By Gabrielle Heroux, 2nd year MDP student
The last month of my placement, since my first blog post, was a busy one. There were a number of events planned for the first week of July, to commemorate the 111th anniversary of the creation of the Kalinago Territory on July 4. One of these was a workshop on land, held on July 4, organized to bring together members of the community to discuss questions of land value, land ownership and inheritance, boundary markers, land as an economic asset, and land protection and degradation. There were about 15-20 participants, including former chiefs, youth, entrepreneurs, and other Kalinago residents. Through discussions and small focus group sessions, the participants identified priority issues and produced recommendations that will be worked into a strategic action plan to guide development.
In the weeks that followed, I continued my research on sources of funding for individuals or groups within the Kalinago Territory. I also had a very interesting meeting with a representative of the National Bank of Dominica, to discuss their policies and practices regarding lending to Kalinago people, and the bank’s perspective on potential partnerships, or other ways forward.
My time in Dominica was a terrific experience, due mainly to the amazing people I met during my placement. It has been two weeks since I left, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss that beautiful island, and the community that took me in for three unforgettable months. I learned so much, and will be forever grateful.