On Thursday, April 28, 2016, the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago (NATT) celebrated the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Merikins and the re-publication of the seminal work by Dr. Maureen Warner-Lewis. This milestone event which also commemorated the International Decade for Persons of African Descent took place at the NATT’s office at the Cor. New and St. Vincent Streets in Port of Spain.
Mr. Kurt Meyer, Deputy Permanent Secretary delivered the Feature Address on behalf of the Honourable Maxie Cuffie, Minister of Public Administration and Communications, in which he highlighted the enormous contribution made by persons of African descent to the national community. Also, addressing guests at the ceremony was Dr. Heather Cateau, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of the West Indies who spoke about the African Legacy and the Merikins.
Over 100 guests were treated to performances from the Wasafoli Dancers who thrilled them with their West African styled dance while the Merikins followed with stick-fighting and drumming pieces. This event which was a collaboration with the Merikins Heritage Foundation and the Emancipation Support Committee formed part of the ongoing efforts to build an inclusive history and archives for Trinidad and Tobago.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Communications remains committed to the preservation of our history by providing the much needed support to the work of NATT.