The Amerindian Act, 2006 provides for, inter alia:

Grants to communal land. Unlike the old Act, the new Act includes a process for the granting of land. For instance, a community can apply for land once they can prove that they have been living there for at least 25 years and the Minister must commence an investigation and make a decision within 6 months.

Leases. The Minister is not required to approve leasing of titled Amerindian land, as opposed to the 1st Act where the Minister is required to approve it. In the new Act, the communities are only required to seek the advice of the Minister.

Intellectual Property Rights. With respect to the use of scientific research, the Researcher will, among other things, have to submit to the Village Council a copy of any publication containing material derived from the research.

Environmental Protection. The Amerindian Act supports the need for the communities to use their natural resources in a way that lends support to the concept of sustainability: Impact Assessments will have to be completed in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act.

Mining and Forestry. Amerindians will have a legal right to traditional mining with the consent of the Village Council and they must comply with the relevant legislation. With regard to forestry, the Village Council plays an integral role in determining who is allowed to use their land and on what terms.

Governance. The Village Council is empowered to establish rules for their communities and set fines within the legal confines of the law. Notably, the money received due to the non- adherence of the rules, goes into the Village Council’s account, not the Government’s.

Consultations. More than half of the recommendations are reflected in the Act. These inclusions were as a result of recommendations from the communities and other stakeholders. The process lasted two years and is an unprecedented one in this part of the hemisphere.

Click here to download the Amerindian Act 2006