Created with the goal of encouraging the whole country to recognize the contributions of our first peoples and to take action to support preserve and protect indigenous rights, traditions and culture, Indigenous Heritage Month is now one of Guyana’s biggest festive occasions.
Throughout the month, indigenous communities, government organizations, and local businesses organize events, exhibitions, and activities all centered around Guyana’s Amerindian traditions.
Like many local institutions, GBTI, Guyana’s first indigenous Bank with the largest network of branches, looks forward to the Indigenous Heritage Month festivities.
This year, GBTI is celebrating this special month with displays of Amerindian arts and crafts in select branches; various contributions in support of indigenous heritage events; and tours for schools from indigenous communities.
A group of 14 students from Kaikan and Kaibarupai toured our Water Street Branch as part of Heritage Month activities. Every year the bank facilitates a visit of Indigenous students.
“From the onset, we have seen ourselves as Guyanese, representing every ethnic group and our strategic branch locations is indicative of the people we serve,” said GBTI Executive Director, Richard Isava.
“Our Port Kaituma Branch is the only Bank in the North West Region that serves the communities of Mabaruma, Arakaka, Port Kaituma, Matthews Ridge, Barima and all the other surrounding villages; our Anna Regina Branch serves the indigenous communities of the Pomeroon River and Essequibo Coast; our Bartica and Parika Branches serve the indigenous communities of the Potaro area and the Essequibo and Mazaruni Rivers; our Corriverton Branch serves the indigenous people of Orealla and Siparuta in the Corentyne River and the largest indigenous branch is our Lethem Branch serving the whole of the Rupununi,” the Executive Director emphasized.
The bank’s services range from investment opportunities, savings and lending for small business development and women empowerment projects.
In fact, GBTI had developed a special product for farmers in the Rupununi where it was the first Bank to be established.
“Rupununi Ventures” was designed to offer residents of the Rupununi easy financing for Low Carbon Driven Community based enterprise projects in Farming and Processing, Aquaculture, Eco-Tourism/Hospitality, Entertainment, and Arts and Crafts.
Our indigenous connection is also marked by the indigenous staffed Branches in these remote locations.
“As Guyana’s first indigenous bank we see Guyanese for who we are; we understand the needs and challenges of our people and that is why we develop and provide suitable solutions for every Guyanese because we see Guyana through your eyes,” Mr. Isava said.