Cross-posted and translated from De Ware Tijd, a Surinamese newspaper. Original link.
Mulokot: Wayana area covers 15 percent of Suriname
Text and image: Euritha Tjan A Way
PARAMARIBO — According to the Wayana natives, their habitat, which has been demarcated by themselves, covers about 15 percent of Suriname. The Wayana area has a total area of 24,865 square kilometers and is located in the southeast of the country. That came out on Monday at the presentation of George Awankaroe who was closely involved in the demarcation process. This area is home to 862 indigenous people and has nine villages.
“We are glad that we could still build on the knowledge of our ancestors before it was lost” – Jupta Itoewaki, chairperson of Mulokot
The Wayana have taken up and implemented this initiative themselves and are very proud of it. The project was implemented with funding from the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) Global Environment Facility Small Grant Program and with an additional grant from the non-governmental organization Nia Tero, which is based in the Americas and assists indigenous organizations in vigilance. across their territory.
Awankaroe explained in the Jacana Ballroom on Monday that the demarcation process has been grounded by means of oral narrations from the older indigenous people who know what the mutual agreements are with other indigenous and tribal peoples whose territories border that of the Wayana.
Special places have also been mapped. That happened with the software program Terrastories. Special places, which the local communities have designated, are indicated on the map. The stories associated with these locations are also included. The program offers the option of recording certain sensitive information, but shielding it so that it is preserved for the target group itself.
The project was started and carried out by the Mulokot Foundation, which also organized the presentation on Wayana land demarcation. Mulokot is the working arm of the traditional authority of Wayana Kawemhakan village. President Jupta Ituwaki said: “We started this project since 2019, but it was delayed due to Covid-19. We are glad that our territory is now demarcated and that we could still build on the knowledge of our ancestors before it was lost.”