First Peoples start search for new Queen
Late Carib Queen, Jennifer Cassar.
The Santa Rosa First Peoples Community has begun the process for electing a new Queen of the Community, following the sudden passing of the late Queen Jennifer Cassar.
According to tradition, now that the 40-day period following the death of the late Queen has passed, nominations are open for persons to be considered for the Office of Queen of the Community.
The Queen is normally chosen from among the active membership of the Community. If the active membership feel that there is no one suitable among them, and nominate persons outside of the active membership, consideration will also be given to those persons who fall within set criteria.
Nomination Forms were distributed to members present at the monthly meeting of the Community last Sunday.
Forms are available at the Community’s headquarters at 7 Paul Mitchell Street, Arima, for those members who were unable to attend Sunday’s meeting.
Nominations are to be submitted to the Community’s Headquarters not later than October 7, 2018,
according to the following criteria, the nominee must:
1. Be well known and highly respected in Arima where she lives.
2. Demonstrate an inclusive and unifying leadership, placing high value on traditional knowledge and beliefs, and keeping the customs of Santa Rosa alive.
3. Show a leadership role among the women of the Community, including organising them for the rituals associated with the preparation of the statue of the Saint for the Feast of Santa Rosa.
4. Encourage interest in and knowledge of traditional crafts among the other women in the Community.
5. Be familiar with and committed to traditional knowledge, and spirituality of the First Peoples
6. Demonstrate a mediatory relationship with Santa Rosa, Patroness of Arima.
7. Ensure the succession by training all the younger women in the Community that are considered suitable, and then selecting the best candidate from among them to continue after her.
The Community’s governance reverted to its original historical governance structure of Chief, Shaman and Queen, offices revived during the 1970’s after they were eroded under the colonial system. There is a collaborative governance structure, under the leadership of the Chief.
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