Training Workshop on Indigenous Rights, Intellectual Property & The Environment

Programme | News Release | Post-Event News Release

Under the EDF-funded project ‘Strengthening Trinidad and Tobago’s Human Rights Capacity through Innovative Legal Education’, The UWI Faculty of Law hosted a workshop entitled ‘Protecting Intellectual Property and the Environmental Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Trinidad and Tobago’ on Saturday 23rd February 2019 at the UWI St. Augustine campus.

Speakers at the event included four Faculty staff members – Dr. Sharon Le Gall, Dr. Justin Koo, Mr. John Knechtle and Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine – as well as a number of specially invited guests, including Senator the Honourable Jennifer Baptiste Primus (Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development); Ms. Elsy Curihuinca (Indigenous Attorney at the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the IACHR); Mr. Richard Aching, Manager (Technical Examination Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs); and Ms. Rebecca Gookool (Department of Economics, UWI, St. Augustine). Representatives from the major indigenous groups in Trinidad were also integral to the programme, with speakers including Chief Ricardo Hernandez; Mr. Roger Belix, Mr. Cristo Adonis; Mr. Rabina Shar and Mr. Colin Harris.

This workshop was highly successful. It attracted the participation of approximately 105 persons from a wide range of stakeholder groups; and it stimulated deeper and more focused discourse on the interconnected issues of intellectual property and environmental rights related to our country’s indigenous peoples. Most importantly perhaps, the workshop broke new ground in creating a neutral space for each of the indigenous groups in T&T to participate in a fair, open dialogue about their needs, ultimately leading to a collective call from the indigenous community for the Faculty of Law to establish and lead a Committee that could advance the discussion and objectives started at the workshop. The Faculty intends to pursue this initiative; and additionally will prepare both a video and handbook for wide distribution.

Chief Ricardo Hernandez (from left), Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste Primus; Prof. Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Dean, FOL, The UWI, St. Augustine and Santa Rosa First Peoples ‘Medicine Man’ Mr. Cristo Adonis at the FOL Workshop on Protectecting Intellectual Property and the Environmental Rights of Indigenous Peoples in TT

Members of the Head Table: Chief Ricardo Hernandez (from left), Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste Primus; Prof. Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Dean, FOL, The UWI, St. Augustine and Santa Rosa First Peoples ‘Medicine Man’ Mr. Cristo Adonis at the FOL Workshop on Protecting Intellectual Property and the Environmental Rights of Indigenous Peoples in TT.

 

(Back L-R) Mr. Colin Harris, Director of research, Warao research Institute; Mr. Cristo Adonis, Medicine Man, Santa Rosa First Peoples Community; Mr. Roger Belix, President, Partners for First Peoples Development Organisation; Mr. Felix Voisen, First Elder, Warao Nationo f T&T; Chief Ricardo Hernandez of the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community; Mr. Rabina Shar, Grand Chief and Spokesperson at the Warao Nation of T&T; Mr. Rauold Simon, Shaman, Warao Nation

Main speakers at the Workshop: (Back L-R) Mr. Colin Harris, Director of research, Warao research Institute; Mr. Cristo Adonis, Medicine Man, Santa Rosa First Peoples Community; Mr. Roger Belix, President, Partners for First Peoples Development Organisation; Mr. Felix Voisen, First Elder, Warao Nation of T&T; Chief Ricardo Hernandez of the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community; Mr. Rabina Shar, Grand Chief and Spokesperson at the Warao Nation of T&T; Mr. Rauold Simon, Shaman, Warao Nation

(Front L-R)

Mr. Richard Aching, Manager, Technical Examination, Intellectual Property Office (IPO);

Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Dean FOL, The UWI, St. Augustine, Former President and Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, (IACHR) OAS, Washington

Dr. Justin Koo, Lecturer, Intellectual Property Law, Faculty of Law, The UWI, St. Augustine

Dr. Sharon Le Gall, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, The UWI, St. Augustine

Dr. Roger Hosein, Senior Lecturer, Coordinator, Trade and Economic Development Unit, Faculty of Social Sciences, The UWI, St. Augustine

Ms. Rebecca Gookool, Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, The UWI, St. Augustine

Mr. John Knechtle, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, The UWI, St. Augustine

Ms. Elsy Curihuinca, Indigenous Attorney at the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the IACHR, Washington on the Environmental concerns of Indigenous Peoples.

partcipants participants

The workshop included over 100 participants from a wide stakeholder pool.