Among issues on the agenda at the 5th IIPT Afican Conference on Peace through Tourism recently held in Lusaka, Zambia, was the possible participation of representatives from an American Indian tribe in the 2nd edition of the 2012 Seychelles “Carnaval International de Victoria,” due to be held between March 2-4, 2012.
As part of a busy program lined up for him, Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, met with native American Ben Sherman of the Oglala Lakota Tribal Nation and President of the Denver-based Western American Indian Chamber and a founder of the Native Tourism Alliance, who was attending the conference to raise awareness about the great body of knowledge contained in the traditions and cultures of Native American peoples and the valuable contributions they can make in a world struggling to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“I think it is crucial that we honor these extraordinary people who, for centuries, have existed close to the land and who continue to enjoy an intimate bond with nature that we in the cities have lost,” stated Alain St.Ange, “The next edition of the Seychelles “Carnaval International de Victoria” will be an ideal platform for the world to learn more about their remarkable heritage and about their important role in helping to guide our bruised planet through the perils posed by climate change.”
It was in Lusaka in Zambia that the Seychelles delegation announced that the populations often described as marginalized were invited to showcase their own culture, their people, and their traditions at the Seychelles “Carnaval International de Victoria.” The Seychelles delegation listed the American Indians, Australian Aborigines, the New Zealand’s Maoris, Gabon’s Pygmies, Hawaii’s Pacific Islanders, and New Orlean’s Creoles, among others.
The Seychelles have succesfully staged a unique carnival, which has been referred to as the “carnival of carnivals,” because of their ability to have the world’s best carnivals parade side by side with cultural groups from the Community of Nations. In the last March edition of the Seychelles carnival, the Zimbabwe cultural delegation was seen following Great Britain’s Notting Carnival Group, which was followed by the Zanzibar Tanzania’s Cultural Group, and Indonesia’s cultural delegation, followed by a Brazil’s ladies group, walking ahead of La Reunion’s Creole delegation, India’s drummers, etc.
The navies of the world were also in Seychelles for the carnival. In an amazing show of support, the Russian navy, the Indian navy, the British navy, and the French marines joined the Seychelles very own coast guard in the carnival procession. The presence of the foreign navies was a show of unity from the Community of Nations in the global war against the Somali pirates, which has brought added cost to sea traffic and which increased food prices in many countries.