and anticipates
    action to stop the practice.

    During the Third Meeting of the Working Group on the American
    Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Washington, DC,
    28-30 April 2004, the Caribbean Antilles Indigenous Peoples Caucus
    & the Diaspora, CAIPCD, Delegation contributed to and
    whole-heartedly supported the exercise, in particular Article
    XV(1, 3 and 4). This means that Member States of the Organization
    of American States (including Saint Lucia) have all accepted and
    adopted Articles I to XVII as presented by the Working Group.

    The Secretariat draw your attention to Article XV(1,3 and 4)
    under the Sub-heading "Indigenous spirituality."

    1. "Indigenous peoples have the right to their freedom of
    spirituality and beliefs, and, by virtue of that right, to
    practice, develop, transmit, and teach their traditions, costoms,
    and ceremonies, and to carry them out in public and in private,
    individually and collectively."

    3. "The States shall adopt the necessary measures, in consultation
    with the indigenous peoples, to preserve, respect, and protect
    their sacred sites and objects, including their burial grounds,
    human remains, and relics."

    4. "The States and their institutions shall guarantee that society
    as a whole respect the integrity of indigenous symbols
    (petroglyphs), practices (including burial of their dead), sacred
    ceremonies, expressions, and spiritual protocols (allowing the
    dead to Rest In Peace)."

    Section 9.-(1) of the Constitution of Saint Lucia also guarantees
    the protection of the Rights of the Indigenous People
    (Bethechilokono) of Saint Lucia, as expressed in Article XV(1,3
    and 4) of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
    Peoples. Section 9.-(1) "Except with his own consent, a person
    shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of
    conscience, including freedom of thought and religion, freedom to
    change his religion of belief, either alone or in community with
    other, and both in public and in private, to manifest and
    propagate his religon or belief in worship, teaching, practice
    (including the burial of their dead) and observance (allowing the
    dead to Rest In Peace).

    Sections 500 and 569 of the Criminal Code of Saint Lucia
    stipulates that it is a criminal offence to unlawfully interfere
    with the dead.

    Section 500. "Any person who without lawful authority in that
    behalf, disinters (remove a corpse from the ground or from its
    burial place), dissects (cut up into pieces or to show its parts)
    or tampers with the dead body of any person (meddles with, make
    unauthorized changes in or exert secret or corrupt influence
    upon), is liable on summary conviction to a fine of two thousand
    dollars or to imprisonment for two years."

    Section 569. "Any person who commits any wanton or mishievous act
    causing annoyance (mental distress) not otherwise defined in this
    Code is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand
    dollars."

    The Secretariat would appreciate you comments.

    Sincerely
    Albert DeTERVILLE
    Executive Chairperson
    Caribbean Antilles Indigenous Peoples Caucus & the Diaspora
    Box MA 020, Marchand P.O., Castries, SAINT LUCIA
    Tel/Fax: + 1 758 452 5374

      
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