Canada helps Guyana to develop indigenous fashion industry
Indigenous female fashion designers in Guyana are being trained to develop their businesses in a workshop facilitated by the Canadian High Commission.
The three-day workshop in Indigenous Fashion Designing has participants from Guyana’s ten regions and is part of a series of events aimed at empowering indigenous peoples.
Former President of the Amerindian Peoples' Association Mario Hastings hailed the event as historic and he said “this project is very important to us as indigenous people. We as indigenous people we know we have the talent and the skills but it’s just for us to develop these skills.”
He added: “Indigenous designing is also about framing and self-determination. So when you are doing this, I want you all to keep this in mind. Participants, you will learn a lot from this workshop and I want you to keep focused.”
Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee said the workshop is timely since it provides an opportunity for the women to build their fashion talent, entrepreneurial skills and community.
She said: “Canada strongly believes that indigenous cultures, which includes your fashion, are important for a sustainable future.”
Chatterjee reminded participants that they also have things they can teach the facilitators.
Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples' Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe said: “The indigenous fashion industry could be a big, big business in Guyana. We are getting oil in our country. There will be a lot of people in Guyana so it is for you to design their clothing.”
She urged designers to pay attention to detail and ensure their products meet an international standard.
Famed Canadian indigenous designer, Angela DeMontigny, will be facilitating the workshop.
Next month the High Commission will be partnering to develop the leadership skills of indigenous women.