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Jamaica Meetings | Conventions | Incentive News

New Era for Jamaica’s Maroon Communities at Historic Gathering

image courtesy of AIDO Network
Written by Linda Hohnholz

In a profound and historic assembly on Monday, January 8, 2024, leaders from Jamaica’s Maroon Communities convened at The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston.

The event, graciously hosted by Dr. Hillary Beckles – HH Chief Osikol, Vice Chancellor of The UWI, marked a pivotal moment in history as the Maroon leaders engaged in discussions, healing, and reconciliation.

The gathering followed the triumphant 286th Maroon Accompong Festival, “Return to Accompong: Return To Your Roots,” hosted in Cockpit Country, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. The AIDO Royal Delegation bestowed blessings during the annual commemorative celebrations, setting the stage for the Unity Reconciliation Gathering.

Led by His Royal Majesty Paul J. Eganda – Papa Ateker and hosted by Dr. Sir Hillary Beckles – HH Chief Osikol, the Maroon leaders, including representatives such as Gaamang Gloria “Mama G” Simms, Gaama Akin, Colonel Lloyd Lattibeaudiere, Madame Secretary Jacqueline Phillips, HH Chief Odwe – Chief Richard Currie, Amb. AnuTafari-El, and Br. Royan of Accompong, convened with a shared purpose—to address challenges within Maroon communities and advance with principled unity. Regrettably, invited leaders Colonel Marcia Douglas and Colonel Wallace Sterling were unable to attend.

The AIDO Royal African Delegation, comprised of HH Queen Princess Ikatekit Gamachana, Chief Carlton Baiba Darby, and Lady Chrystal Urbureau, added an international dimension to the gathering.

The gathering resulted in a call for actionable deliverables, including a proposed 2–3-day symposium within the next 2-3 months to capture authentic narratives, historical legacies, voices, and analyses of the Maroon Communities. The attendees discussed strategies for publications in print, mixed media, film, and other creative heritage educational platforms later in 2024.

The event emphasized the need for correcting historical injustices, rebranding the Maroon legacy within Jamaican history, and proposing regular quarterly meetings, intervention strategies, and a calendar of ancestral sacred events to strengthen unity among Maroon Communities.

Discussions also highlighted the need for a constitutional phase, international recognition, and creative interventions for Jamaican governmental constitutional reform that includes Maroon Communities from inception moving forward.

The January 8, 2024 Maroon Unity Reconciliation Gathering marked a significant step towards solidarity, historical justice, and a united front for Jamaica’s indigenous voices. The diversity of opinions expressed showcased the intellectual strength, discipline, and ancestral harmony within the Maroon community, signaling a new chapter in their shared history.

About the author

Linda Hohnholz

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